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Thread: GE13: Transport cash with no conditions not a bribe, says EC Chief

   
   
       
  1. #1
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    GE13: Transport cash with no conditions not a bribe, says EC Chief

    Election Offences Act, Section 20 states:

    Certain expenditure to be illegal practice


    20. (1) No payment or contract for payment shall, for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of a candidate at any election, be made—


    (a) on account of the conveyance of electors or voters to or from the poll, whether for the hiring of vehicles, vessels
    or animals of transport of any kind whatsoever, or for railway fares, or otherwise; or



    EC: Transport cash with no conditions not a bribe


    3:44PM Jul 26, 2013

    The practice of giving transport allowance during elections is not considered a bribe, provided no condition is attached, the Election Commission said today.

    EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof (left) said the practice would violate the law if the person dishing out the transport allowance urges voters to cast their ballots for a particular candidate.

    "I was made to understand by the MACC (for example in the case of Sabah and Sarawak voters returning home from the peninsula) that if the money is given to voters and the voters are just told to go back and vote, then it is not an offence.

    "EC has not received any official complaint with regard to this matter," Abdul Aziz added in a text message toMalaysiakini.

    He was responding to reports that voters in the Kuala Besut by-election received money from Kampung Beris Lampu village chief Yaakob Kadir, who is aligned with the BN.

    Abdul Aziz was also asked to comment on PAS giving free petrol to motorcyclists during the election campaign.

    However, Yaakob, who is also the village security and development committee head, denied that he had bribed the voters, saying the money provided was an incentive for outstation voters to return and cast their ballots.

    "If it was bribery, it would have been done quietly. We gave it (the incentive) to everybody, regardless of whether they vote for BN or PAS.

    "Returning voters would surely support PAS (anyway)," Yaakob toldMalaysiakini.

    Meanwhile, PAS Kuala Besut candidate Azlan Yusof’s campaign manager Hanafiah Mat urged the EC to take action against the disbursement of the travel allowance.

    "This is blatant bribery, without any sense of shame or embarrassment," Hanafiah said.

    In Wednesday's by-election, BN candidate Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abdul Rahman clinched the state seat, defeating Azlan with a 2,592-vote majority.

    Village chief: It's not bribery, just an incentive
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  2. #2
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    Village chief: It's not bribery, just an incentive





    Kampung Beris Lampu village chief Yaakob Kadir has denied bribing Kuala Besut voters on the constituency’s by-election polling day, saying it was merely an incentive for outstation voters to return and cast their ballots.

    “If it were bribery, it would have been done quietly. We gave it (the incentive) to everybody regardless of whether they voted for BN or PAS. Returning voters would surely support PAS (anyway),” Yaakob toldMalaysiakini when met at his house this morning.

    On Wednesday as Kuala Besut headed for the polls, voters were seen queuing up for cash at the houses of Yaakob and Kampung Lay Out village chief Rashid Yusof (previously reported as ‘Rajees’).

    The recipients, who had already voted before heading to collect the money, told Malaysiakini that it was their travel allowance for returning to vote.
    Yaakob explained that the incentive was provided during the general election in May as well, with those returning from Kuala Terengganu being paid RM100; RM150 for those from Kuantan; and RM200 for voters from Johor and Kuala Lumpur.

    “There are those who complained that it was not enough... If (you compare the incentive against the cost of returning), it does not match,” said Yaakob, who is also the local Umno branch chief.

    He added that fewer than 100 voters returned to Kuala Besut this time, mainly because of the approaching Hari Raya holidays.

    Malaysiakini also visited Rashid’s home this morning, who had on polling day said the money was given as 'duit raya'. However, he was not at home.
    EC urged to take action

    Meanwhile, the PAS Kuala Besut candidate’s campaign manager Hanafiah Mat urged the Election Commission (EC) to take action against the supposed ‘travel allowance’.

    “This is blatant bribery, without any sense of shame or embarrassment.

    “PAS does not do this. Anything given to earn votes is bribery,” he said when contacted today.

    The Chukai assemblyperson added that PAS would hold a meeting tomorrow to decide on its next course of action.

    Malaysiakini has also been contacting BN Kuala Besut by-election deputy director Idris Jusoh since yesterday and Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Said since this morning for comment on the issue.

    As of the time of writing, neither of the BN leaders have responded to our queries.

    EC: Transport allowance with no conditions is fine

    Reports by Abdul Rahim Sabri, Koh Jun Lin and Lee Long Hui.
    py

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