CAMERON HIGHLANDS: The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) has urged Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pic) to clarify his remarks, allegedly telling people here to vote for Pakatan Harapan if they want to see development.
The electoral watchdog said that Lim’s remarks were akin to discrimination against opposition constituencies.
“Will Pakatan as the federal government, discriminate against the constituency if they did not vote for their candidate?”
“Or will they truly usher in a ‘breath of fresh air’ in Malaysian politics by promising development to Cameron Highlands, regardless of who wins on polling day?” it said in a statement on Thursday (Dec 17).
“It can also be considered as undue influence, an election offence under Section 9 of the Election Offences Act,” it added.
Bersih 2.0 was commenting on an online article in which Lim was quoted to have asked voters to support Pakatan if they want development at the highlands.
Lim had allegedly told reporters this after a visit to the Felda Sungai Koyan night market on Wednesday (Jan 16).
Bersih 2.0 said Pakatan should compete on policies, performances and fulfilment of manifesto promises, instead of turning incumbency into basis of patronage to discriminate against its opposition.
“New Malaysia is hollow without this paradigm shift which Pakatan must spearhead instead of politics as usual.
“We also remind Lim of Pakatan’s promise in the opening remarks of its election manifesto that they are determined to stop Umno and Barisan to guarantee the welfare of the people, especially those from rural areas, the Indians, the indigenous people, and the lower middle class who are often forgotten,” it said, adding that its promises should also be for all Malaysians.
Bersih 2.0 urged all parties that are campaigning to adhere to the existing laws and demonstrate higher ethical standards when it comes to the use of its power as an incumbent federal or state government.
“The principle of a clean and fair election is that the playing field should be level for all candidates, including the smaller parties, and in Cameron Highland's case, the two independent candidates.
“Just because something may not be illegal does not necessary make it right or fair,” they said.
“Negative campaigning like personal attacks on candidates, the creating of disharmony by using ethnicity and religion, threat of violence and the withholding of aid and development should be avoided, as some of these are election offences,” it added.