SUNGAI BESAR: A tug of war over billboards has erupted among the candidates in the by-election here.
Now, the fight is over who has the right to the billboards located at Jalan Pasar in Sekinchan town, not far from where Election Commission (EC) officials had to pull down a few on Wednesday for bearing provocative messages.
Yesterday, during a walkabout with reporters, DAP’s Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Suee Lim confronted Barisan Nasional candidate Budiman Mohd Zohdi for “stealing” the four empty billboard frames.
The billboards bore profile photos of Budiman in a suit and baju Melayu urging the people to vote for him.
Dismissing this, Budiman walked away and later told reporters that it was not his “standard procedure” to wear such outfits.
“It’s definitely not my SOP to wear such outfits when the banners are meant for a town dominated by the non-Malays,” he said, adding that DAP was “bankrupt of ideas”.
The banners were later removed by EC officials and the police following complaints by Amanah that the billboards actually belonged to the party.
On Wednesday, a few Opposition leaders had protested the removal of the billboards with provocative messages.
Earlier at a press conference, Amanah information chief Khalid Samad said the party and its allies – DAP and PKR – would now focus on positive campaigning and promised that there would not be any more provocative billboards.
“I honestly have no idea about the billboards. When I found out that DAP was behind this, I met with Tony Pua (DAP national publicity chief) and we agreed not to put up billboards that could trigger provocation,” he said.
Pua had reportedly admitted to putting up the billboards without informing Amanah.
Asked why DAP had not consulted Amanah before putting up the billboards, Khalid admitted that there should have been some coordination between the two parties.