Amanah decries ‘reckless spending to buy votes’

Dr-Dzulkefly-Ahmad-voterPETALING JAYA: Amanah has accused Prime Minister Najib Razak of spending public funds recklessly in an attempt to buy votes from Felda settlers.

Commenting on Najib’s recent announcement of six incentives for the settlers, Amanah strategy director Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said it was obvious that he had been “extremely rattled” by the opposition’s recent inroads into Felda constituencies.

If BN did nothing, he said, its strongholds would be “permanently dismantled”.

“In his frantic attempt at safeguarding his bastion, Najib has done the obvious, which is vote-buying.

“We’re talking about RM1.42 billion, which is the total cost of this exercise of vote-buying. If this is not money politics, then what is?”

Dzulkefly said the budget for the incentives should have gone through Parliament.

Ideally, he added, every government expenditure must be tabled in Parliament, debated and endorsed.

“You do not simply spend to gain and fish for votes, even if you can afford it. It is much worse if you cannot afford this kind of off-budget spending.

“This is reckless, ruthless and imprudent spending. It is despicable.”

On Sunday, addressing tens of thousands of farmers and small landowners in Putrajaya, Najib said 94,956 eligible families would be given RM5,000 each, amounting to a total outlay of RM475 million.

Additional funds amounting to more than RM950 million would be used to erase the debts of the farmers through several measures, including the reimbursement of a portion of loans taken to buy shares in Felda Global Ventures (FGV), a listed unit of Felda.