Here’s a glimpse into how the cash handouts of RM500 (for households with a monthly income of less than RM3000) are being distributed.
Successful applicants receive a letter from the Finance Ministry with a reference at the top that probably indicates the relevant parliamentary constituency and state seat e.g. P43 N8.
A photostat letter is enclosed. The masthead of this shows that it is supposed to be from the ICU (Implementation Coordination Unit) of the Prime Minister’s Department. The letter to a successful Butterworth-based applicant that I sighted has a masthead that mentions the name of the “Penyelaras Dun Bagan Jermal” (Bagan Jermal state seat coordinator) in Jalan Kampung Benggali in Butterworth. This person happens to be a local MCA party official. Using this MCA official in effect by-passes the elected representative: in the 2008 general election, the DAP’s Lim Hock Seng defeated the MCA candidate by 5873 votes for the N8 Bagan Jermal state seat.
In the letter, the applicant was requested to attend a handing over ceremony this week at the MCA Bagan Service Centre in Jalan Kampung Benggali. At this handing over ceremony, successful applicants will probably be given vouchers which they can exchange for cash.
Should party people and political party service centres be allowed to squeeze political mileage out of the distribution of government (public) money? This is public money, and it should be distributed by government offices and public servants not political party service centres and unelected party functionaries.