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State Legislative Assembly Sitting

The week-long Perak State Assembly session, the last for 2018, began with some anxious moments when opposing sides traded barbs before settling down for serious business.

The year’s final session began on Monday, November 26 and will last till Monday, December 3. Accusation of biasness was directed at Speaker Ngeh Khoo Ham (DAP – Sitiawan) by Opposition Leader Saraani Mohammad (BN – Kota Tampan) when the subject of the “richest politician” was raised.

Based on asset declaration available on the national anti-corruption agency’s (MACC) website, Ngeh, with asset worth RM82 million, is touted as the richest politician in the country second only to Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir.

Ngeh sarcastically responded saying he would be much richer had not for BN’s “coup” in February 2009. This led to some harsh exchanges of words between Saraani and Ngeh and lawmakers from opposite benches. The altercation culminated in a walkout by all 25 BN assemblymen.

Saraani dropped another bombshell soon after. This was about Menteri Besar Ahmad Faisal. Some disgruntled Pakatan Harapan (PH) lawmakers, Saraani alleged, had met him secretly to seek support to oust the MB via a vote of no confidence.

The Opposition Leader threatened to spill the beans if he was pushed to the corner. The threat came to nothing, as the matter was quietly resolved. A police report was made by the MP for Batu Gajah V. Sivakumar.

On Tuesday, November 27, the MB unveiled Perak’s Budget 2019. Here are some of the highlights of the so-called “People’s Budget 2019”.

The state’s entire 9000 civil servants will receive “special payment” (a month’s salary or a minimum of RM2000) paid in two instalments, one in December 2018 and the other in May 2019. This is in appreciation of their commitment and dedication to the state government. For retired state civil servants an allocated of RM2 million will be disbursed as an incentive.

Other incentives on offer are mainly targeted at the hard-core poor and the less fortunate, especially the B40 (Bottom 40 per cent) group. Among the goodies are:

  1. Food and medical card. A sum of RM46 million has been allocated to the Perak Foundation (Yayasan Perak) for the implementation of this programme.
  2. Funds for funeral arrangement (‘khairat kematian’). A sum of RM 2 million has been allocated for this plus RM1 million for festive celebrations.

If human labour is being replaced by technology, robots and artificial intelligence, what will happened to the unemployed?

The state government has allocated RM4.4 million to tackle the issue. RM2.9 million will be allocated for InvestPerak for collaboration with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) including industries players to promote the development of Industry 4.0 among local companies.

The state government, through InvestPerakas the Centre of Investment, has made efforts to facilitate the entry of investors from within and beyond the country through fast track approvals.

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