KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18 — Both Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) committed election offences in the Sungai Kandis by-election, Bersih 2.0 said today.
The election watchdog said its observation of the race between July 21 and August 4 found that the campaigns of both PH candidate Zawawi Mughni, who won the election, and BN candidate Lokman Adam violated election law on treating, undue influence, bribery and promoting feelings of ill-will and hostility.
“Bersih 2.0 is appalled by the same dirty election campaign tactics employed by both Parti Keadilan Rakyat (Keadilan) and Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates, Zawawi Mughni and Lokman Adam,” Bersih 2.0 said in a statement.
Bersih 2.0 accused Zawawi’s campaign of giving out free motorcycle engine oil to bikers, free medical check-up and medicine to residents, and abusing government assets and events by campaigning in public schools and government events.
“On another occasion, several ministers were found to have used [their] official car to go to the nomination centre on polling day,” said Bersih 2.0.
The polls watchdog accused Lokman’s campaign of treating food and drinks to voters like rojak, fried noodles and tea at events.
Bersih 2.0 also highlighted the exploitation of racial and religious sentiments in Lokman’s campaign.
“Shukri Samsudin and Khairul Muzammil were found to have made inflammatory statements such as ‘DAP is established on the ideology to disappear the names of bumiputera, pribumi and Malay’ in a ceramah, while Member of Parliament of Pasir Salak, Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, accused that Christians have taken over Putrajaya and will use the political platform to spread Christianity,” said Bersih 20.
The watchdog complained that EC have yet to take any action against the perpetrators in the contest for the Selangor state seat.
Bersih 2.0 also urged the EC to beef up its enforcement team so it can monitor campaign activities like ceramah, feasts, and giving out of goodies, instead of confining itself to removing illegal campaign materials.
Bersih 2.0 said it would deploy 18 observers in both the Balakong and Seri Setia by-election campaigns that kicked off today.