Accused of abuse in Tanjung Piai, Salahuddin says can give aid whenever he wants as minister
KUALA LUMPUR,. Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub said he was authorised to deliver aid to fishermen at any time, even if this coincided with by-election campaigns.
The agriculture and agro-based industry said it was his prerogative by virtue of his portfolio, which included caring for the welfare of fishermen.
“I, as the minister, decided to hand it out at this time because as the minister, I can give it at any time, I am not affected by what people say.
“When the fishermen benefit, the people will also benefit, that is all,” he said during Ministers’ Question Time in Parliament today.
Salahuddin was responding to Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan who questioned the timing of Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal’s announcement of RM1,000 aid for 1,513 fishermen in the state’s southern region to be dispersed beginning next week.
This coincided with the Tanjung Piai by-election on November 16, which was triggered by the death of Pakatan Harapan incumbent Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik on September 21.
Ahmad Maslan asked if the timing of the aid could be considered a violation of election laws.
Salahuddin said it was the judiciary’s job to decide this if it is eventually challenged.
“If I go to Tanjung Piai now and say, ‘here, take this cash and please vote for Pakatan Harapan’, that is bribery.
“But, as the minister, what was promised by the late Dr Farid to fishermen, we will give to them; you want to wait for others to give?” he said, triggering objections.