Muhyiddin says up to tok batin to read from prepared text

Aleh Abdullah (second from left) with Muhyiddin Yassin (centre) and Hanipa Maidin (third from left) at a ceramah event in Semenyih.

SEMENYIH: PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin has denied that an Orang Asli village head (tok batin) had read out a speech prepared for him to express support for Pakatan Harapan in the Semenyih by-election.

“There was no compulsion. It was up to him to read the text. It’s his right,” he told reporters when pressed on the issue after a ceramah in Beranang here.

Aleh Abdullah earlier told reporters that a speech he delivered at the event in Kampung Sungai Lalang Baru, which was attended by Muhyiddin and Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin, was prepared for him by one “Cik Dollah”, whom he identified as an officer of the Department of Orang Asli Development (Jakoa).

“He wrote it, I just followed,” the 53-year-old tok batin said.

During his speech, Aleh appeared to be lost for words, before he took out a piece of paper from his pocket and continued speaking.

Aleh had also told reporters that Pakatan Harapan would organise a programme on Tuesday to distribute hampers to villagers.

Muhyiddin denied that the event would take place.

“That is just an assumption,” he said.

The Election Commission has warned all four candidates in the Semenyih by-election to abide by election laws, including to refrain from programmes seen as vote-buying.