Gov’t plans draft MOU for opposition MPs’ constituency funds

DEPUTY Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof announced that the unity government has agreed in principle to “consider allocating funds” to opposition parliamentarians, signalling a potential shift in government-opposition dynamics.

Fadillah revealed that a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) on constituency funds would be prepared for further negotiation with the opposition.

“To this end, a draft MOU will be prepared and sent to the opposition as the next step in the negotiation process.

“This matter was agreed on in a meeting that lasted for over an hour, chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and attended by the top leaders of the unity government’s component parties (April 17),” added the government’s chief whip in Dewan Rakyat.

According to Fadillah, negotiations between the government and opposition on constituency funds have been ongoing with him previously meeting opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin on March 19.

“In that meeting, the opposition expressed its desire for allocations, and that any conditions (for granting allocations) would be left to the government to determine,” he told reporters at a Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house event in Kuching on Saturday (April 13).

Hamzah, also the secretary-general of Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Bersatu, had expressed the opposition’s desire for allocations, leaving conditions for granting allocations to the government’s discretion.

However, conflicting reports emerged regarding the existence of a draft agreement on constituency funds for opposition MPs. Fadillah denied its existence, while Hamzah mentioned receiving a draft from a representative of a “high-ranking individual” but declined to provide further details.

Moreover, Hamzah urged the government to present any proposed offer in “black and white” drawing parallels to previous agreements between the government under former premier Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Pakatan Harapan (PH).

In September 2021, an MOU was signed which included equal allocation of funds for MPs among its provisions. – April 18, 2024

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