Goat feast in Rantau: Idris claims he is made a 'sacrificial lamb'

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 02 Apr 2019

MELAKA: Former Melaka chief minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron claims he is made a "sacrificial lamb" by certain parties to discredit Barisan Nasional ahead of the Rantau by-election.

It was reported that Idris had promised to sponsor two goats for a feast in Taman Angsamas, if Barisan wins more votes in Angsa Emas.

The Angsa Emas polling district is in the Rantau constituency, where a by-election will take place on April 13.

While admitting he had pledged two goats for voters, Idris said it was his gift to them if Barisan candidate Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan secures more votes from the balloting station on April 13.

“I made the pledge in my personal capacity after seeing a huge turnout when I was giving a speech at Taman Angsamas.

"Political foes twisted my words to sound as if I am attempting to buy votes,” he said in an interview on Tuesday (April 2).

He said that his pledge turned into a controversy after his speech was reported by a Malay news portal.

“My pledge has no link to Mohamad, and it's my gift to voters," said Idris.

“I admit in pledging two goats if Mohamad secures more than 300 votes at the balloting station against his rival Dr S. Streram of Pakatan Harapan,” he said.

Idris added that he was willing to face any action if he had contravened the Election Offences Act 1954.

“Anyway, I am not contesting in the by-election and only made a pledge, as I consider Mohamad as my 'blood brother',” he said, adding that electorates should realise that Pakatan lawmakers make empty promises and ignore voters after winning elections.

Earlier, the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) said Idris' promise of sponsoring two goats for a feast constitutes as an election offence.

"Bersih 2.0 is of the view that Idris has committed the election offence of bribery, as defined in Section 10(c) of the Election Offences Act 1954," it said.

"A conditional promise was made that he will provide the two goats after the election, on the condition that the Angsa Emas polling district gives more than 300 votes to Mohamad (Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan). 

"This element of conditional promise differentiates it from the offence of treating. If he fulfils the promise by providing a feast after the election, it would then be Section 8 for the offence of treating," the election watchdog said in a statement.

Bersih 2.0 also called for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the offence.

The Rantau polling day will see Dr Streram squaring off against Barisan candidate Mohamad and independent candidates Mohd Nor Yassin and Malar Rajaram.

The Rantau by-election was triggered following a Federal Court decision to uphold an earlier ruling by the Election Court to nullify the results for Rantau.

In GE14, Umno deputy president Mohamad won the state seat unopposed after Dr Streram was denied entry to submit his nomination papers, as he did not have a tag or a pass.

Election Court judge Azimah Omar allowed Dr Streram's petition for a by-election on the grounds that Mohamad's election victory was not valid.

The Rantau polls is the seventh by-election post-GE14, and the third to be held in 2019 after Cameron Highlands and Semenyih.

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