“…[I]f we pay to the state government, we do not know how the money will be spent. If it is paid through the state government, I am not confident that it will be transparent as (proven in other assistance previously) they give it only to their (PAS) people”
DEPUTY Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin, on how the federal Barisan Nasional (BN) government planned to expedite the payment of “wang ehsan” to Kelantan by the end of March 2010. He explained that the payment would be made via the Kelantan Federal Development Department (JPPK) as this would make the process more transparent.
Awang Adek, who is also Kelantan Umno deputy chief, added that the people should evaluate for themselves the PAS-led state government’s performance, which he insinuated was facing a host of problems. (Source: Payment of “wang ehsan” to be expedited, New Straits Times, 24 Jan 2010)
“It applies to all the states which [are] being led by opposition government. This has happened for the past few years with Kelantan and we’ve never discriminated as far as tourism projects are concerned. We’ve been very fair.”
Former Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said. She was responding to allegations by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s allegations that her ministry was punishing tourists by ending its memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with Pakatan Rakyat (PR)-led states.
Azalina had said earlier that the MoUs needed to be terminated because “the leadership in the state governments have changed”. (Source: BN doesn’t discriminate, Azalina tells MBs, Malaysiakini, 8 Apr 2008)
“There has been a misconception; there is no allocation in that matter…It was within the purview of the Heritage Department to spend some money for repairs [in Malacca] and certain basic administrative costs…it will be on the same basis [for Penang] but now our financial situation is not good, so we cannot allocate this year.”
Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim denying that any money was ever allocated to Penang for conservation, even after former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi promised it during his 2009 parliamentary budget speech.
Rais claimed that the ministry had done conservation work in Malacca but had not granted the state any cash. Penang is led by the PR, which is the federal parliamentary opposition, while Malacca is led by the BN, which also runs federal government. (Source: RM25 million grant for Penang “does not exist”, theSun, 10 Sept 2009)
“The difference is who signs the cheque — they sign the cheques or we sign the cheques? This is the federal government, so we sign the cheques. What’s the big deal?”
Azalina, on concerns that PR-led states might not have access to allocated funds. (Source: BN doesn’t discriminate, Azalina tells MBs, Malaysiakini, 8 Apr 2008)
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