BN had handed out cash vouchers to members of the public near nomination centres in Alor Setar and Nibong Tebal, election watchdog Pemantau has alleged.

election monitoring group pemantau  bersihThe vouchers handed out in Alor Setar on the day after nomination day was worth RM80 each and the action was caught on video, committee member Maria Chin Abdullah told a press conference today.

Meanwhile, in Nibong Tebal, BN has purportedly given out vouchers worth RM30 on nomination day, also near the local nomination centre.

“We are still tabulating the data received, but a preliminary picture is emerging of habitual and widespread electoral misconduct despite a largely peaceful nomination day,” Maria said.

Bribery and treating

Pemantau’s volunteers have reported incidents of bribery and treats (the giving of free food, election paraphernalia and other goodies to draw votes) in nearly all the 22 parliamentary constituencies that the group has been monitoring since April 20, when nominations were filed.

Maria pointed out that both bribery and “treating” are election offences.

Asked about the practice of giving out bottles of water to campaign workers after a day’s work, she said this would not be considered as “treating”.

“You’d have to put it in context. Giving food and water for hard work is different from giving food and water in exchange for votes,” she said.
She also claimed that in Kuantan, a PKR candidate was not allowed to submit nomination forms via a representative, although a BN candidate was allowed to do so.

However, the group noted that nomination procedures were consistently followed in all other places it observed.

Asked for the supporting documents or footage to back its accusations, Maria told Malaysiakini that it would only be released when Pemantau publishes its report after May 5.

Police reports would also be lodged on offences the group documents throughout the campaign period, as necessary.

~ Malaysiakini