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BN rep questions ‘improper’ Penang bonus payment

Datuk Dr Muhamad Farid Saad, assemblyman for Pulau Betong, said it is improper for the state to use next year’s allocation this year. — Picture by KE OoiDatuk Dr Muhamad Farid Saad, assemblyman for Pulau Betong, said it is improper for the state to use next year’s allocation this year. — Picture by KE OoiGEORGE TOWN, Nov 2 ― A Barisan Nasional assemblyman said today it was improper for the DAP-led Penang government to give this year the bonus for the nearly 8,000 civil servants allocated in the 2018 budget of the state.

Datuk Dr Muhamad Farid Saad, assemblyman for Pulau Betong, said there had been no precedent of allocations for next year’s budget used in the current year.

“We are talking about the 2018 Supply Bill. It is improper for the state to use next year’s allocation this year,” he told reporters after Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng tabled the state budget for 2018 in the state assembly today.

Lim had announced a bonus of RM2,000 for state civil servants with a good record of discipline and RM1,000 for the rest when he tabled a deficit Budget 2018 totalling RM1.25 billion.

Muhamad Farid said that by announcing the RM2,000 bonus, the state government intended to belittle the federal government which had announced a payment of RM1,500 for federal civil servants that would be paid in two instalments, RM1,000 in January 2018 and RM500 before Aidilfitri next year.

He also said that the Penang budget failed to address three major issues, namely traffic congestion, floods and housing.

“I see an imbalance because infrastructure development focuses only on urban areas and not rural areas,” he said.

Penang opposition leader Datuk Jahara Hamid said the state government was also seen as not addressing the major issue of hawkers as it did not provide an alternative trading site for them.

She said exempting them from the hawker licence would not solve the problem because many of their premises had been demolished through enforcement action.

“The important issues are not addressed. The state government is seen as simply sweet-talking to the hawkers, which is a passive attitude. This is an unbalanced budget, a populist budget where the implied does not reach the ground,” she said. ― Bernama

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