Loke: BN used race card, ‘old tactic’ to win Cameron Highlands seat

Transport Minister Anthony Loke at a press conference in Putrajaya January 4, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Transport Minister Anthony Loke at a press conference in Putrajaya January 4, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 — DAP National Organising Secretary Anthony Loke said the Barisan Nasional (BN) victory in Cameron Highlands by-election stemmed from racial sentiments which was an old tactic used by the former federal ruling coalition.

Loke had told reporters that the strategy utilised by BN can trigger misunderstanding among the public against Pakatan Harapan (PH), particularly DAP who had fielded their candidate M. Manogaran to try and wrest the federal seat.

Speaking to the press after donating RM310,000 to NGOs in Nilai, he also criticised PAS for joining forces with Umno and utilising race-based and religious issues to win votes.

“Previously it was Umno who loved to play up racial and religious issues but now PAS has followed suit. PH is a multi-racial party who fights for all Malaysians regardless of race and religion.

“Our policies take into account racial and religious diversity and the position of Islam as the official religion as enacted in the Federal Constitution which no one can dispute,” said the Seremban MP.

The Transport Minister also pointed out that the by-election has proven that the current PH-led administration is different from the previous administration due to the support shown by members of the security forces to BN candidate Ramli Mohd Nor.

Ramli, who is also the first Orang Asli MP, had previously served in the police force and held the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) before retirement.

“This clearly shows under PH, democracy is practised widely and we respect the people’s decisions.

“The early votes that saw majority security forces had also voted in favour of BN also clearly shows how today’s government does not put pressure and gives them the freedom to cast their votes.

“We also congratulate Ramli who became the first Orang Asli representative to the Parliament,” Loke said.

Prior to the 14th General Election, it was considered an open secret that members of the security services would cast their ballot for the government's candidate instead of the opposition.

The Cameron Highlands by-election saw Ramli Mohd Nor taking the seat with 12,038 votes beating DAP's Manogaran who claimed 8,800 votes, which is less than the 9,710 votes he received in the 14th General Elections last year.

Independent candidates Sallehudin Ab Talib had received 314 votes and Wong Seng Yee had gotten 276 votes.