Kelantan the biggest recipient of Federal aid? That's unfair, Lim: Mohd Amar

Sharifah Mahsinah Abdullah

KOTA BARU: The Kelantan PAS-led government assumed that the Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has bad intention when he highlighted the state as the biggest recipient of Federal aid.

Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said it was unfair for Lim to say that only Kelantan received the assistance from the Federal Government when other states also received the same aid.

Mohd Amar said the amount given by the Federal Government to Kelantan was free but it was an advance funds assistance that needs to be paid or deducted from the yearly allocation.

He said it was not nice for Lim to urge the state government to better manage its finances and increase its revenue because all this time, the state government always save their money.

“I would like to stress here that the state government always spend its money wisely as wanted by the late Tok Guru (former Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat).

“Because of this, the state government received the good financial management award from the Audit. It could not be denied that the state revenue is small because Kelantan is an agriculture state and its income is limited.

“But this does not mean that only Kelantan need Federal’s aid. All states in Malaysia required the Federal’s assistances including the rich states like Selangor, Penang and Johor,” he told reporters at his office here today.

Mohd Amar said no states can stand on their own and all need the Federal’s financial aid.

“Therefore, it is not right to highlight Kelantan because when we looked at the national financial record, all states urgently need help from the Federal Government in term of financial.

“If the Federal Government does not want Kelantan to ask for the allocation, it can do us a favour - give us the oil royalty payment because the payment is among the state biggest revenue. A lot of problem can be settled with the royalty money,” he said.

He also said repayment track record of the state government to the Federal Government (on deficit assistance) was good.

Mohd Amar said this when asked to comment on Lim’s statement that Kelantan government received the highest amount of monetary aid from the Federal Government which is used to tackle cash flow problems and pay workers’ salaries.

In disclosing this on Saturday, Lim said the Federal Government had paid RM913 million to Kelantan in the form of financial deficit assistance and advance fund assistances.

Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah. (NSTP/SYAMSI SUHAIMI)

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