Thursday, November 16, 2006

Chew Mei Fun, please announce your expenditure on MP Constituency Development Allocaitons.

It is reported in the press that MCA MP for Petaling Jaya Utara, YB Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun pledged another RM12,000 to fund a river mitigation project in PJ Utara. Another RM12,000 is also pledged by her to build safety gate next to the river to prevent residents from accidentally falling into the river. RM50,000 has also been pledged to resurface loopholes in that area.

Despite several calls for her to fully announce the whereabouts of her BN MP Constituency Development Fund for the past few months, which has been increased to RM2 million a year, a four-fold increment from the previous RM500,000 annual allocation, Miss Chew has not been transparent in dealing with our calls.

Chew Mei Fun should set a leading example by becoming the first BN MP in Selangor to announce the expenditure of her annual BN MP Constituency Development Fund.

It has been the eleventh month of the year. For the past ten months, Chew Mei Fun has failed miserably in announcing how the allocation is carved out. Public can only know about it whenever she went to the press and made announcements pledging donations to societies or associations and development projects for the community which should have been taken care by the local authority in the first place.

From what we read from the press, the total amount that she pledged so far hardly reach RM 2 million. This raise a good question of where has the rest of the money gone to and Chew Mei Fun owes us a very important answer.

Besides it is also important for the various aspects of how the money channeled to the beneficiaries to be announced, i.e. the various means allocation channeled to the public, projects that are funded by this fund as well as the final beneficiaries of the money. This question is raised because MCA MP for Kelana Jaya, YB Loh Seng Kok has claimed that MPs do not hold the money directly as they merely serving as the person who makes recommendations to the related authority for them to release the allocation.

In terms of various means allocation channeled to the public, there should be a proper disclosure of whether the money is directly distributed by MP according to their own discretion, or the money is channeled by various government departments like local councils, Public Works Department (PWD) or Welfare Department?

In terms of the projects funded by the allocation, it will also be interested to understand of whether the money is used to upgrade public facilities and infrastructure, or the money is treated as donation to various societies and association to assist them in running their activities for the communities.

Of utmost importance is the question about the beneficiaries of the allocation as we need to ensure that MPs do not carve out the money to benefit his/her cronies.

Such call is not a call without reason.

Recently, there have been reports that government and MPs allocation are being misused. The worry is not without reason because these monies are public monies and the taxpayers deserve their rights to know the whereabouts of the monies.

Furthermore, Selangor is in serious crisis of political integrity when Zakaria Mat Deros, Port Klang Pandamaran who erected a luxurious bungalow of more than RM 10 million without submitting his building plan can run away scot-free with minimal penalty despite his position as Member of the Selangor State Legislative Hall (ADUN) as well as an about-to-be-appointed councilor in Klang Municipal Council.

While the public still remain unknown of how Zakaria could accumulate such overwhelmingly huge wealth until he can afford such a luxurious mansion for his family, Zakaria’s scandal is definitely not an isolate case but it is just a small tip of the iceberg. Selangor MB and local councils are always caught involving in scandals and corruptions which have severely tarnished the ‘developed’ image of the State.

In the name of good and accountable governance, we urge Chew Mei Fun to explain the whereabouts of her RM 2 million allocation which has been increased from RM 500,000 a year to RM 2 million a year for each BN constituency, and if possible, future beneficiaries of her RM 2 million allocation.

I would like to even suggest to her that the most immediate and efficient way for her to do so is to announce and regularly put up information on her BN MP constituency development fund expenditure on her website to enable greater public scrutiny of the fund as this is not her personal money but public fund.

We are waiting for your announcement, YB Chew Mei Fun!
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