‘Reimbursement’ an election offence, disqualified Cameron Highlands MP insists

MIC vice-president Datuk C. Sivarraajh has claimed today that giving out reimbursements during an election is still considered an offence, after criticising Pakatan Harapan for allegedly giving out cash during campaigning. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
MIC vice-president Datuk C. Sivarraajh has claimed today that giving out reimbursements during an election is still considered an offence, after criticising Pakatan Harapan for allegedly giving out cash during campaigning. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — MIC vice-president Datuk C. Sivarraajh has claimed today that giving out reimbursements during an election is still considered an offence, after criticising Pakatan Harapan (PH) for allegedly giving out cash during campaigning.

Sivaraajh, who was Cameron Highlands MP before the result was nullified due to corrupt practices during the general election, questioned today the explanation given and added his office will be lodging a report against the incident.

“Is giving reimbursements allowed during a campaign? It’s an election offense.

“It’s supposed to be a clean election,” Sivarraajh told Malay Mail.

Arvind Bharet, the assistant head of PH’s base of operations in Jelai sent a statement claiming the money was reimbursements for volunteers who came from rural areas in Tanah Rata, with their own motorcycles, on the day the candidates for the Cameron Highlands by election was to be announced.

Bharet claimed all reimbursements are part of the election cost and they have done followed the rule of law.

Sivaraajh however was not convinced with the reasoning.

“How are they going to prove that all of them are their volunteers? Even in my case it was for volunteers and not for the voters. Also I wasn’t the one giving out the money. It was others but they claimed it was ‘graft money’,” he asked.

“It’s the same here as be it RM50 or RM10 how do you justify giving out money when the candidates there? This is obviously an election offense and I’ve instructed my guys to make a police report.”

The Election Commission (EC) barred the former Cameron Highlands MP from contesting or voting in any election for five years, after the election court disqualified him as lawmaker upon discovering bribery during the 14th general election campaign.

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