Bersatu accuses Pakatan Harapan, Barisan Nasional of lavish spending

Bersatu has levelled accusations of lavish spending at Pakatan Harapan, the coalition led by Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim (right), and Barisan Nasional, which is chaired by DPM Zahid Hamidi. PHOTO: BERNAMA

PETALING JAYA - Malaysia’s ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) have been accused of overspending during Malaysia’s general election last November.

According to Malaysian news outlet The Star, the accusations come in a report filed on Tuesday to the country’s anti-graft agency by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), the party of former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Puchong Bersatu chief Shukor Mustaffa claims that a large number of posters and flags were used in PH and BN campaigns. He also claimed that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim had used a luxury helicopter during the election.

Speaking at a press conference outside the headquarters of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Mr Shukor said: “We hope that a comprehensive investigation by MACC can be carried out on both parties, especially against Mr Anwar.”

He called on MACC to take immediate action, and that the agency should be independent and neutral.

“Mr Anwar said he does not take a salary as prime minister and neither does his daughter, Ms Nurul Izzah, (as special adviser to the prime minister),” he was reported as saying by Malay daily Utusan Malaysia.

He alleged that Ms Nurul Izzah Anwar, who was appointed to the position in January, “is living a comfortable life despite not receiving a salary”.

“Who funds them? Is there a tycoon backing the family?” he asked.

On Monday, Mr Anwar, who is chairman of PH and president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), said: “There is no possibility of her using that position to amass wealth and influence decisions on tenders, contracts or projects.

“Yes, I need her experience to assist me, but let me emphasise that she is there to protect and pursue the agenda of (good) governance and incorruptibility.”

In November 2022, Mr Anwar said he chose to use a helicopter in order to get to his destination on time amid a nationwide campaign trail for the general election that included stops in Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia.

Mr Shukor also called out the unity government for not focusing on improving the livelihood of the people, and attacking his party instead.

“Accusations were hurled at Bersatu to create a negative perception, especially at a time when we are close to elections in six states,” he said.

Bersatu is being investigated under the Anti-Money Laundering Act and the MACC Act, and the party’s funds have been frozen.

The report follows a call by Mr Marzuki Mohamad, a former aide to Bersatu president Muhyiddin, to MACC to probe PKR over its election expenditure, including the source of its funds.

Mr Marzuki’s statement came after MACC froze Bersatu’s accounts, a move rumoured to be linked to an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of billions of ringgit meant for Covid-19 stimulus packages.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin denies that his government had misappropriated funds when he was prime minister. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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