Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim says the announcement by his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi of allocations for youths in Terengganu in exchange for their support at the upcoming state election has nothing to do with the Aug 12 polls, echoing the country's anti-graft agency which earlier said the same.
Anwar, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman, said Zahid made the announcement a day before nomination on July 29.
"There are people who suggested (there should be) no announcements (about allocations) at all. This is not possible because I am the prime minister, I have to take care of the country. If (the allocation) is important, then we (the government) will announce it.
"But I have already said that state machinery cannot be used and that (all previous announcements) cannot be used for campaigning for the elections, from yesterday (nomination) until polling day. That is the decision of the Cabinet," Bernama quoted him as telling reporters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) earlier said there was nothing wrong in Zahid's announcement, either.
MACC chief Azam Baki said the agency viewed the grants as a federal allocation.
"This is a ruling government that can implement initiatives that are considered appropriate for the people," he said in a report by Sinar Harian.
"In my opinion, there is no problem with the giving of these grants as it is a government initiative. If it is an allocation for an initiative that has been approved by the government, there are no elements of corruption."
Speaking in Terengganu on July 28, Zahid who is also the rural and regional development minister announced RM100,000 for a youth organisation, to be channelled through the Central Terengganu Development Authority, or Ketengah.
He also announced RM250,000 for the Terengganu Youth Council and RM200,000 to motor riders associations, adding that Anwar would later "top up" the amounts.
Zahid then said that the allocations were on condition that Terengganu youths would support the "blue and red wave", a reference to the BH-PH coalitions.
This came a day after Anwar himself announced RM100 in e-cash for some 10 million adult Malaysians.