Selangor queried on bicycle lanes

The Selangor government needs to focus on development while keeping existing welfare programmes, said state opposition leader Datuk Mohd Shamsudin Lias (BN-Sungai Burong).

Debating the 2014 budget, Shamsudin said previous state budgets had focused on populist policies.

He said even though the state had allocated its highest ever amount for development in the budget, it had to be reminded of the importance of development.

He commended Pakatan Rakyat Backbenchers Club for sending a memorandum to the state government before the budget was tabled on Tuesday to urge for more allocations for development.

"If citizens rely on welfare, in the long term, there will be a smaller income base for tax revenue, which will affect the state's ability to carry out development programmes.

"Populist policies will then become a huge liability for the state. The state can continue the Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor programme at the same pace, but more needs to be allocated for development to create employment and encourage productivity."

He asked the state government prioritise solving basic issues first.

Citing the traffic jam problem in the Klang Valley, he said the state should think of ways to complement the Federal Government in resolving the transport problem, instead of spending on bicycle lanes. "Are most of our citizens going to work on bicycles? Is creating bicycle lanes a priority? There are more urgent everyday problems."

He said another pressing issue was floods, talking about the recent two-hour flooding at Sungai Rasau toll in Klang to highlight the urgency of solving such problems.

"From our past experience in the last five years, every year the state tables a 'balanced' budget. However, in the middle or end of the year, the assembly approves supplementary budgets. This means the budget is no longer balanced and is a deficit budget.

"If there truly is a competent and efficient control system to monitor budget spending, some government agencies should not be underspending."