CAMERON HIGHLANDS, Jan 13 – Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate M. Manogaran said today he was only made aware of allegations that Orang Asli volunteers received money from the pact after seeing the photos on social media this morning.
“I was not there and I just came to know about it this morning. We will investigate and issue an appropriate response. I need to find out what had actually happened,” he told reporters when met at the Perkampungan Orang Asli Sungai Relong in Pos Menson here.
“I did not arrange for such thing and I also did not know how it happen. Give me some time to check the details, because after the nomination I went to Sungai Koyan,” he added.
Pictures of a woman in a PH shirt giving cash to other people wearing the same shirt have emerged on social media, sparking claims from Barisan Nasional leaders that the ruling coalition was engaged in bribery in the election.
DAP’s Lim Kit Siang has since admitted that the woman is a volunteer from DAP’s Impian Malaysia programme doing voluntary social work nationwide, and 60 Orang Asli motorcyclists were paid RM20 per head.
Arvind Bharet, assistant head of the Jelai PH operation centre, has also said its campaign was simply “reimbursing” PH volunteers for petrol costs, and the spending was declared as part of election expense.
Election watchdogs have previously said in their report on the 13th general election that bribery included cash, and travel allowances or reimbursements.
Election Commission chairman Azhar Harun also clarified that only the court can decide whether the travel “reimbursement” is an election offence, urging the public to report any alleged wrongdoings so the facts can be ascertained.