DEPUTY Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been accused of deliberately sowing confusion over PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang’s statement on cash handouts to voters during the last general election.
PAS Dewan Ulama chief Datuk Ahmad Yahaya asserted that there is a substantial difference between acts of charity and corruption.
“Hadi has never compromised on this but Zahid is twisting the issue.
“What Hadi explained was clear. It had nothing to do with menghalalkan rasuah (legitimising the act of corruption in Islam) as claimed by Zahid. Unfortunately, Zahid deliberately twisted the statement (by Hadi) so that they (PAS political rivals) could bundle bribery and charity together,” Malaysiakini reported him as saying.
According to Ahmad, he is of the view that Zahid can differentiate between corruption and charity. But unfortunately, he appears to be confused and is confusing others.
Hadi, who is also the Marang MP was censured by Zahid on Sunday (Jan 22) for saying that the cash distributions were philanthropic deeds.
Zahid called Ahmad a “hypocrite” and asserted that if Hadi did it, it would be considered charity; however, if someone else did it, it would be considered corruption.
Moreover, Zahid referred to Hadi as a “political ulama” and warned him not to alter Islamic law as he pleases.
Focus on Zahid’s charges first!
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki condemned the cash handouts as potential vote-buying yesterday (Jan 24).
According to Azam, it does not matter if they use terms like sedekah (charity). It is still considered corruption under Section 10 of the Election Offenses Act of 1954.
“We have opened a few investigation papers after receiving complaints during and after the election, and we will investigate every case that was referred to us,” he said.
Hadi’s controversial statement was made in response to Terengganu UMNO filing a petition under the Election Offences Act 1954 to annul the 15th General Election results for the PAS-held seats of Kuala Terengganu, Marang, and Kemaman.
Additionally, Terengganu UMNO accused PAS of obtaining votes through the state government’s disbursement of financial help in the form of the i-Pension, i-Belia, and i-Student initiatives.
Meanwhile, Kelantan PAS Youth head Mohamad Kamal Mohamed claimed that the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) leadership were taking advantage of the situation to draw attention away from their own shortcomings.
Sarcastically, he told BN and PH to deal with the avalanche of corruption allegations against Zahid first.
“At least give Economic Affairs Minister Rafizi Ramli space to school the Perikatan Nasional (PN) leadership after making grand challenges as an ‘economic observer’ (during the PN’s reign) and dashing out 1,001 simple formulas.
“Or resolve the issue of whether hens want or don’t want to lay eggs,” he added. — Jan 25, 2023