Monday, November 14, 2011

DAP says BN distributing school aid without Parliament approval

BN lawmakers countered today that DAP’s statement means the party does not want to help schoolchildren

DAP MPs accused Barisan Nasional (BN) today of handing out the RM100 promised to all school students in Budget 2012 before the supply bill has been passed by Parliament.

Lawmakers from the Opposition party said the government’s move to disburse the schooling assistance for all primary and secondary students by this Friday breached Dewan Rakyat’s Standing Orders.

“The budget has not been approved. How can the government go ahead and execute it?” said Bukit Mertajam MP Chong Eng.

Her colleague from Batu Gajah also accused the ruling coalition of “disrespecting Parliament,” asking “what is the point of assembling?”

Datuk Seri Najib Razak had announced last month RM2 billion in direct aid including the cash amount to school students, a one-off RM500 allocation to all households with monthly incomes below RM3,000 and RM200 book vouchers for all students in public and private local institutions of higher learning and matriculation as well as Form 6 students.

The prime minister’s budget also proposed school fees being scrapped at the cost of RM150 million to the government.

Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran also said today that if BN could go ahead and spend public funds without parliamentary approval, “then we should just throw out the Budget.”

But BN lawmakers accused DAP of not wanting to help schoolchildren.

“We are rich, so we must ensure our schoolchildren are secure,” said Jempol MP Datuk Lilah Yassin.

The DAP lawmakers had referred to Standing Order 66(4) which states that:

(4) When the Supply Bill has been read a second time and the Motion on the Development Estimates has been agreed to, the Bill and the Resolution shall stand committed to a Committee of the whole House.

The Budget is currently in its committee stage but Deputy Education Minister Datuk Wee Ka Siong said earlier today that the RM100 aid would be fully disbursed by Friday.

But Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee said that “no standing order has been violated.”

“I am not saying that (the government going ahead) is right. But it is a matter outside Dewan Rakyat,” he said.

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