Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Sarawak state Minister denies calling assemblymen 'beggars'

KUCHING: A state Minister in Sarawak denied on July 16 having called any state assemblyman a "beggar".

Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (pic) however, stressed that the phrase "beggars can't be choosers" which he uttered, referred to the opposition's action of questioning how much allocation was given out to them.

"Previously, we (the state government) did not provide any allocation to the opposition. However, this time around, we give the allocation equally. Do not question the quantum of the allocation," said Abdul Karim who is also the Asajaya assemblyman.

"I would like to stress that we are assemblymen not MPs, hence the phrase 'beggars can't be choosers'... I don't think we should apologise over the matter," he told a special press conference after the state assembly sitting here on Monday (July 16). 

Previously, it was reported that Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen had called on the state government to reciprocate what the Pakatan Harapan-led federal government had done for Members of Parliament (MPs) from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), who were formerly with Barisan Nasional before they formed the Sarawak-based coalition.

According to Chong, who is also Sarawak DAP chairman, there would be two types of allocation given by the federal government to elected representatives in the country namely, RM200,000 per annum for all MPs to run their service centres.

In addition, there is RM500,000 to Pakatan MPs, as well as RM100,000 for Opposition MPs (mainly from BN, PAS and GPS).

Chong thus said he hoped that the Sarawak government would also give al allocation to Pakatan assemblymen as well.

In response to the call by Chong, Abdul Karim, who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Sarawak vice-president said: "beggars cannot be choosers". -BERNAMA

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