Noh: Ministry did not cancel approval for council projects under non-BN constituencies

DAWN CHAN


SHAH ALAM: The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry did not cancel approvals for local council projects in non-Barisan Nasional parliamentary constituencies.

Its minister Tan Sri Noh Omar said the move was instead intended to re-look requests for BP1 projects, meant for infrastructure needs such as multipurpose halls and drains costing under RM1 million, made by members of parliaments as well as local councils.

This, he said, was regardless of whether the constituency is held by the opposition or the government.

"We want to streamline these BP1 projects, requested by 148 local councils from all over the country, due to our current limited funds as we cannot possibly approve all of them.

"In the course of distributing these allocation, I have asked BN MPs to check on the BP1 projects submitted and on the approvals given to respective local councils from last year.

"We want to know if the MPs are aware of the requests on the BP1 projects. This is also for them to discuss with local council presidents and hear for themselves if the projects, which vary in terms of the type of infrastructure, are truly necessary.

"I am not politicising this matter and it is not about the government discriminating the parliamentary constituencies which BN did not win. In one parliamentary constituency, there are mixed parties where two state seats can be from the opposition and the other the government.

"I need to streamline all the projects and weigh their reasonability. But of course, the priority will go to BN constituencies where the allocation will be disbursed to local councils that are implementing the BP1 projects," said Noh.

Noh, who is also Selangor Federal Action Council chairman, was speaking after chairing a meeting at the Umno Shah Alam building today.

Asked on the content of a letter where one of the sentences read, "... to cancel 2017 BP1 projects that had been approved to local councils in parliamentary areas not under Barisan Nasional," Noh said an officer may have misinterpreted the actual meaning.

"It is not possible for my officer to explain every single sentence as how I had said it," said Noh.

Meanwhile, Noh hit out at Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming, who demanded that he retract the letter within seven days or he would file a legal suit to quash the order.

Noh said he would not do so and lashed out at Nga for alleging that BP1 projects in his and other constituencies would be affected.

"Nga doesn’t know his facts and if he is a responsible MP, he would go to the Taiping Municipal Council to check on the list of BP1 projects that are in the pipeline there.

"I have approved three projects - two multipurpose halls and a field - which are already in the tender process worth more than RM1 million. Most recently, I approved an allocation of RM900,000 to replace the roof of a wet market after the request came in from the council president.

"This shows that Nga does not do his work. All he does is ‘ceramah’ and incite people to hate Barisan Nasional. In fact, I have never received any BP1 requests from the opposition," said Noh.