KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — Online news portal Malaysiakini released an audio clip after a PKR senator denied that he told Orang Asli village heads in Cameron Highlands that they will lose their salaries and posts if they do not vote for the government in the parliamentary constituency’s upcoming by-election.
Malaysiakini released the audio clip and the full transcript after Bob Manolan Mohd denied he made such a statement.
Based on the audio clip during a dialogue session between Pakatan Harapan (PH) legislators and 18 village chiefs in Pos Betau, Manolan said the salaries of the chiefs were paid by the government, hence why they needed to support it.
“No support, we get rid (of them) (tak sokong, kita buang),” he said.
Manolan, who is Orang Asli himself, went on to say chiefs who do not support the government will not be paid.
“Whichever chiefs who do not support the government, we will not pay, correct! (Mana batin-batin yang tak sokong kerajaan kita tak bayar gaji dia, betul!)
“We pay their salary but they do not support us, what for should we do so, (Kita bayar gaji dia, dia tak sokong kita, buat apa kita bayar gaji dia)” he said.
Malaysiakini was the first to report Manolan’s remarks but he released a statement in which he claimed he was misquoted and instead said he meant the chiefs should not be tied with Umno while being paid their salaries by the government as this would be a conflict of interest.
His remarks were met with anger and disappointment by the chiefs, and also resulted in other figures including PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who urged Manolan to clarify his stance immediately.
Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 said the senator should be brought to court if the remarks are proven to be true.