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Datuk Ong Ka Ting Should Only Boast About His Achievement In Bringing Development To New Villages If He Can Ensure Adequate Funds Of RM 564 Million A Year And Not Only RM 126 Million Yearly Over The Last 31 Months
by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Monday):
Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Ong Ka Ting should only boast about his achievement to bring development to new villages if he can ensure adequate development funds of RM 56 million yearly and not only RM 126 million over the last 31 months. Ong had boasted that since he became MCA President, the amount of allocation for new villages had increased to RM 326 million over the last 2 years and 7 months.
Such claims for success in getting RM 126 million a year are false when compared to the total amount of rural development funds allocated. According to the Mid-term Review of the 8th Malaysian Plan, development expenditure for the rural sector amounted RM16.6 billion over 5 years from 2001-5. This works out to 3,320 million a year. RM 126 million a year for new villages is only 3.8% of the yearly RM 3,320 million given for rural development.
For Ong to boast about his success in getting allocation of RM 126 million yearly for new villages, which is part of rural development, as compared to the total yearly amount of RM 3,320 million is irresponsible, misleading and ridiculous. Ong should state whether is it fair and reasonable that new villages are given only 3.8% or RM 126 million out of RM 3,320 million, whilst the remainder RM 3,194 million are given to other villages?
There are 1.6 million people in new villages which are part of Malaysia’s rural population. The share of rural population makes up 37.5% of Malaysia’s 25 million population or 9.4 million living in rural areas. In other words the 1.6 million new villagers make up 17% of the 9.4 million rural population. DAP challenges Ong to state whether there is equality and justice that new villages get only 3.8% of the allocation when they make up 17% of the population.
Ong can only boast of a real success in getting equal treatment for new villages if he can secure their rightful share of development funds in proportion to their population. That is RM 564 million annually (17% of the RM 3,320 million yearly allocation for rural development) and not a miserable RM 126 million. If Ong is sincere in helping new villagers, why has to to date failed to state his commitment to getting equal funding for new villages in proportion to their population under the 9 th Malaysian Plan?
Clearly Ong is using his so-called success in getting development funds in new villages as a weapon against Datuk Chua Jui Meng in the increasingly bitter fight for the MCA Presidency. However Ong should focus more on real successes that ensures new villagers are treated equally instead of trying to score empty political points that deny new villagers the funds that they should rightfully deserve.