The government has rejected a donation of RM100mil by a company to Tabung Harapan as it was obvious that the contribution came with an ulterior motive, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“We don’t want them to give the money with the hope of expecting something in return. That amounts to corruption,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said there was a suggestion that the government adopt Germany’s political funding policy whereby the government sets an allocation for political parties so that they need not rely on donations.
However, noting that this may be considered unfair to taxpayers, Dr Mahathir said the government would consider other alternatives.
“We haven’t made a decision. That was one of the alternatives we considered.
“But if you consider that it is unfair because voters have to pay for it (political funding), then we will consider alternatives such as asking for donations, but that opens the door for corruption,” he said after chairing the Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting here yesterday.
“We have stated that there will be no corruption in party management as the biggest corruptions happen among political parties.
“But the fact is that political parties need proper financing. We discussed that for the entire morning, but couldn’t find a solution for how political parties would be funded.
“We will need to study how political parties can function without help from any parties,” Dr Mahathir said.
Pakatan Harapan used to organise fundraising dinners but this was no longer possible as they are now in power, he added.
Other than political funding, the meeting also focused on discussing the deaths of the six firemen who perished during a rescue operation for a teenager who fell into a disused mining pond in Puchong on Wednesday.
Dr Mahathir pledged government aid to the victims’ families and advised them to be patient in light of the tragedy.
He also commented on MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong’s recent statement of concern over Khazanah Nasional subsidiary Silterra Malaysia Sdn Bhd being a possible partner in the project.
Dr Wee said this cast a pall over the government’s promise that public funds would not be used for the project, as Khazanah is the government’s sovereign wealth fund.
Dr Mahathir, however, said that if there was a company in Khazanah that was interested, it could still invest in the project.
“Silterra makes microchips used in motor cars, aeroplanes, rockets landing on the moon and all that.
“Khazanah is not a government (body). It is quite free to do business,” he said.