IMAGES of Terengganu Menteri Besar Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar meeting the state Umno chief and former Menteri Besar Ahmad Said to seek reconcilliation over controversy regarding the PAS government’s distribution of federal aid yesterday went viral, both for the right and wrong reasons.
Firstly, Ahmad Samsuri’s explanation, seen to be aimed at disgruntled Umno leaders over the disparity of aid between their representatives and PAS, seemed to calm a storm that was brewing for a week.
The group photos and pictures of blatant flouting of social distancing and absence of face masks in a gathering of about 20 people, including the supporters of both leaders, sent netizens into overdrive over the double standards continuously put on display by government officials during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period as the nation battles the Covid 19 pandemic.
Many political leaders have opted for teleconferencing via mobile apps such as Zoom and Google Meet to carry out their scheduled meetings during the MCO period. However, some do still go about business as usual inviting much criticism.
On the main issue, Ahmad Samsuri explained that the RM45,000 each disbursed to Barisan Nasional representatives was an initial allocation, as the state government had prioritised distribution of aid to those identified as most vulnerable, without any political considerations.
“As such, a decision was made to distribute the aid through official government agencies which are the DUN (state assembly persons) service centres and Village Community Management Councils (MPKK), which are the closest to those affected by this crisis,” said Ahmad Samsuri in a statement yesterday.
He, however, conceded that improvements were required to the disbursement mechanisms, which would be expedited in due course.
Apart from Ahmad Said, another former Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman and several other state Umno leaders also voiced their displeasure at the manner by which Covid 19 aid was being disbursed.
Yesterday, we reported state AMANAH chief Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad’s criticism of PAS over the matter.