KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — Heir-apparent to the Lembah Pantai seat, PKR’s Fahmi Fadzil said voters here should look at the bigger picture when judging the service of incumbent MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.
The PKR communications chief told Malay Mail in an exclusive interview that Nurul Izzah could have contributed more during her two terms had she received the allocations she was entitled to from the federal government.
“It has been difficult for Nurul Izzah because she has been denied allocations. If, on average, the amount given to an MP is about RM5 million per year, by right she would have had RM50 million to spend for Lembah Pantai.
“It is not like she can just take the money away,” he said.
Responding to criticism from Umno’s Datuk Seri Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, a likely challenger during the general election, Fahmi pointedly said Nurul Izzah would have painted public housing just as he did if she had got federal funding.
Nong Chik, who lost to Nurul Izzah in 2013, has maintained a steady presence in the area and ramped up appearances in recent months.
Some residents previously told Malay Mail that they have seen more of Nong Chik than Nurul Izzah.
Fahmi, formerly Nurul Izzah’s political secretary, claimed she spent every single sen of her salary and allowances as an MP on the community.
“If any of the residents asks for assistance, when it comes to health or education problems, she either would help raise the money herself of spend out of her own pockets,” he said.
Beyond funding, Fahmi said voters should also take note of Nurul Izzah’s efforts in raising issues of national concern in Parliament, which — he pointed out — was among the duties of a federal lawmaker.
“For instance, two years ago she highlighted malnutrition issues in PPRs (people’s housing projects) and they were brushed off in Parliament until a Unicef report was published recently and brought the same issue to light.
“What did the Umno ministers say? Nothing, except that the Unicef report is wrong and they blatantly denied the facts.
“Izzah is doing her job. If people feel like she is not, I would like to invite these people to Parliament and see their own MP at work,” he said.
On Nong Chik, Fahmi accused the Umno division chief of abusing the federal government’s facilities for his own political mileage, citing the latter’s speeches at Kuala Lumpur City Hall events as examples of such abuse.
He questioned why Nong Chik should be given a platform by DBKL to address the public when he was not an elected representative of the area.
Fahmi also questioned how Nong Chik was financing his service centre in Lembah Pantai as well as his many projects in the locale.
He pointed out that the former Federal Territories minister was nowhere in sight when all four lifts of Block 102 of the Seri Pantai PPR Flat broke down on the day schoolboy S. Ssathiswaran was killed by a falling chair on Jan 15.
“Sathiswaran’s body had to wait for two and a half hours on the ground floor because the lifts could not be used.
“I also saw with my own eyes a father having to carry his paraplegic children down nine flights of stairs. If Nong Chik is continuously providing his service for the people, why was he not there manually fixing the lifts?” he asked pointedly.
Fahmi stressed to voters that Opposition lawmakers have to fight uphill battles against the larger Barisan Nasional coalition in general and Umno in particular.
“Just yesterday (Monday), I saw one of the schools in Bangsar, SJK (T) Jalan Bangsar displaying Umno flags on its gate and that is just wrong.
“The kind of facilities that Umno had misused... and not just in Lembah Pantai. What rightfully should be an official government event should not have borne [the] Umno logo and yet it did,” he said.
When asked if he was prepared to fill Nurul Izzah’s shoes in the event she moves constituencies as rumoured, Fahmi declined to comment and said only that he was ready to contest wherever the party decided to field him.