KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today justified the practice of governments announcements during election campaigns, arguing that these could not be completely halted during such times.
Responding to questions on Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s alleged vote-buying through a grant announcement in Terengganu, Anwar said such matters were decided before the date for six state elections were set for August 12.
“It has nothing to do with state elections; someone suggested no announcements [should be made] at all, but I’m the prime minister and I have a country to take care of,” he said after the closing ceremony of 2023 National Consumer Day at Pavilion Bukit Jalil here today.
However, Anwar then reminded all ruling parties that they were not allowed to use government resources when campaigning for the state elections.
Earlier today, Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) questioned the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) independence after its chief commissioner, Tan Sri Azam Baki, defended the deputy prime minister’s seemingly conditional promise of a grant.
At an event in Dungun on Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced grants of RM250,000 to the Terengganu Malaysia Youth Council, RM200,000 to motorcycle teams throughout the state, and RM100,000 to the Central Terengganu Development Authority (Ketengah) youth association.
Zahid, through his portfolio in the Rural and Regional Development Ministry, also said the amount may be increased depending on the performance of youth in the state election in Terengganu on August 12, saying he is confident the “blue and red wave” will change the political tide of Terengganu in this state polls with the support of youth leaders and voters aged between 18 and 30 and 31 to 40 in the state.