KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 ― Former Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said his new youth party would welcome donations from any source but with limits.
In a forum tonight, Syed Saddiq answered moderator Azlan Shah Nabees Khan who asked about rumours on social media that the new party was funded by some “business tycoon”.
“The funding issue is close to my heart because when I was in the government I had insisted that we should have the Political Funding Act.
“We welcome those who want to donate but there should be a limit. Maybe RM10,000, RM50,000 or RM100,000, not millions. We will discuss about it.
“We must stop money politics,” he said at the forum titled “Youths : Why the need for a new party?” organised by the Sinar Harian newspaper tonight.
Other panellists included PAS Youth assistant secretary-general Syahir Sulaiman and Bukit Melawati assemblyman Juwairiah Zulkifli from PKR.
Syed Saddiq also dismissed speculations that his new party was a ploy by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to sap the youth support from other parties in the country.
“If I am involved in Tun’s agenda, I would have joined his new party, Pejuang (Parti Pejuang Tanah Air).
“If I am involved then the core in the new party would be the ones from Armada, not the people who are very critical of him,” he said.
In an interview with Malaysiakini yesterday, the Muar MP said he hoped his new party would change politics and the way it is funded in Malaysia.
He said his time as Bersatu Youth chief taught him that the current practice of rewarding party members with money as well as how political donations were handled must be changed.
The former youth and sports minister added that his new party will rely on crowdfunding as well as impose a limit on corporate donations so they’re not “enslaved” by anyone.
He added that he is undecided as to whether the new entity will be registered as a political party or remain as a movement in light of the Sabah elections as well as the fact snap elections could be called in the near future.
Members of the Syed Saddiq’s platform, dubbed “Muda Malaysia” for now, had their first meeting yesterday.
According to Malaysiakini, among the confirmed attendees were former Permodalan Nasional Berhad CEO Abdul Jalil Rasheed and startup founders Vinesh Sinha (FatHopes Energy), Liew Ooi Hann (RinggitPlus), Nadhir Shafiq (TheLorry) and Radzi Tajuddin (Hi Home).
Teacher Cheryl Ann Fernando of Adiwiraku film fame, lawyer Lim Wei Jiet, religious preacher PU Rahmat and self-described agriculture enthusiast Shahrizal Denci are also on the list as are activist Amir Abdul Hadi.