KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said today it was not an offence for Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to promise an additional grant for youths in Terengganu recently.
MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki said the announcement was above board as the allocations promised to Terengganu were federal-level initiatives, following backlash from quarters over the announcement which constituted ‘bribery’ to voters in the ongoing state elections.
“The government can implement initiatives deemed appropriate for the public.
“In my view, there is no issue with regards to these grants as they are government initiatives. If the allocations were approved by the (federal) government, there is no element of bribery,” he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.
At an event in on July 28, Ahmad Zahid had 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.
During the event, Ahmad Zahid through his portfolio in the Rural and Regional Development Ministry, called for the youth present to vote for the “blue and red wave” at the upcoming state elections, adding that the amount allocated may be increased depending on the polling result on August 12.
Arguing that Zahid’s remarks were akin to bribing the voters, the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) has urged the Election Commission (EC) to take immediate action against the Barisan Nasional chairman for electoral offences.