KUCHING, May 6 — On the eve of polling day, election watchdog Pemantau Sarawak expressed concern over what it alleged has been massive money politics at work in the Tasik Biru constituency since campaigning for the state election kicked off on April 25.
According to one of its team members Lena Hendry, residents recounted being given money to attend certain political events and even told whom to vote.
“There were multiple reports by local residents of being given RM20 to RM50 for attending political events and told to vote for a certain candidate,” she told reporters here today.
She said Pemantau team members also witnessed people receiving RM30 each after attending one such political event.
“When interviewed, some of the recipients were disappointed as they were told that they would receive RM50 each,” she said.
Lena also claimed that villagers at Kampung Duyuh were told that tourism promotions may be withheld for their Dayak Bidayuh longhouse if they did not vote for the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Henry Harry Jinep.
She further claimed the Federal Ministry of Agriculture had also organised events where sewing machines, ovens, rice bags, harvesting tools and water tanks were distributed to many villagers in the Tasik Biru constituency.
“Such events always ended with calls to the villagers to vote for the Barisan Nasional or else, they would not receive such assistance in future,” she said.
Lena said Pemantau team members had noted that, for certain candidates, the costs incurred for one event alone could not possibly have been held without violating the expenditure limit of RM100,000 as allowed by section 19 of the Election Offences Act 1954.
She said Election Commission officers were present at certain events and were seen to take no action or comment to the candidates towards any of the election offences witnessed by Pemantau team members.
Tasik Biru will see a straight fight between the BN’s Henry and DAP’s Mordi Bimol.