PETALING JAYA: The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) today said Pakatan Harapan has no moral high ground to criticise the pulling back of constituency allocations to its elected representatives by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
It said such discrimination was a Barisan Nasional (BN) legacy that was retained, though scaled down, by PH which now bore the brunt as the new opposition.
In a statement today, Bersih said it had pointed out the long-standing problem when PH MPs received a RM500,000 yearly allocation while opposition MPs received only RM100,000.
“Unfortunately, Bersih’s criticism fell into deaf ears and PH MPs are suffering the karma today because they did not make constituency funding statutory-based and indiscriminative to all MPs,” it said.
“Therefore, PH has no moral high ground in ‘the pot calling the kettle black’ if their state governments in Selangor, Penang and Negeri Sembilan do not also stop the practice of giving funding of opposition constituencies to their own ‘constituency coordinators’.
“PH, and all other parties for that matter, must make an explicit commitment in their next manifestos to legislate indiscriminative constituency allocation at the federal level,” it said.
Bersih said the constituency allocation was meant for MPs to address critical needs among their constituents.
It said voters in constituencies held by the opposition should not be punished for electing MPs not aligned with the current ruling coalition.
“If opposition voters should be denied funding, should they be exempted from paying taxes too?” it asked.
“Bersih 2.0 demands both the federal and state governments – helmed by PN, PH, BN, PAS, GPS and Warisan – to stop such discriminatory practices. PN must restore allocation to opposition MPs,” it said.