KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Monday (Jan 14) that Pakatan Harapan (PH) has not engaged in vote-buying during the Cameron Highlands by-election.
“Pakatan Harapan has never given money to anyone (to win votes),” he said when approached by reporters.
He said, however, that the PH government provided financial aid to the people.
“If the government has to provide the (development allocation) money, it will do so. Everybody gets that,” he said.
Dr Mahathir was asked to comment on an allegation made through the circulation of several photographs on social media that PH had engaged in vote-buying in the ongoing Cameron Highlands parliamentary by-election, polling for which is on Jan 26.
PH has since clarified that RM20 (US$4.87) was given to Orang Asli volunteers to reimburse them for petrol costs.
It added that the reimbursement will be declared as part of election expenses by its candidate, Mr M Manogaran, 60.
The by-election will see Mr Manogaran, who is Pahang’s Democratic Action Party deputy chairman and PH's representative, taking on former senior police officer Ramli Mohd Nor, 61, from Barisan Nasional (BN).
Former lecturer Sallehudin Ab Talib, 61, and farmer Wong Seng Yee, 40 are also in the running as independent candidates.
THOSE WHO WITNESS WRONGDOING SHOULD NOTIFY POLICE: ANWAR
Meanwhile, Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s president Anwar Ibrahim said those who witnessed wrongdoings should report the matter to the authorities.
“If there is any wrongdoing, please lodge a police report. There will always be elements – both internal and external – that will pervert our fight for democracy,” he tweeted on Monday.
“We have to work together to overcome these."
The by-election was triggered after the former lawmaker for Cameron Highlands had to vacate his seat after it was found that voters were induced to vote for BN during the May 2018 general election.
Cameron Highlands has been a BN stronghold for more than 60 years.