KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — DAP’s Liew Chin Tong claimed today that Putrajaya is transporting armed forces personnel to a camp under construction in Sembrong, Johor, which is Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s federal seat.
Liew, who is Kluang MP, made the allegation in response to Hishammuddin’s denial that the government was allegedly building camps in key constituencies that Barisan Nasional (BN) won with thin majorities in the 13th general election.
“The minister said that if they had wanted to win ‘I would have built a camp in Sembrong’.
“Well there is actually a camp that is under construction there in Paloh, which is under the Sembrong constituency,” Liew told press conference at the party’s headquarters here.
“The camp will have over 1,000 personnel, according to information. In Paloh, the DAP lost only by a few hundred votes,” the DAP leader added.
In 2013, DAP’s Shanker Rengganathan lost to BN’s Teoh Yap Kun by a slim 103 majority.
Liew also said he expects the armed personnel transfer to Paloh to appear in this year’s fourth quarter’s voter roll.
The MP said he has asked the minister to clarify the matter and deny the presence of the camp there.
The Paloh camp is one of the six new Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) camps under construction in Perak, Johor, Pahang and Sabah, according to news reports.
ATM chief General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Mohamed Noor told the press in September that the new camps in Lahad Datu and Kota Belud were meant to beef up border security, while the remaining camps in Bagan Datoh and Segamat were needed due to overcrowding in other placements.
Shortly after, polls watchdog Bersih 2.0 raised alarm over the camps, claiming its investigations found military personnel and their spouses had been transferred and registered as voters when the new placements were yet to be completed.
Under election laws, only residents with a fixed address are eligible to vote.
Opposition leaders have since mobilised supporters to file objections and lodge formal complaints with the Election Commission (EC) in a bid to block the transfers, but claimed the regulator have either dismissed or disqualified them on flimsy grounds.
In the same press conference here, DAP legal bureau secretary Michelle Ng Mei Sze alleged procedural bias in the Objection Hearing, claiming the EC were often quick to reject evidence produced by complainants in their objections, while representatives of the armed forces were given leeway.
“As a body that has been tasked with the sacred duty of ensuring that Malaysian maintains a representative democracy, that each Malaysian has an equal voice, the EC must ensure that it performs its duty in a manner that is beyond reproach,” she said.