Unfair to remove Tanjung Bunga rep’s constituency allocation

File photo: Carolyn Khor

The reported decision to remove the RM200,000 constituency allocation from the hands of the Penang State Assembly member for Tanjung Bunga, Teh Yee Cheu, is unfair to him and those who voted him in.

Teh remains the elected representative for Tanjung Bunga.

The allocation is meant for social welfare aid, community events, and small local projects to assist NGOs and places of worship.

Instead, the allocation would apparently be transferred to the Bukit Bendera DAP MP’s office.

Why is Teh, who was elected by the people of Tanjung Bunga and remains their elected rep, being bypassed? To argue that his “performance” has dropped or he is leaving the party is beside the point.

In any case, how do you define performance? Many environmentally conscious Penangites value Teh’s work in speaking out against ecologically damaging development. The environment and climate change is one of the critical issues of our era. Teh’s courage in speaking out puts him head and shoulders above many of the other reps who are quiet in the face of ecologically harmful projects.

You may not agree with what Teh is saying but to deny him his constitunecy allocation smacks of petty vindictiveness.

How different is this from Pakatan MPs or Pakatan Aduns in BN-controlled states being denied special allocations for their parliamentary constituencies and the funds instead being channelled via BN-appointed special constituency coordinators? I don’t like that the same way I don’t like what is being done to Teh. I expected better from a Pakatan administration.

Let’s be clear: special constituency allocations come from public funds. They do not come from party money that can be denied to an elected rep just because he or she has fallen out of favour of his party or comes from an opposing party.

This is one of the reforms that must be implemented: all elected reps, whether in state assemblies or in Parliament, must receive equal constituency allocations as a matter of right.