PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission (EC) must take action against Pakatan Harapan for repeatedly disregarding the laws regulating by-elections, says MCA secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon (pic).
Chong said Pakatan “blatantly thumbs its nose” at the EC, adding that it has insulted the intelligence of voters by repeatedly abusing government resources and breaking election rules in several by-elections.
Chong cited a recent remark made by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, who drew public flak after announcing an allocation of RM50,000 to a school in the Kimanis parliamentary constituency.
Mohamaddin, from Parti Warisan Sabah, had gone on to defend his actions by saying that Umno had also provided assistance and announced projects during past elections.
The Kimanis by-election on Jan 18 will see a straight fight between Datuk Karim Bujang and Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Mohamad Alamin.
“This is not the first time Pakatan has violated election laws by abusing taxpayer money to buy votes," said Chong.
In a statement issued on Monday (Jan 13) Chong cited the Election Offences Act 1954, which stated that anyone who hands out money or goodies to voters during an election in order to corruptly influence to give or refrain from giving votes is considered to have committed a crime.
He pointed out that offenders can be fined RM5,000, imprisoned for up to two years or both if found guilty.
“When will the EC finally decide to take action against Pakatan’s repeated election transgressions? By continuing to say and do nothing, the EC is already being perceived as a paper tiger,” Chong added.
However, Chong said that voters are smart enough to know that Pakatan had to abuse public resources in order to fish votes due to the government’s poor track record since it took federal power in the 14th general elections.
“It is up to the voters once again to demonstrate that they want a clean and fair election by using their votes to reject Pakatan,” he added.
Meanwhile, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong also demanded that the EC take action against those who committed election offences in the days leading up to the Kimanis by-election, citing Mohamaddin’s remarks as an example.
"This is strange! He is the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister but he can announce the allocation of funds to schools? When did schools become tourist attractions under his portfolio?" Wee had asked in a statement on Sunday (Jan 12).
However, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said there was nothing wrong with Ketapi’s remarks, claiming that the RM50,000 allocation was an amount that had been presented in the budget.