Kit Siang wants BN, Pakatan to issue Cameron Highlands expense reports

Candidates for the Cameron Highlands by-election (from left) Sallehudin Ab Talib, Wong Seng Yee,  Ramli Mohd Noor and M. Manogaran pose for a group picture at the nomination center at SMK Sultan Ahmad Shah January 12, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Candidates for the Cameron Highlands by-election (from left) Sallehudin Ab Talib, Wong Seng Yee, Ramli Mohd Noor and M. Manogaran pose for a group picture at the nomination center at SMK Sultan Ahmad Shah January 12, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang challenged Barisan Nasional (BN) today to join Pakatan Harapan (PH) in making daily declarations of campaign expenditure in the Cameron Highlands race.

The veteran DAP leader also said the Election Commission (EC) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) could be invited to monitor both campaigns every day, with BN and PH operation centres submitting daily itineraries.

“With such an arrangement, and the daily report of the election expenditure of the candidates, I have no doubt that we will be introducing an innovation which will ensure free, clean and fair election practices in Malaysia, but the whole world as well!” Lim said in a statement.

The Iskandar Puteri MP said both BN and PH candidates — Ramli Mohd Noor and M. Manogaran respectively — should submit a daily report of campaign expenses in each of the 30 polling districts in the Pahang parliament seat.

He also challenged Ramli to reveal how much BN spent on nomination day, claiming that PH’s expenses were a “pittance” in comparison.

Lim defended PH’s “reimbursement” of petrol costs for some 60 Orang Asli volunteers at RM20 each, whom he said travelled on motorbike from the remote villages of Jelai to Tanah Rata last Saturday on nomination day.

“In actual fact, these were honest and legitimate election expenditures,” he said.

PH was embroiled in controversy after pictures emerged on social media of a woman in a PH shirt giving out cash to other people in similar dress, which the PH campaign later said was a reimbursement of petrol costs for volunteers living in Cameron Highlands.

PH supporters and election watchdog Bersih say that reimbursing campaign volunteers for expenses is not an offence, but BN leaders insist that volunteers should not be paid and questioned if all voters would be made “party machinery” to make money politics acceptable.