It’s wrong, Bersih reminds Anwar on ceramah food

Anwar Ibrahim at a campaign event in Taman Sri Ramai.

RANTAU: Bersih 2.0 has chided PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim after he appeared at several ceramah events in Rantau where food and drinks were served to the public, which the electoral watchdog says is a breach of campaign laws.

Speaking to FMT, Bersih chairman Thomas Fann said serving food during campaign events is considered treating under election laws.

“The intention of the organiser may or may not be to corruptly influence voters, but strictly by the law, an offence has been committed,” he said, adding that the provision is not limited to just election candidates.

Anwar spoke at three events in Rantau last night in support of Pakatan Harapan candidate Dr Streram Sinnasamy, where sandwiches, nasi lemak, curry puffs and drinks were served.

At one event in Taman Angsamas, food and drinks were catered from the Lexis Hibiscus group in Port Dickson, Anwar’s parliamentary constituency.

When asked by reporters, Anwar said he was not aware who had organised the food.

Section 8 of the Election Offences Act 1954 states that it is an offence for anyone to pay for or organise food, drink, refreshment or other provisions during a campaign.

Fann said a precedent had been set in Cameron Highlands, where the election court annulled the results of last year’s general election due to gifts offered by Barisan Nasional (BN) to Orang Asli voters.

The Rantau by-election campaign enters its fifth day today.

Streram is facing BN’s Mohamad Hasan, and independents Malar Rajaram and Mohd Nor Yassin for the April 13 polls.