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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spend the RM2.2bil in state reserves, S'gor MB urged

A group of PKR parliamentarians urged Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim in the Dewan Rakyat today to spend the RM2.2 billion in reserves the state has accumulated under more than four years of Pakatan Rakyat rule.

After singing praises on the performance of the Pakatan-led Selangor government, Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin said feedback from the rakyat was that the huge reserve funds accumulated be spent.

NONE"With regard to the large amount of money, we ask that Selangor spends it in a number of ways to help the state maintain the (current) government," said Zuraida (left), who is Selangor PKR deputy chief.

As such, she said, PKR would draft a plan to present to Khalid on how the money could be spent, which would include increasing allocations for local councils, housing for the people, waste management, rural road infrastructure and repainting of low-cost flats.

Backing Zuraida were Kapar MP S Manickavasagam and Petaling Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian.

"If there is such a huge reserve, now is the time for Khalid to spend it," Manickavasagam said.

"For example my area is the largest parliamentary constituency, with the most voters but the roads need repair and there are still problems with the rubbish management.

"This reserve should be used immediately. If there is money, then use it for the rakyat," Manickavasagam added.

'Open tender woes'

Adding on, Hee said even though the state's domestic waste management woes had been resolved, bulk rubbish management, such as for farms, persisted.

"I also do not agree that we do things by open tender and pick contractors offering the lowest price. I feel that the lowest price is not the main solution.

"Many contractors that offer the lowest price, in the end, are not able to carry out their work," Hee said, adding that the state exco in charge of local government, Ronnie Liu, should take note of this.

Therefore, Zuraida suggested, allocations to the local councils should be increased to help resolve this matter.

anwar speech at sungai besi 281012 khalid ibrahim 02Asked why the Pakatan MPs had not taken this up directly with the state government as they were from the same coalition, Zuraida replied: "We have done that.

"It is just that we want to make a statement in Parliament to commend the Selangor government for having that kind of reserve - RM2.2 billion - and to call on it to spend the money on the rakyat because this is what our constituents want."

Asked how the state government had responded to the call, Zuraida said: "They are looking into it, because there are some other priorities as well, so we hope that this becomes the priority now".

Khalid (above, right), who is also the MP for Bandar Tun Razak and who has been described as stringent with the state's finances, has been facing pressure from PKR to spend the state's huge reserves.

The menteri besar has previously laughed off complaints from party members that he was building up the reserve only to have BN take it should it recapture the Selangor government. The reserve funds, he said, gave Selangor a financial leverage.

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