Tuesday, 9 April 2013

PAS-led govt cheques to schools dishonoured!

ALOR SETAR: The PAS-led government made a major blunder when it handed out RM229,000 in allocations to 58 Tamil schools in the state four days ago.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Bakar gave out the cheques to the Parent-Teacher Association representatives of the schools. However, the cheques could not be cashed.

The cheques, dated Dec 31, 2012, had a three-month validity period until March 31, but were only distributed on April 2.

Many of the PTA representatives were shocked by the timing of the handover and left wondering if it was an attempt to ensure Indians' support for Pakatan Rakyat.

Kedah DAP committee member S. Neelamekan described it as an “an unwanted embarrassment” to the government.

“The state government should have been more careful and avoid being ridiculed by Barisan (Nasional),” he said. “The cheques must be replaced as soon as possible.”

State executive councillor S. Manikumar has since apologised to the schools for the mistake.

“The cheques were prepared last December and were rendered invalid because they did not bear the signature of the State Financial Officer,” he said.  “We apologise for the technical error.

“However, we have already asked the school PTAs to exchange the cheques with new ones from the state finance office,” he added.

Manikumar said the contribution was for school activities and programmes, adding that the schools received between RM3,000 and RM10,000 each, depending on the size of the enrolment.

MIC Baling division Youth chief M.A. Ramasamy said this bungle clearly showed weaknesses in the Kedah state administration.

He said each of the schools was given RM10,000 during the previous rule under Barisan.

By SIRA HABIBU  sira@thestar.com.my

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