MCA urges harsh action against ‘bribes’ for voters

Negeri Sembilan MCA chairman Siow Koi Voon (left) and MCA Rembau Youth chief Yong Chien Huang.

SEREMBAN: The state MCA has urged the Election Commission to carry out investigations into a RM75,000 donation in food coupons to children in Rantau, where a by-election is being held.

MCA Rembau Youth chief Yong Chien Huang said the donation, by Miri MP Dr Michael Teo, was a clear election offence.

The EC had said earlier today that such actions during an election campaign would be considered to be treating, an offence under the Election Offences Act 1954. However, there was a legal grey area on what constitutes an offence before an election was held.

Yong said MCA Negeri Sembilan’s legal bureau will produce a report for the EC and that the commission had the powers to investigate.

The Election Offences Act states it is an offence for anyone to give food, drink, refreshment, provision, money, tickets or any other means for the purpose of influencing any person to vote at an election.

Negeri Sembilan MCA chairman Siow Koi Voon said stern action must be taken against those who “bribe” voters in the ongoing campaign.

“We are requesting the EC to investigate the matter and take firm action quickly so that whoever it is who goes against the election law will be brought to court.

“We hope that the EC gives an answer as soon as possible so the standard of by-elections in the country can be raised,” he said.

Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 had accused Pakatan Harapan of already having committed an election offence before nomination day today.

PH candidate Dr Streram Sinnasamy has said that Michael Teo’s assistance had nothing to do with the by-election and that was a personal donation.

However, MCA’s Siow said the children’s parents could be indirectly influenced to vote for PH. “If help is given, then the parents will be happy (and this will get PH more votes)”.

Streram is one of four candidates who will be vying for the vacant Rantau state seat.

Campaigning began today, with polling on Apr 13.