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An Umno leader has mooted that financial allocations for elected representatives are better channelled to government agencies that serve the rakyat.
Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan (above) told an online forum that the country already has a system in place for which the rakyat can tap for assistance.
Elected representatives should instead be playing the role of facilitating this process rather than giving out cash to polish their political image, he stressed.
"Why do we rely on elected representatives to solve welfare issues? Is it not the task of existing agencies in the first place? Like the Welfare Department for example?
"Surely there is something fundamentally broken. If I am an elected representative or non-elected and I have more money, then surely I would be more popular because I can serve (the people with cash).
"I can give out food baskets and some cash aid. Meaning that if I have money, then I am more likely to succeed (as a politician). Surely there’s something wrong," he said.
Shahril was speaking at a webinar entitled 'Recall Elections: A Solution to Party-Hopping in Malaysia?' organised by the Bait Al Amanah House of Trust this morning.
He touched on the topic when speaking about equal funding for elected representatives from both government and opposition parties.
"I am talking about money that comes through your own party, the money which already exists. Why give to politicians? To further his or her political strength?
"Isn't it better if the money is used to properly fund [...] to better fund agencies that are already meant to solve welfare issues? And politicians can be tasked with ensuring the implementation of this.
"While I understand that politicians need funding, this must be as little as possible so that we don't get a sense of (an uneven) playing field (between politicians)," he said.