Pakatan Harapan’s Federal Territories (FT) lawmakers today urged FT Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa not to terminate the services of Resident Representative Council (MPP) members amidst the Covid-19 outbreak.
According to Annuar, appointments of MPP members in federal constituencies have been revoked due to inactivity since their appointment under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.
He added that some of the MPP members had not submitted any activity reports, including expenses, since their appointment.
Annuar was responding to PH MPs who today alleged he had revoked the MPP membership providing assistance to needy constituents during the Covid-19 outbreak.
“After studying the report regarding the MPP, we felt that there is a need to give the MPP a new breath in order to function better.
“From the report, the majority of the MPP members are not active and have never submitted any report either on their activities or expenses.
“In fact, many did not submit any report even when the money allocated has been used.
“The ministry also received feedback from the public that they are not satisfied with the members because they were inactive,” Annuar said in a statement.
Earlier today, PH MPs in the Federal Territories said the appointments of MPP members in federal constituencies should not be stopped during the Covid-19 pandemic and movement control order.
Members of the MPP, which were appointed by the Federal Territories minister, have been providing assistance to needy constituents during the Covid-19 outbreak, and revoking their appointments at a crucial time is playing politics instead of putting the people’s welfare first, the coalition said.
“We were informed today that the services of all MPP members in our constituencies have been halted effective March 23.
“This action, taken during a time when Malaysia is fighting Covid-19 under a movement control order, is unjustified and cruel.”
Ten PH federal lawmakers signed the statement: Tan Kok Wai (Cheras), Fahmi Fadzil (Lembah Pantai), Hannah Yeoh (Segambut), Teresa Kok (Seputeh), Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (Setiawangsa), Dr Tan Yee Kew (Wangsa Maju), P Prabakaran (Batu), Lim Lip Eng (Kepong), Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang) and Rozman Ismail (Labuan).
The MPP members were appointed in January 2019 by then Federal Territories minister Khalid Samad and worked with the MP of each constituency to execute programmes.
Meanwhile, Annuar said he appreciates the concern from PH MPs, saying that the MPs can still submit the names of active MPP members in their constituencies.
“I would like to thank the MPs for their views. So, in the public interest, the ministry is restructuring the MPP and the body will operate soon.
“The MPs can propose the names of individuals who are active and capable in their community,” said Annuar.
Meanwhile, Julau Member of Parliament Larry Sng today appealed to the federal government to release the RM500,000 allocation for Opposition lawmakers so they can help those affected by the movement control order.
He said he has received many calls from people in his constituency requesting money to buy food for their community.
“There are over 400 registered longhouses, with on average 100 to 150 people per longhouse, and the district of Pakan within Julau is the poorest in Malaysia,” Sng said on his Facebook page.
“This wouldn’t have been an issue for me to assist them, had the federal government not stopped my (Minor Rural Project) MRP funding, due to the sudden change of government.
“I would have easily transferred funds to all the (Village Development and Security Committees) JKKKs to buy food.
“This would have cost just under RM500,000 by my estimates, to feed them for the next three weeks,” he said.
He said in times of crisis, the government should not withhold funding from MPs.
“This is not the time for politicking. We need to solve people’s immediate problems, and this warrants immediate action from those in government to do the right thing,” Sng said.
However, he said the extension order to stay home announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is necessary in order to ‘flatten the curve’ in the spread of Covid- 19 in Malaysia.
“We are the worst hit in the region and it is imperative that people heed the call to stay at home.
“However, despite all the assistance provided by both state and federal governments, those daily paid workers are the worst hit by this crisis,” he added.
He said they work to pay for their daily meals and have no savings.
“Since there is no work, and no source of income, therefore they have no food to eat. In the coming days the situation will get worse,” Sng said.