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To spend or not to spend: MPs' dilemma under lopsided allocation system

Debating in the Dewan Rakyat, officiating events, taking care of the poor’s welfare and repairing clogged drains and broken streetlights are among the expectations that people have on their members of parliament (MPs). In the eyes of some Malaysians, their MPs are supposed to be a “superhero” who does all the above and more.

These expectations are not surprising as it is a well-known fact that MPs have a relatively high salary as well as access to government allocations. Many people believe that an MP has access to large amounts of money and therefore they can solve almost every problem easily.

However, is this perception of a Malaysian MP’s job true?

Malaysiakini interviewed several elected representatives from both sides of the divide to get a better understanding of the expectations placed on an MP, their duties and responsibilities and more specifically, how they spend their salaries and allocations.

Differences in allocation

Every MP is allotted a certain amount of funds for use to improve their constituency.

However, this amount differs between a government MP and an opposition MP...

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