Terengganu unsure of how to use ‘wang ehsan’ to eradicate poverty

Diyana Ibrahim

Terengganu exco member Wan Sukairi Wan Abdullah says the state government has not received any information on the allocation amount and details of 'wang ehsan' to be used for poverty eradication. – Facebook pic, March 25, 2023.

THE PAS-held Terengganu government is unclear as to how Putrajaya plans to distribute “wang ehsan” (compassionate money) to finance poverty eradication programmes in the state.

State exco member Wan Sukairi Wan Abdullah said the state government only knows that Putrajaya wants to channel the funds directly to the poor and needy in the state at the end of the month.

However, the state government has not received any information about the amount and details on how it is to be used, he told The Malaysian Insight.

“Wang ehsan” is payment from the federal government for petroleum produced off the coast of Kelantan and Terengganu.

During the tabling of Budget 2023 last month, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced that the Finance Ministry would allocate “wang ehsan” to be channeled directly to help the poor and needy.

Wan Sukairi said the state government has not been told of its involvement in the distribution of the money, or how the distribution would be made.

“We still haven’t received any information about the use of these funds for the poor. We don’t even know the amount.

“We are not sure if the state will be asked to channel the funds or whether it would be done by a federal government agency,” said the exco in charge of youth, sports and NGO development.

Wan Sukairi said in previous years, the state had used “wang ehsan” for people-oriented programmes.

Another state exco, Hanafiah Mat said “wang ehsan” for this year has yet to be distributed to the state.

“We have to wait for payment from the federal  government before we can make a statement,” he said.

During his Budget 2023 speech, Anwar, who is also the finance minister, did not specify the amount of “wang ehsan” money to be used for poverty eradication programs in Kelantan and Terengganu.

The Barisan Nasional federal government stopped paying oil royalties to Terengganu in 2004. When PAS came to power in the state, it was replaced with “wang ehsan”, paid directly through federal agencies. – March 25, 2023.

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