KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Ahmad Maslan has refuted claims by opposition leaders that Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor will benefit from the Budget 2015 allocation for the Permata Negara programme.
The deputy finance minister said the “Permata Negara project is not owned by Rosmah,” adding that the programme does not get the entire RM711 million sum allocated as it is shared with other children’s programmes under the Education Ministry.
“They [the opposition] have never thought of its importance. The opposition claims that the people suffer because the money has to be allocated to Permata as it [belongs to] the PM’s wife. This is not true. Not at all.
“Permata Negara is not owned by Rosmah. Rosmah did not get a single sen from Permata,” Ahmad Maslan said.
He said Permata, similar to other agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department has its own office and staff.
“Permata’s early education programme is good for the people and nation. [It is] not for her,” said Ahmad Maslan at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
On the RM711 million allocation, Ahmad Maslan said that the fund does not belong to Permata and would be shared with others offering early childhood programmes under the Education Ministry, including Tadika Kemas and Tadika Perpaduan.
Ahmad Maslan lashed out at the opposition saying that it lacked dignity by using social media to throw accusations without verifying the facts.
“This is because they just follow what their leaders ask them to do. Most of the speeches I have heard, they only throw in the numbers without even validating it. Most of it was inaccurate,” he said.
One of the baseless claims, Ahmad Maslan said even went as far as saying that subsidies were reduced because of Permata.
“With the subsidy reduction, we will channel the savings to new programmes and initiatives such as the increase of allowance for the disabled, 1Malaysia People’s Aid or BR1M, subsidies to the fishermen, as well as helping those in the middle and low income group.
“It has nothing to do with Permata,” insisted Ahmad Maslan. — The Malaysian Insider
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 14, 2014.