Malaysiakini News

Depriving funding remark not 'final decision' - Johor MB

Lu Wei Hoong  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Newly minted Johor Menteri Besar Osman Sapian now says that his remark of depriving funding to BN lawmakers in the opposition bench was not a "final decision" and needs more discussion in the state executive council.

Speaking to a press conference after clocking in on his first day of work today, Osman said his administration will be a "fair one", and had its own formula (in choosing line-up).

"Not to say we will not give allocation. The allocations are (for the benefit) of the rakyat, right? Not only that, I'm thinking of giving allocations for offices and aides.

"The salary of an elected representative is not big, sometimes it does not 'reach home'. I used to be a state assemblyperson, I know. Maybe we will give, but the amount is not yet decided.

"(Regarding) the allocations, I did not say it was a final decision," he said.

Osman, who is from Bersatu, courted flak, including from his Pakatan Harapan colleagues, following his remark that he will emulate BN's policy of depriving the opposition, funding, citing budget constraints.

Osman said it is yet to be decided whether the state opposition leader will be accorded a status on par with an exco member in the state assembly.

"That we will need to discuss in the state exco meeting, I cannot decide. Five years ago, I was not in the dewan to hear the proceedings, so I have to gather feedback from previous assemblypersons, then I will bring the matter up in the exco meeting."

Ten exco-line-up

On his executive council line-up, Osman said it would consist 10 exco members, excluding himself, the speaker and deputy speaker.

He said the formula would be 3-3-2-2, according to Harapan component parties' meeting yesterday.

He refused to go into details. However, the line-up, as reported by Chinese papers, is based in the order of DAP-Amanah-Bersatu-PKR.

Osman also suggested additional funding from the federal government, which is now led by Pakatan Harapan, to Johor.

"If we see, Johor contributes a lot to the country's finances, so we ask for more funds for the state," he said.

According to Osman, he is yet to look into the state's budget, but if the previous BN-led state government's budget is good, it could be maintained.

"There is a manifesto to give free water, but it is yet to be included."

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