The Star - June 1, 2008
The RM8mil development fund is being used as an issue by the new Perak Government to cast doubt on the previous Barisan Nasional administration, said several former state executive council members.
Referring to state senior executive council member Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham’s statement that the fund had been spent in less than three months, former state exco member Datuk Mohd Radzi Manan said yesterday that he was making a mountain out of a molehill.
“What is RM8mil to a state and when it is divided among the constituencies? What is RM175,000 when spread over a population of 200,000 in my constituency? The money was used to repair community halls and drains,” he said.
Radzi pointed out that the new government should just admit it was unable to raise funds to administer the state and stop blaming the previous government for money spent.
He said his allocation of RM175,000 was used in three months for more than 30 projects like repairing roads and buildings.
On why the money was spent during the first three months of the year, Radzi said it was the norm for the fund to be used early in the year and coincidentally the general election was held in March.
On Friday, Ngeh had asked the Barisan assemblymen to itemise spending from the fund which was a RM75,000 allocation with an additional RM100,000 given to each state exco member.
Ngeh had said the people were suspicious that it had been spent on the election campaign.
Another former state exco member Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said the spending had been accounted for.
Dr Zambry said the money was allocated yearly to Barisan assemblymen for small projects in their constituencies and no cash was dished out for other purposes.
There were strict regulations that had to be followed before the money was channelled to projects in the constituencies, he said.
Datuk Ramly Zahari, another former exco member, described Ngeh’s statement as illogical because some of the warrants for the spending had been cancelled after Parliament was dissolved in February.
He said the funds were given out in the form of warrants after the district officer had checked and approved the list of projects.