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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Penang exco member calls Umno leaders hypocrites for ‘creating stories’

GEORGE TOWN, Sept 30 — Penang executive councillor Abdul Malik Kassim today called state Umno leaders “hypocrites of the highest order” for “creating stories” that the state government used money from gambling sources to make compassionate payments to its senior citizens.

He said Penaga assemblyman Datuk Azhar Ibrahim, state Umno liaison information chief Senator Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir and Kepala Batas Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican were committing sins for not only defaming the state government, but also for causing worries to senior citizens in the state.

Yesterday, some 40 senior citizens returned the RM100 they received from the state to Azhar at his service centre.

Azhar said the ceremony was held after receiving many phone calls and inquiries from the senior citizens.

Abdul Malik (picture) pointed out that despite Azhar’s claim, his office today received 68 new applications for the programme from Azhar’s Penaga constituency.

“Umno is bankrupt of ideas … they know they cannot fight this policy. They know this is a powerful policy,” Abdul Malik told a press conference here.

“This is a blatant lie. Why could not Azhar, who is also the opposition leader, wait to debate this issue in the state assembly sitting in November?” he asked.

The Batu Maung assemblyman also maintained that the state had never used money from gambling sources to make compassionate payments to its senior citizens.

Instead, he said, the payments were due to the current Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government’s efficient governance.

“In 2008, we [the state] managed to get a surplus of RM88 million. In 2009 it was RM77.4 million and this is after the payment of RM14.7 million for the previous government’s Tang Hak Ju land scam,” he said.

State welfare committee member Phee Boon Poh, who was also present, said the senior citizens who returned their money to Azhar yesterday should have done it in a proper manner.

“They should have included their names and IC numbers so that we can delete their records from our registry,” he said.

He also questioned whether those who returned their money were genuinely concerned with the allegation that the funds came from gambling sources.

He did not rule out the possibility that Umno could have staged the event by making some senior citizens return the money.

“When they [Umno] return the money to us, we want these people’s names and other particulars so we can do our checks. And there is no reason why we should accept the money if the names they give are not in our registry,” he added.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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