Friday, April 12, 2013

BERSIH: BN And Pakatan Guilty Of Vote Buying


Selangor and federal gov't on Bersih's 'shame' list
VIDEO | 2.40 min 

Electoral reforms advocacy group Bersih has listed out major violations of the caretaker government code of conduct by the Pakatan Rakyat-led caretaker Selangor government after the dissolution of Parliament and state assembly.

These include:

  • On April 4, caretaker Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim handing out RM300 bonuses to state employees one day after the dissolution of Parliament;
  • An additional RM2.46 million allocation for the neighbourhood safety programme on April 5; and
  • Villagers in Bestari Jaya given land titles and Khalid offering to assist those who were unable to pay for the premium.
"(It is) tantamount to vote buying," lashed out Irene Fernandez, who co-chairs the Bersih special election violations watchdog committee, which has pledged to point out all violations by all parties contesting in GE13 and to name and shame them to the public.
Similar allegations
The committee also tagged the caretaker federal government for similar 'vote-buying' allegations:
  • Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s announcement of RM6 billion-worth of developments for Cyberjaya;
  • Najib distributing 22,000 helmets to BN supporters for use during campaigning;
  • RM5.1 million allocation for Kedah Chinese schools;
  • Expanding the 1Malaysia discount card to government retirees;
  • Use of Information Department vehicles at a BN event; and
  • Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s promise of a laptop for every student.
Formed after the dissolution of Parliament, the Bersih sub-committee monitors the federal and all state governments - which have since become caretaker governments with the dissolution of Parliament and their respective state assemblies.

NONEThe basis for their observation being the ‘Code of Conduct for Participants of GE13 and Caretaker Government Guidelines’ formulated and released by Bersih a day after the Parliament’s dissolution was announced by Najib.

Today's ‘name-and-shame’ list is the first report from the sub-committee. After today, the body will issue weekly reports based on media reports, its own observations, and complaints from the public.

The committee, however, lauded the Selangor and Penang government's decision to have all political appointees return their state cars to avoid abuse during the caretaker government period.

On another note, they explained that as caretaker guidelines are new developments, and since both sides may not be familiar with it, they will limit their actions to naming and shaming but will not blacklist the offenders, although the committee has warned that those involved in political violence will receive no such mercies.

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