PETALING JAYA: Ensure the immediate unconditional and impartial allocation of Constituency Development Funds (CDF) to all elected representatives, including the opposition, says the Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (Bersih).
This comes after Perikatan chief whip, Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan, announced that opposition lawmakers on Friday (Nov 3) would stop negotiations or requests for allocations for their areas with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
Bersih added that it was disappointed at the government’s inability to resolve the dispute over the long ongoing issue, stating that the failure had resulted in the wave of opposition MPs pledging support for the unity government recently.
“Such failure has led to the few opposition MPs of Kuala Kangsar, Labuan, Gua Musang, and Jeli declaring their support for the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership and the Federal Government on the ground of the need for funding allocations for their respective constituencies.
“Opposition MPs are also chosen by the people. Hence, the Madani Government must respect the voters' choice in the opposition MP’s constituency and refrain from using CDFs as bargaining chips to obtain support from opposition representatives,” it said.
Bersih also said that the withholding of CDF allocations from being distributed to Perikatan Nasional MPs was unfair, noting that the funds were given only to those who support the government.
On Oct 30, Labuan MP, Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman, claimed he had received allocations for his constituency earlier after declaring support for Anwar.
The coalition said that Suhaili’s claim displayed a U-turn by Pakatan Harapan on its previous election manifesto, in which they had agreed to eliminate such malpractices in politics.
“The Perikatan MPs’ statements of support for the Federal Government shows the tragic political reality that exists in Malaysia today – that those who support the government receive public funding, whereas those who do not support the government are refused such funding,” it said.
Earlier on Wednesday (Nov 8), Anwar repeated his calls for opposition MPs to resume their talks with Fadillah over the issue while also firmly denying earlier accusations by Perikatan’s Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim in Parliament that the government was enticing opposition MPs to support the government through the granting of allocations.
“We call for the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) similar to that agreed upon on Sept 13 2021, between the then Barisan Nasional-led government under Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Pakatan Harapan.
“Such an MOU will enable both the government and opposition to work together and compete professionally in overcoming national economic challenges and improving the Rakyat’s well-being,” said Bersih.