Gobind denies campaigning for Anwar because of ‘issues’

PKR candidate Anwar Ibrahim and Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo greeting patrons at a coffee shop in Port Dickson.

PORT DICKSON: Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo has dismissed suggestions that he was in Port Dickson to campaign for Anwar Ibrahim because of “issues”.

Gobind, who is also the DAP national deputy chairman, said he was in Port Dickson because he and Anwar are good friends.

“I think the press has to take a step back and look at where we came from. We have always been a strong coalition, (where) we always support our friends when there are elections.

“So the question of me coming to Port Dickson because there is an issue, does not arise at all,” he said during a walkabout at a local coffee shop in the Sri Tanjung state constituency this morning.

Gobind and Anwar were at the coffee shop as part of the PKR president-elect’s campaign in the Port Dickson by-election.

Yesterday, Anwar told the people in Bukit Pelandok that he would inform the Communications and Multimedia Minister (Gobind) about the internet speed in Port Dickson and that he would request Gobind to come to Port Dickson to meet the people and hear what they have to say.

“We came to campaign because we are good friends. I am not here as a minister, I am here as Gobind Singh Deo and, of course, I am the Puchong MP,” he said.

When asked if upgrading the internet speed in Port Dickson was a priority, Gobind said there were two phases to upgrading the internet speed nationwide.

“Priorities are given to specific areas and these are due to tourism and education, among others.

“The world is now moving towards a (fully) digitalised world, by equipping the schools, especially in areas where they specialise in technology, students can start their education in the technology sector,” he said.

Two days ago, Anwar had launched an education programme which offers free revision materials online.

However, some people pointed out that the programme might not reach its full capacity if the internet speed was not up to par.

Apart from schools and tourist areas, Gobind said remote areas, like those in Sabah and Sarawak, would also be given priority.

“There is no timeline given for this, as different locations require different solutions.

“The first step is to reduce the price and increase speed. We need to look at how we can provide internet speed which is on par with countries globally.

“In terms of pricing, we have opened to players outside of Malaysia to encourage a healthy competition and to prevent monopolies.

“I have also asked TNB (Tenaga Nasional Berhad) to start considering venturing into the broadband industry. This will help us look for non-fibre-related solutions,” he said.

Meanwhile, when asked about candidates attending “free dinners” during the election campaign, Gobind said there was nothing wrong as long as the events were organised by the public.

“When I stood in Puchong, there were many people who invited me to functions in their neighbourhoods. But these were to introduce the candidates to the people.

“For example, they would have dinners or lunches, but they were organised by people who wanted me, as a candidate, to go and explain who I am, and why they should vote for me.

“In fact the candidates should attend these functions and attend as many as possible, to explain themselves and why is it that people should vote for them,” he said.

He added that this is part and parcel of an election campaign.

“It is not a case of Anwar organising a function and inviting people and giving them food.

“Are we saying that a candidate cannot come to a coffee shop where everyone is buying food for each other?”

Tonight, Anwar has been invited to several dinner functions organised by the locals in Port Dickson.

A concert has also been scheduled, where popular singer and artiste M Nasir is expected to perform.