KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — The government’s move to provide development funds to Perikatan Nasional (PN) MPs who support Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s administration was not an act of bribery or corruption, said Senate President Tan Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
The former law minister also said there was precedent from the administration of former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, which had given funds to Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs after they signed a confidence-and-supply agreement (CSA) with his government.
“It’s not an offence if the Madani government reaches an agreement to provide funds for opposition MPs after they state their support for the prime minister because it’s done for the sake of the people,” he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.
“The main reason the government is giving allocation to opposition MPs who support the prime minister is to let them provide various types of aid and to further the socio-economic development of their constituencies.”
Wan Junaidi said the CSA was reached in order to ensure the smooth function of the government at the time.
He further said that while federal funds were extended to the Opposition MPs at the time, these did not oblige them to support the government in all matters.
The former minister also said that such an arrangement was not unique in Malaysia, and has been practised in other democracies such as the UK.
Five Pati Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia MPs have pledged support for the Anwar administration while remaining members of the Opposition party.
Last week, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad claimed that all funds given by the government to the opposition MPs amounted to bribery because those who do not support the prime minister would not receive them and further alleged that there are other allocations given to the opposition MPs as well.