Watch what they say, Mafrel tells EC
By FMT Staff
SHAH ALAM: Polls watchdog Mafrel today urged the Election Commission not to turn a blind eye on government leaders who are are wooing the Sibu electorate with promises of allocations.
Its chairman Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh said the blatant actions of these leaders were contradictory to the rules of a by-election.
He reminded the EC that it was bound by oath to remain independent and carry out its responsibilities as per regulations.
‘There is no need for the EC to bow to the Umno-Barisan Nasional leadership. They are suppose to be independent and act in accordance to the regulations,” he said.
Syed Ibrahim's reminder came in the wake of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's fleeting trip to Sibu on Saturday, promising hundreds of thousand ringgit to Sibu voters in his capacity as premier.
The Sibu parliamentary constituency will see a by-election on May 16 following the death of its MP and deputy Transport Minister Robert Lau on April 9. Najib’s visit on Saturday was in conjunction with nominations which is set for Saturday, May 8.
Speculations are rife that it would be a tight straight fight between the late Lau’s Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and DAP.
In the 2008 election five-term MP Lau won the seat with a 3,232 majority in a three-cornered fight with DAP and PKR.
Noting the tight race, Syed Ibrahim said: “Since the Sibu-by-election is not long away, the promises and pledges are centred around this.
“We are asking the EC to take note,” he said adding that Najib’s promises could be viewed as baiting votes.
“We cannot deny that the action is seen as a tempting Sibu residents since it is happening around the time of the by-election,” he said.
Mafrel said it was not wrong for Najib to go to the ground but the prime minister must be transparent in his actions and not manipulate his visit with the people as a campaign for the by-elections.
“It does not mean Najib cannot meet the people but it depends on what statements he makes. The EC must monitor this, “ he said.