PETALING JAYA: Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun has slammed those attempting to spread false information over a picture of DAP’s M. Manogaran that has been making its rounds on social media and messaging apps.
“Obviously some people are bent on spreading false insinuation,” tweeted Azhar Azizan, also known as Art Harun.
The picture in question shows Manogaran giving what appears to be cash handouts to a group of Indian Malaysians.
Accompanying it is a sarcastic caption saying that the DAP candidate for the Cameron Highlands by-election was giving a little help to people in the area.
“(He's) very concerned (sangat prihatin),” it reads.
Azhar Azizan questioned the authenticity of the viral picture and tweeted Dr Ong Kian Ming, DAP's political education assistant national director, to clarify.
“YB @imokman, this picture has been making its rounds. This is a serious insinuation. Is there any explanation to this?” he had tweeted.
Ong, who is also Deputy International Trade and Investment Minister, responded to Azhar’s query by referring him to Manogaran's Facebook page clarifying that the picture had been taken in 2017.
Azhar then thanked Ong for his clarification.
Manogaran said the picture of him giving out money to the Indian Malaysian community happened during Deepavali in 2017 and as a run-up to the Cameron Highlands by-election.
“The picture happened during Deepavali 2017 when I visited a poor community to give senior citizens aged 60 and above a donation,” he said on his Facebook page on Thursday (Jan 10) morning.
Manogaran went up against MIC Youth chief Datuk C.Sivarraajh in the 14th General Election last May, where he narrowly lost, garnering 9,710 votes to Sivarraajh's 10,307.
On June 4, Manogaran filed a petition seeking a declaration that the outcome of GE14 for the Cameron Highlands Parliamentary seat was null and void for flouting the General Elections Act 1954.
On Nov 30, the Election Court nullified Sivarraajh’s win in the May 9 general election, citing corrupt practices, thus paving the way for a new election for the seat.
The Election Commission on Dec 28 also confirmed that Sivarraajh was not qualified to contest in the by-election. He is appealing this decision.
Earlier Thursday, Barisan Nasional announced it is fielding former senior police officer Ramli Mohd Noor as its candidate.
Polling for the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat will be held on Saturday, Jan 26, with nomination day on Jan 12 and early voting set for Jan 22.