KUALA LUMPUR – Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman is not buying Jelau MP Larry Sng’s excuse of switching political sides in order to resolve constraints of constituency funding.
“Such a challenge should only drive an elected representative to find solutions – without betraying the constituents who had voted for him on the basis of his party affiliation,” he told reporters today.
The former youth and sports minister and Muda party co-founder said that he himself does not have “millions or billions”. “Allocations should not be a reason to switch sides. Just because we are challenged, doesn’t mean we can betray the rakyat’s mandate.”
If anything, Syed Saddiq said that such challenges should increase politicians’ resolve to work with their constituents even more. “If you’re scared of the waves, don’t position yourself near the ocean.”
At the same time, he slammed the government for using funding to hold constituents “hostage”, stressing that it is important to ensure fair allocations to all MPs regardless of their political allegiance.
“On a more policy-based perspective, it is critical for the government to be fair and allocate money to all constituencies to curb party hopping. By withholding allocations, the government is taking away services necessary for the people. It is like holding them hostage or punishing them for voting the opposition,” he added.
On the delay in reconvening Parliament under the current state of emergency, Syed Saddiq said it prevented him from his duties as he is unable to raise various issues faced by his constituents at the legislature.
The MP said that he does not accept the reasons given yesterday by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Parliament) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan for wanting the next parliamentary sitting to be held only after the emergency is lifted on August 1.
At the time, the PAS minister said the cabinet would refrain from advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to reconvene Parliament due to the fact many MPs are old and at risk of getting infected with Covid-19.
“Why was there a different standard for the last parliamentary sitting, which happened during the conditional movement control order?” Syed Saddiq asked.
“In the last sitting, the oldies could sit around together and call me ‘budak’. Now, suddenly, they are at risk,” he quipped, calling Takiyuddin’s excuse “political desperation”.
The MP went on to say that the reasoning given by Takiyuddin is “an insult to the voters’ intelligence”.