EC chief: Post-polls promise of 'goat feast' is an election offence

KUALA LUMPUR: A promise of a "goat feast" to voters if the Barisan Nasional candidate wins the Rantau by-election would be considered an electoral offence, says Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun.

Former Melaka chief minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron had allegedly promised to sponsor two goats for a feast to voters in Taman Angsamas, Seremban if Barisan candidate Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan obtained at least a 300-vote majority in the polling district there.

"Under Section 8 of the Election Offences Act, it is an offence during election to treat voters to food or drinks to influence their decisions at the ballot box, before, during and after elections," said Azhar.

He said the time it occurred did not matter as it would still be viewed as "treating", which is an electoral offence.

Idris was reported by a news portal as allegedly offering the treat during a speech on April 1 while campaigning for Mohamad.

Barisan had lost to PKR in the Angsa Emas polling district by 22 votes.

"If we win by 300 votes (in Angsa Emas) I will sponsor two goats for a feast in Taman Angsamas, EC. I'm not giving the goats now for them to vote for Mohamad, no. When they have voted for Mohamad and he has won. I have no interests. This will be a thanksgiving. I will come back with two goats, complete with its beards," Idris was reported to have said.

Mohamad, on the other hand, said that he had no knowledge of what Idris said.

"I don't know if he said it, but I certainly did not," said Mohamad, when met in Rantau on Tuesday (April 2).

There are four candidates for the Rantau state seat by-election, namely Mohamad, Pakatan Harapan's Dr S. Streram and independents Mohd Nor Yassin and R Malar.

Polling day has been set for April 13.

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