KUALA LUMPUR: MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic) questioned whether the Pakatan Harapan ruling government has forgotten about its own demands for free and fair elections.
He referred to the list of federal goodies announced by the Pakatan government for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary constituency recently involving some RM7.3mil in projects.
He said about 10 years ago, Bersih 2.0 held demonstrations demanding elections that were fair and just for both sides of the political divide.
“Has Pakatan forgotten about their own demands for free and fair elections?
“Are they now doing things that they earlier condemned as wrong just because they are the ruling government now?” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
Dr Wee also questioned why it took 32 days for the Election Commission (EC) to meet and set the date for Tanjung Piai nomination and by-election dates.
“I think they needed the 32 days for the ministries to announce these projects so that these announcements would not be seen as bribing voters, ” he added.
In comparison, he said the EC only took nine days to decide the dates for the Port Dickson by-election last year.
Dr Wee said that during his recent trip to Tanjung Piai, he noticed that many Pakatan ministers stopped by to announce various goodies for voters.
He added that Pakatan used to term the announcement of government projects during elections as vote buying or bribery.
“But now that they are the ruling government, what is their defence about this? They should give a response, ” he said.
On Barisan’s chances in the by-election, Dr Wee said Barisan does not feel disadvantaged just because it did not have the backing of government machinery and goodies for the voters.
“I will say what Pakatan used to tell the voters: Take the money and eat the food they give you.
“But when it comes to voting day, vote for the Opposition, ” he said, referring to what Pakatan party leaders said when they were in the opposition before GE14.
Parliamentary Opposition whip Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob also slammed Pakatan for going against its promise not to be involved in vote buying.
He added Pakatan promised not to use government machinery and their positions in the government in by-elections.
“Instead, they have been involved in vote buying, announcing projects to the tune of RM4mil and RM5mil.
“Why now and why not before the by-election was announced?
“It’s clear that they don’t do as they say, ” said Ismail Sabri, who is Bera Umno MP at the Parliament lobby.
Last week, Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun announced the installation of 264 street lamps in the rural areas of Tanjung Piai for RM127,776 and grants worth RM230,000 for village chiefs.
Last Saturday, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman announced the allocation of RM4mil to upgrade six futsal courts and one football field in the parliamentary constituency.
On Oct 21, Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub had also announced an allocation of RM3mil to upgrade jetties in Tanjung Piai.