Rantau by-election: Bersih says Melaka ex-CM’s goat feast promise is bribery

Bersih 2.0 has called upon the MACC to investigate former Melaka chief minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron for allegedly committing an election offence during the Rantau by-election. — Bernama pic
Bersih 2.0 has called upon the MACC to investigate former Melaka chief minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron for allegedly committing an election offence during the Rantau by-election. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 has called upon the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate former Melaka chief minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron for allegedly committing an election offence during the Rantau by-election.

Bersih 2.0 said Idris’ promise to sponsor two goats for a feast in Taman Angsamas in the Angsa Emas polling district during a ceramah was tantamount to bribery.

“Bersih 2.0 calls on the MACC to investigate this election offence of bribery by interviewing those who were present at the ceramah at Angsa Emas and the reporters who covered the event.

“Action should be taken and the court should have the opportunity to hear such cases so that precedents could be established to provide legal guidance on election offences,” its steering committee said in a statement here.

Yesterday, Idris had promised to sponsor two goats for a feast for voters in Angsa Emas if Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan obtained at least a 300-vote majority in the polling district.

He later told Election Commission officers monitoring the ceramah that he did not intend to give the goats now but only after Mohamad has won.

According to Bersih 2.0, Idris had allegedly committed an offence under Section 10© of the Election Offences Act 1954 for bribery.

“Section 10 states that ‘anyone’ can commit an election offence and it is not limited to a candidate. It should also be noted that recipients of a corrupt act are also liable to be charged.

“Though the act of throwing the feast is after the election, the corrupt intent started during the campaign period,” it said.

On the promise of providing a goat after the by-election, Bersih 2.0 said it was still an offence as Section 10 applied to “before, during, or after” an election, as long as a clear link can be proven between the act and the intent to induce voters.

“This element of conditional promise differentiates it from the offence of treating.

“If he fulfils the promise by providing a feast after the election, it would then be Section 8 for the offence of treating,” it said.

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