Panel: Feasts on polling day amount to buying votes

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 03 Mar 2004

THE Election Commission has warned political campaigners against holding feasts on polling day. 

Quoting commission secretary Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, Nanyang Siang Pau said the act was tantamount to buying votes. 

However, he said the practice of providing packed lunches and bottled drinks to workers helping in the election campaign was acceptable. 

The general election is expected to be held during the school holidays this month, Sin Chew Daily reported. 

Quoting sources, the paper reported that nomination day would probably be on March 13 and polling day on either March 20 or 21. 

The paper speculated that there would only be seven or eight days for campaigning, the shortest in the country’s elections history.  

Parliament might be dissolved either on Friday or Saturday, it said. 

The daily added that previous elections saw 90% of registered Chinese voters casting their votes. 

The paper also reported Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman as saying that the Chinese were keen to vote, and that the Chinese made up only 11% of the 1.7 million unregistered eligible voters. 

He said the voter turnout at the last polls was between 70% and 75%, adding that Kelantan and Terengganu had the highest number of people coming out on polling day, with a turnout of 85%. 

On another matter, Nanyang Siang Pau reported that health tourism had generated RM41mil for the country last year. 

The daily quoted Deputy Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Datuk Fu Ah Kiow as saying that more than 75,200 foreign patients sought treatment in 10 private hospitals in Malaysia last year. 

He said that 70% of the foreigners came from Indonesia and 7% from Japan. The others were from Europe and the United States. 

China Press reported that police on Monday busted an “international” football bookie centre operating at a commercial building in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, which was said to have received RM20mil worth of bets daily. 

The centre, which had been active for the last two months, had clients mainly from China and Hong Kong. 

Police arrested 17 people, including four men, who were believed to be the masterminds. The four were from Hong Kong.  

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