Funding for supporting PM not bribery - Wan Junaidi

04 Dec 2023 09:59am
Pix for illustration purpose only. - FILE PIX by Bernama
Pix for illustration purpose only. - FILE PIX by Bernama

SHAH ALAM - Dewan Negara Speaker Tan Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has defended the Unity Government's practice of allocating funds to any Perikatan Nasional (PN) MPs who express support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, stating that it does not constitute bribery or inducement.

Wan Junaidi, who also chairs the Special Committee on Corruption (JKMR), pointed out that similar practices were employed by previous governments, including the administration of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He recalled that the Ismail-led government, which was backed by Barisan Nasional (BN), Parti Peribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), and Pas, had also allocated funds to Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs following their signing of the Confidence and Supply Agreement (CSA).

"The primary reason behind the government's allocation of funds to Opposition MPs supporting the Prime Minister is to empower them in channeling various forms of aid and continuing socioeconomic development within their respective constituencies.

"Therefore, it is not an offence for the Madani Government to agree to allocate funds to Opposition MPs in exchange for their support for the Prime Minister, as this is done for the benefit of the people," Wan Junaidi said.

The former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law) noted that CSA agreements have been a common practice in advanced democracies like the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

He elaborated that the establishment of a CSA between the Malaysian government and Opposition representatives was intended to allow PH MPs to vote in favor of government motions, particularly budgets and the approval of new acts.

However, he clarified that involved MPs retain their Opposition status and can continue to criticise policies and debate government motions.

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Wan Junaidi attributed the allegations of bribery to deliberate political polemics spread through social media, fueled by the Madani Government's lack of clear explanations.

He stated that these polemics have been exacerbated by the rejection of his proposal to include a clause in the Anti-Party-Hopping Act that would automatically dismiss MPs who disobey their party's orders and decisions.

"The absence of this clause in the current Anti-Party-Hopping Act has left the door open for such political maneuvering, leading to the current predicament," Wan Junaidi added.