Guan Eng defends move to drop PKR rep from flood aid list

By Opalyn Mok
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's assets of two shophouses in Melaka remained the same, with the controversial RM2.8 million house in Penang as the only new property purchase since 2013. — Picture by KE Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, Nov 24 — The internal procedural changes that led to a PKR assemblyman being exempted from handling the state’s flood aid registration was a necessary move, said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

The Penang lawmaker said the procedural changes were necessary to ensure that all flood victims could be comprehensively registered.

“Focus is to help flood victims above all and internal changes necessary towards ensuring that they will benefit from our RM105 million Penang Bounce Back programme,” he said in a WhatsApp message in reply to the issue.

This was in response to criticisms against the state government by PKR state chairman Datuk Mansor Othman for removing Kebun Bunga assemblyman Cheah Kah Peng from its list of officials allowed to distribute flood relief cash aid.

Mansor has said that this move has affected the camaraderie within the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) alliance.

He also alleged that the removal of Cheah from the list showed the marginalisation of PKR’s role in the pact.

Cheah was previously reported by news portal Malaysiakini to have received a letter from the state secretary dated November 20 informing him that he was exempted from handing out the RM700 aid.

The letter purportedly stated that Cheah will no longer be responsible for the applications by his constituents for the RM700 payment.

Yesterday, Lim responded that he and Pulau Tikus assemblyman Yap Soo Huey will personally hand out the RM700 one-off payment to Kebun Bunga constituents.

Umno assemblyman Datuk Muhammad Farid Saad also commented on this issue, accusing the DAP of formulating a plan or strategising a way to gain absolute power in Penang.

He claimed PKR and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) would be left on the wayside if DAP could obtain easy majority in the state assembly by winning 21 seats in Penang.

The Penang Bounce Back programme is the state government’s flood relief programme for those affected by the floods on November 5.