Thursday, June 20

Fair procedure to allow ministers to campaign during working hours — Anwar

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Anwar delivers his speech at UKM. — Bernama photo

BANGI: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said a fair procedure should be followed in allowing Cabinet ministers and public officials who are party leaders to campaign during working hours.

He said there should not be a procedure which was too open that allowed Cabinet ministers literally to spend all their time campaigning.

“If you are open, the ministers can just virtually spend all the time campaigning which is also bad (for the administration). If they do, then they (ministers) should take leave,” he told reporters after delivering a talk entitled ‘Digital Native Agenda’ at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia here yesterday.

Anwar who is Port Dickson Member of Parliament (MP) was responding to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad statement yesterday that the government would discuss with the Election Commission (EC) on the restriction on Cabinet ministers to campaign during working hours.

Dr Mahathir said the restriction seemed to provide an opportunity for unemployed leaders of the opposition parties to campaign round the clock.

Meanwhile, Anwar also supported the government’s efforts to check corruption by extending the asset declaration initiative to include opposition MPs and the move should be well supported by them to champion transparency and accountability.

On the move by PAS in barring its members from raising issues related to the party in the media following the expose of a ‘dedak cartel’, Anwar said the public has the right to know on the issue if the allegation were serious.

“It is in the public sphere and it involves funds from other parties as the allegations stated,” he said.

The order came in the wake of fresh allegations of existence of ‘dedak cartel’ (money politics) in the party by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s son-in-law, Zaharudin Muhammad. — Bernama