Idris’ ‘goat feast’ promise treated as an offence

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 03 Apr 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: A “goat feast” promise to voters if Barisan Nasional’s candidate wins the Rantau by-election would be considered an electoral offence, says Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun (pic).

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 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 elections 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 Monday, while campaigning for Mohamad.

“If we win by 300 votes (in Angsamas) 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 beards,” Idris was reported to have said.

Meanwhile, electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 chairman Thomas Fann said the offer amounted to a bribe as Idris promised to reward voters who voted in Barisan.

“It is a promise of a reward based on how people vote, thus a bribe and not a treat.

“The offence can be committed by anyone, not just the candidate.

“Action should be taken by police based on the news report and reporters who were present could give statements or give their video and audio recordings as evidence,” he 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 yesterday.

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