Bersih 2.0 accuses Miri MP of election offence in Rantau

Bersih 2.0 cited a news report by Bernama that Teo gave food coupons amounting to RM75,000 to 300 students in the constituency at the behest of PH candidate Dr S. Streram. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Bersih 2.0 cited a news report by Bernama that Teo gave food coupons amounting to RM75,000 to 300 students in the constituency at the behest of PH candidate Dr S. Streram. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Election watchdog Bersih 2.0 has accused Miri MP Michael Teo of “treating” in Rantau ahead of the by-election, which would constitute an election offence.

The group cited a news report by Bernama that Teo gave food coupons amounting to RM75,000 to 300 students in the constituency at the behest of Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Dr S. Streram.

“Bersih 2.0 is of the opinion that all forms of treating, undue influence, bribery and promotion of ill-will and hostility constitute an election offence,” it said in a statement.

“We wish to point out that Section 8 of the Election Offences Act 1954 (EOA) clearly states that it is an election offence of treating for anyone to give food, drink, refreshment, provision, money, ticket or any other means for the purpose of corruptly influencing any person to vote at an election.”

It pointed out that since the Rantau by-election’s date has long been decided, any unscheduled activities were carried out for the sole purpose of fishing for votes.

“It would be reasonable to assume that all unscheduled political activities that are carried out in the constituency are done for the purpose of fishing for votes,” it said.

“Especially so with Dr Streram in attendance. Nonetheless, it is entirely up to the relevant authorities to act on such alleged offences and for the Court to interpret the election law.”

Tomorrow is the Nomination Day for the Rantau by-election, where Dr Streram is expected to face Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan. Voting is on April 13.