GEORGE TOWN – It is normal for political parties to receive funding to cover the exorbitant costs of campaigning during elections, Penang Umno Liaison chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman said today.
He was weighing in on the current storm sparked by a controversial blogger who claimed the DAP was being financed by Malaysian tycoon Tan Sri Robert Kuok ahead of the 14th general elections that must be called by August.
“We have to be rational about this because if we look at it, Umno alone has over 210,000 election machineries in the country so we need funding for these and we have not included all our component parties yet,” Zainal said after officiating the completion of a federal road project here today.
He said it is only logical for Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) to receive contributions so that they will be able to pay for campaigning costs.
“Like now, even if Robert Kuok contributed to Pakatan Harapan or DAP, nobody kicked up a fuss, nobody asked for details or how many billions they got from him,” he said.
He said if it was Umno that had received contributions, Pakatan Harapan leaders will surely demand for details of the contributions.
“Just like how they’ve been kicking up a fuss about BN receiving funding during GE13 and now, five years on, they are still talking about the donations,” he said.
He pointed out that the Opposition parties often launched campaigns to raise funds by collecting from the public.
“So if we are not supposed to receive contributions and if we collect funds from the public, they laughed at us, so why is it okay for them to do so?” he asked.
He added that if parties are not supposed to receive funding, then they would not have the financial means to campaign during elections.
“Does this mean we have to wear Pagoda t-shirts and use coloured pieces of cloths as flags during campaigning? Without funding, we won’t have enough money to get party shirts or flags,” he said.
Zainal Abidin was commenting on allegations by controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin who claimed that the DAP was being financed by Kuok through his nephew, James Kuok, as proxy.
James Kuok recently issued a statement denying the allegation, saying he has no financial relations with the DAP while the party’s secretary-general Lim Guan Eng who is also Penang chief minister and his father, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, have denied receiving funding from the Kuok family.
– Malay Mail