All MPs and state assemblymen have a fixed peruntukan to be given out as grant. The objective of this is to:
1) Help local development;
2) Strengthen the relationship between the local community and the wakil rakyat;
3) Helping class F bumiputra contractors;
4) Boost up the image of the government elected by the rakyat.
For MPs, peruntukan is approved by the Prime Minister and in the case of state assemblymen, it is approved by the MB. However, this power is often delegated to the federal or state development director.
The allocation of peruntukan is often a challenge to wakil rakyat since the amount allocated to each wakil rakyat is limited. For MPs, it ranges from RM500,000 to RM1.5 million. For state assemblyman, it is normally only about RM75,000 to RM250,000 depending on the state. A Wakil rakyat needs to allocate peruntukan according to needs. However, there is tendency to give people who are supportive and known to you. Some wakil rakyat regard peruntukan as the means to strengthen their position within the party. Hence, they only give priorities to applications from their own party members and this often give rise to dissatisfaction among some NGOs who have no political affiliations to the Wakil Rakyat.
Most Wakil Rakyat cannot rise above politics; hence they do not give to opposition members. BN Wakil Rakyat is unlikely to give peruntukan to any organizations run by PR. In the same way, it is unlikely that the PR Wakil Rakyat will give peruntukan to organizations run by BN leaders. This is politics.
While the Wakil Rakyat has fixed peruntukan, they have no right to approve. They can only make recommendations to the state or the federal development officer. There are projects that are not allowed to be given:
1) Projects that have been executed before the peruntukan is approved;
2) Projects/programs for political body or associations;
3) Projects/programs to entities that carry out commercial activities and benefits from it.
Wakil Rakyat has to constantly monitor the peruntukan given so that there is no duplication and no grants given to projects that are not allowed as mentioned above. Basically, all peruntukan should be given fairly with the focus on the needs of the rakyat.
If peruntukan is handled wisely by Wakil Rakyat, it will definitely boost up the image of wakil rakyat. It will go a long way to strengthen his relationship with the local community. However, if it is not handled properly, it can be the Achilles’ heel on his popularity, both within the party and the community.