SETIA ALAM, Dec 2 — Armada chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said it was difficult for the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM) youth wing to collect even RM5 million in one year — admitting that it was a bitter pill to swallow.
Speaking at PPBM’s youth wing’s fundraiser tonight, Syed Saddiq contrasted this with rival parties Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN).
“A few months ago Umno and BN sold shares from three companies in Malaysia. That sale generated more than RM2 billion for them. They are the Opposition but they are still billionaires.
“This does not include their assets and nominees in companies that still contribute hundreds of millions to their party.
“In Bersatu, to raise RM5 million takes more than one year. This doesn’t mean we should swindle or steal. It is our responsibility to raise funds for the party but never use our individual accounts.
“In Malay politics especially, to engage and approach the public and solve their problems and take care of their welfare we must make sure we have strong and sufficient funds not just at the national level but also at the division level.
“We must do something concerted and strategic,” said the youth and sports minister at the wing’s third fundraiser since its inception.
He said that donations received by Armada will go towards improving the social-economic welfare and education of B40 groups nationwide.
Syed Saddiq plans on spending some of the funds he received tonight to conduct Tuisyen Rakyat (public tuition) programmes targeted at B40 students.
20 students in 100 specially selected areas will receive tuition for mathematics and English, with each Armada division receiving RM5,000 for this effort.
He said that this will cost the wing RM1 million and will impact 2,000 Malaysian students nationwide.
Later, in his officiating speech, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad added his two cents, saying that with a membership of 100,000 strong, the wing can actually afford to fund itself and assist the party.
“RM1 can get you nothing. RM100,000 can get you a lot of things. If Armada members-only donate RM1 a month to the party, our party can become very strong. We will not need to rely too much on external funders.
“With this, we can censure anyone without fear or favour. That is true freedom,” said Dr Mahathir.
By the end of the night, the fundraising dinner raised RM5.12 million, five times the targeted RM1 million figure.