KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — Umno supreme council member Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi said it is unreasonable for Opposition lawmakers to receive government allocations directly into the bank accounts of their service centres as proposed as it is open to abuse by their political parties.
According to the Rengit assemblyman, allocations are not a right but a prerogative of the prime minister, especially for those who refuse to support the government.
“In the context of an uneven playing field in Malaysia, there are many areas that still need MPs who is sensitive, understanding and capable of coming up with solutions.
“The issue on allocation is just a side issue, instead they should be allowed to present a list of projects to the prime minister for consideration.
“The Opposition needs to be realistic,” he posted on his Facebook page yesterday.
Puad was responding to political scientist Wong Chin Huat who suggested that Opposition MPs be granted the same amount of federal funds as given to backbenchers to prevent the exploitation of a loophole in the gazetted anti-hopping law.
Wong said the problem of MPs switching loyalties without having their declared seat vacant if they went against their own party’s stance could be resolved by introducing amendments that will make voters vote for a party of their choice rather than individual candidates — allowing the party to replace MP without forcing a by-election.
But Puad said he disagreed with Wong’s suggestion, claiming that in Malaysia, voters still choose their representative based on the political party rather than the individual.
“If that happens, dishonest candidates can win. Not to mention if he has a bad record such as being a scammer, an addict, ex-criminal and others,” he said.
Despite an internal clampdown, five Bersatu MPs have declared their support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim since October, giving the government a two-thirds majority support in Parliament.
Bukit Gantang MP Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal, Labuan MP Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman, Kuala Kangsar MP Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid, Gua Musang MP Azizi Abu Naim, and Jeli MP Zahari Kechik have openly breached their party’s stance to declare their support for Anwar.