Apologise for Cameron Highlands bribery, Kit Siang tells Najib after PKR senator allegedly threatens voters

The Cameron Highlands by-election is scheduled to take place on January 26. — Picture by Azneal Ishak
The Cameron Highlands by-election is scheduled to take place on January 26. — Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang told Datuk Seri Najib Razak today to apologise for Barisan Nasional’s (BN) alleged bribery that triggered the Cameron Highlands by-election, even as a Pakatan Harapan (PH) senator allegedly threatened Orang Asli village chiefs to support the federal government’s candidate.

Lim noted that former BN chairman Najib intended to campaign in the Cameron Highlands by-election together with Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail this coming Friday and Saturday.

“The first thing that Najib should do when he campaigns for BN in the Cameron Highlands by-election on Friday and Saturday is to apologise to the voters of Cameron Highlands for the BN money politics and the corrupt election practices in the last general election which resulted in the election result of the 14th general election on May 9, 2018, to be declared null and void by the election court, causing the present by-election.

“Najib’s appearance at the BN by-election campaign is the proper occasion for the Pahang Mentri Besar who is also the Assemblyman for Jelai, Wan Rosdy, to explain why he failed to appear before the election court to testify and rebut earlier testimony of BN money politics and corrupt election practices by Orang Asli witnesses although the election court hearing was postponed three times for Wan Rosdy to do so,” Lim said in a statement to the press today.

The Iskandar Puteri MP highlighted testimonies recorded in court that claimed several Tok Batin (village heads) were required to deliver Orang Asli votes for BN from their respective community.

Lim further claimed that that Wan Rosdy and the former Cameron Highlands MP Datuk C. Sivarraajh, who lost his seat when the Election Court found evidence of bribery in the 14th general election, had even distributed RM25,000 to Orang Asli voters in their respective villages, apart from a payment of RM200 to each Tok Batin on May 6 last year.

Lim’s claims, however, came off a recent remark by PKR senator Bob Manolan Mohd at a dialogue with village chiefs in Jelai. The latter allegedly threatened Orang Asli village chiefs in Cameron Highlands last Friday to vote for PH or risk losing their salaries and posts.

Bob Manolan denied issuing the threat, but news portal Malaysiakini then released an audio recording of him saying at the dialogue, “tak sokong, kita buang” (If you don’t support, we will remove you) and “mana batin-batin yang tak sokong kerajaan, kita tak bayar gaji dia (Whichever village chiefs who don’t support the government, we won’t pay their salaries).”