Pork-Barrel Politics in Sungai Bakap By-Election

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) condemns the announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that the Madani Government will establish a Senior Citizen Center (PAWE) and build a Tamil school in Sungai Bakap if they win in the Sungai Bakap by-election.

The announcement, made at the last minute before voters in the Sungai Bakap constituency cast their votes this Saturday, is irresponsible and does not reflect the Madani values that the current Unity Government aims to uphold.

BERSIH condemns the practice of conditionally announcing new projects, as done by Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi, and considers this an act of bribery. Section 10 of the Election Offenses Act states that any person who corruptly promises a valuable consideration to voters to induce them to vote for their side can be convicted of bribery. This announcement also violates the 3C guidelines for non-caretaker governments, which stipulate that any necessary announcements must be made without conditions imposed on the voters in the area.

Based on the Election Offenses Act and the non-caretaker government guidelines issued by BERSIH to ensure clean and fair elections, it is clear that the Unity Government does not respect existing laws and does not campaign fairly.

Previously, the Minister of Housing and Local Government, YB Nga Kor Ming, also handed over a cheque worth RM17,751,284 for the construction of a fire station, upgrading the Bukit Panchor market, and contributions to non-Islamic places of worship. Additionally, the Prime Minister's Political Secretary, Shamsul Iskandar Akin, made donations to mosques in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidiladha amounting to RM290,000. Although both of these contributions occurred before the nomination of candidates, they were made with the awareness that a by-election would take place in Sungai Bakap.

BERSIH reminds the Unity Government that the tactic of allocating funds and announcing new projects is outdated and no longer effective in swaying voters. What voters want is a genuine commitment to reform and improving existing policies for the benefit of the people, not playing biased and dishonest politics.

Released by:
The Steering Committee of BERSIH

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