Anwar: Why can’t I attend the dinner?

KUALA LUMPUR: Port Dickson by-election candidate Anwar Ibrahim today questioned why he needed to postpone a large-scale dinner ahead of the by-election.

Responding to a statement by electoral reform group Bersih 2.0, which urged him to postpone the dinner until after the election, he asked: “Why can’t I attend the dinner?

“If the community calls for a dinner, what can I do? The other candidates are also having dinners,” he told reporters after delivering his speech at the “Malaysia: A New Dawn” conference here today.

Earlier today, Bersih said it shared the same concerns expressed by Lukut state assemblyperson Choo Ken Hwa on a free dinner for 3,000 to 4,000 people that will be held in Lukut during the Port Dickson by-election on Thursday.

“Such a dinner is no different from the feast thrown by Jho Low (fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho) in Penang during the 13th general election.

“Section 8 of the Election Offences Act prohibits treating of food, drink, refreshment or provision to induce voters to vote for a particular candidate,” it said in the statement.

Bersih urged Anwar to follow a precedent set during the Aug 4 Sungai Kandis by-election, where a durian fest was postponed till after the election to avoid a breach of the election laws.

Anwar is facing six candidates in the upcoming by-election. Polling will be on Oct 13.