Selangor exco cries ‘sabotage’ after minister orders federal funds to councils cut

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Local Government and Urban Well-being Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar was accused of practising ‘parochial politics’. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 — A minister’s order to turn off federal funding for projects in Selangor constituencies not under Barisan Nasional (BN) control is political sabotage, state lawmakers asserted today.

Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah further accused Local Government and Urban Well-being Minister, Datuk Seri Noh Omar of practising “parochial politics” and being “petty” for allegedly issuing the directive.

“It’s definitely a sabotage,” Ean Yong, the DAP assemblyman for Seri Kembangan, told Malay Mail Online.

“It’s a way to punish not only the people of Selangor, but to any federal Opposition supporters nationwide,” he added.

Ean Yong also noted that the federal government blocked all funding to Selangor after the federal Opposition took over the state in 2008.

But over the last nine years, Selangor has posted steady growth. Recently Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali announced an unprecedented increase in the state’s reserves, totalling RM4 billion last year.

Selangor is the country’s highest GDP contributor.

As such, the state is not likely to be affected by the latest policy, Ean Yong said.

“We’ve not received funds since 2008. Federal development is carried out by the federal government themselves through Prime Minister’s Department’s Implementation Coordination Unit.

“So ICU gets the money,” he said.

Joining in the protest, Selayang PKR Member of Parliament William Leong said the fund cut directive was blatant abuse of power and accused Noh of blurring the line between partisanship and public policies.

“Noh Omar’s directive is not only ultra vires and unconstitutional,” he said in a statement.

“The objective and effect of his actions is to punish citizens who voted for non-BN candidates in the last election and to coerce them into voting for BN in the forthcoming general elections but it is also corrupt practice.”

Leong also called on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to probe the minister for corruption and power abuse under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (Act 694).

Local Government Department director-general Datuk Abu Bakar Johar had reportedly issued a directive dated March 17 to halt all funding to for BP 1 projects in constituencies outside BN control.

BP 1 refers to small-scale infrastructure projects at the local council level, according to the ministry’s website.