PETALING JAYA: A lament from PAS over the party’s alleged poverty has prompted the Kuala Terengganu MP to advise its leaders to sell off their luxury cars so they could at least settle electricity bills.
The MP, Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah of Parti Amanah Negara, was responding to a claim by PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad that the party did not have enough money even for its power bills.
Raja Bahrin acknowledged that most PAS members did not have enough money to support their party.
“But it’s not the same for the higher-ups,” he said. “They have money. When PAS has its gatherings, an array of luxury cars and four-wheel-drive vehicles are displayed like in a car showroom. PAS now is not like the PAS before.”
Idris’s statement about his party’s financial straits came as a response to PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli’s allegation that Nasharudin Mat Isa, the Islamist party’s former deputy president, had received funds linked to 1MDB.
A news report quoted Idris as saying that PAS had not received anything from 1MDB-linked funds. If the party had the cash, he said, it wouldn’t be so hard for it to settle its electricity bills.
Raja Bahrin said PAS should not expect its members to fork out money for the party. “The leaders should do that. They have been flaunting their wealth openly. It is no longer a secret.”
He advised the current leaders to revive the “old spirit” that moved their predecessors to give a portion of their personal incomes to the party. “When I was in PAS, we gave a 20% fixed contribution but sometimes we ended up having to spend as much as 90% of our salary for party activities,” he said.
Amanah communications director Khalid Samad said he suspected that Idris denied Rafizi’s allegation without first ascertaining whether PAS did receive money from Nasharudin.
“From my experience in PAS’ central committee, we were not told everything,” he said. “Certain pieces of information were given to certain people only.”
He urged PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang to verify Rafizi’s claim. “If it is found to be true, then Idris should find out where the money went to and why.”