Polls watchdog reiterates S’wak vote-buying claim

By Lee Way Loon | Malaysiakini

Watchdog Sibu Election Watch (SEW) has refuted SUPP’s claim that the party had only been paying wages to Ibans who had gathered in front of its Sibu office on Monday.

SEW reiterated that their allegation of vote-buying against SUPP was based on what they saw and their interviews with more than 10 individuals at the scene.

Group coordinator Boney Wong who had conducted the probe with another colleague, told Malaysiakini that they had visited the site and interviewed the group before issuing a press statement on the incident.

She said the interviewees never mentioned they were there to collect wages from SUPP, or that they had worked for the party during the election campaign.

“What they told us was that they got (an upfront payment of) RM100 before voting day and that, if the BN candidate won, they would each be paid another RM400.

“So they came to SUPP office to collect the money after being told to do so,” she said when contacted today.

Wong said some of the people also told SEW that, if the BN candidate won the state election, all the registered voters could claim the “balance” of RM400 with their identity card.

“Coincidently, there was a lady there who took out a stack of RM100 bills from her bag and distributed the money, together with some ICs, to her friends.”

She said the woman seemed unaware of the presence of SEW members and distributed the money without any attempt to hide what she was doing.

Wong said the woman’s actions matched with the content of the interviews with the people there.

“We uphold our stand because this is what we saw.”

‘Wages for party workers’

On Monday, SEW had issued a press statement revealing that more than 100 voters had gone to the Sibu SUPP headquarters that morning to demand RM400 each, as the reward promised for backing its candidates in the recent state election.

The incident was also reported by the web portal Sarawak Indigenous Community News and later tweeted by Sarawak DAP chairman and Bukit Assek assemblyperson Wong Ho Leng, who was at the scene yesterday.

However, in a Bernama report, SUPP Bumiputera unit head Andrew Shiling (right) refuted the report yesterday, claiming that about 18 longhouse chiefs and their respective longhouse committee members had come to the office for a discussion.

“We also took the opportunity to pay them wages as they had worked for us during the election,” said Shiling, who is also a vice-chairperson of the Sibu branch.

Malaysiakini had contacted Sibu SUPP yesterday for comment but was told that Shiling was in a meeting.

Its publicity chief, Daniel Ngieng, refused to comment, claiming that he was not aware of the incident.

Attempts to contact Sibu SUPP head Wong Soon Koh had also failed.

However, Soon Koh posted five messages on his social networking website Facebook page to rebut the allegation, saying that Ho Leng and Malaysiakini have defamed the party.

Another message was later posted on his Facebook fanpage, demanding that web portals should explain the reports or they would face legal action from SUPP.

“After consulting a legal expert, we give the Internet media 48 hours to explain the ‘no basis’ report.” reads the message.

“If they still insist on a one-sided report, we will not rule out taking legal action against these media black sheep.”

  1. #1 by balance88 on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 - 6:26 pm

    There are always 2 sides to a coin depending on how you see things. SUPP’s claim of wage payment is laughable and a real test of the people’s intelligence. Either SUPP is stupid or the people are stupid. This certainly qualifies for the Comedy of the Year award & also the most creative excuse of the year award on par with the “he looks like me, he sounds like me but it is not me” joke!

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 - 6:36 pm

    Thats a new perspective. It means that everytime if (thereotically) I as a political candidate were to bribe voters by handouts to vote for me – thus committing an electoral offence that would, if proven invalidate and vititate my seat won as a result of such an act – I could always defend myself by saying that no offence had been committed, and that I had paid them wages for temporary jobs as campaigners during campaign period.

    This being the case if I have the money resources I would (before election) hire all voters in my constitutency contested to be campaigners, and they would naturally vote for their employer (albeit a temporary one)!

  3. #3 by monsterball on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 - 6:46 pm

    Sure they are wages…just as that RM500 million caught with pants down is commission.
    Sex pt 2 released few hours ago and you tube. I watched it…and it is so clear…it is not Anwar at all.
    Just watch that man puting his pants on…and watch frame by frame…and you can see that man is not Anwar.
    What kind of creatures ..Najib and Rosmah are bringing down Anwar this way.
    I guess…Atlantuya ghost is pricking their conscience day and night..with 13th GE completed…Najib is finished….regardless whatever the result is.

  4. #4 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 - 8:03 pm

    I think the Ibans were paid for hunting the chickens,birds,wild boars,deers,monkeys and variety more for the makan-makan campaigns before Sarawak election.Ya,after realised the market price for meats had gone up,the Ibans went back to SUPP to bargain and to claim extra allowances before another anticipated election.I got it!

  5. #5 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 - 8:15 pm

    Sibu SUPP head should not insult people’s intelligence.

  6. #6 by Not spoon fed on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 - 9:30 pm

    How wonderful to see Taib was hugged by old folks in Sarawak!

    Penang chief minister was hugged by a muslim old folk (on 24/4/2011) after receiving state surplus (financial assistance).

    This photo is only published in Chinese daily: http://mykampung.sinchew.com.my/node/139126?tid=4

    Never before Gerakan and UMNO and MCA and MIC have ever return state surplus back to residents.

    According to Transparency International, corruption will cause people of a nation to be poor. Top listing least corrupted Singapore recently returned thousands dollar back to residents. A shame to our country with so much natural resources…

    See illicit money taken out from Malaysia from 2000 to 2008, reported by Global Financial Integrity : US$261 billions: http://iff-update.gfip.org/

  7. #7 by Loh on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 - 9:54 pm

    SUPP can certainly pay wages to voters in their constituency to work on voting if the election law does not forbid voter receiving wages. That is why in some countries there is a limit to how much a candidate can spend in election campaigning.

    SUPP pays wages up front. But UMNO share national wealth with Malay voters, and non-voters among the Malays get the fringe benefits, through government policies that discriminate against the minority groups whose votes are not needed. Is that not corruption?

    Of course when Malays learn about corruption in government and chose to be religious, non-Malay’s votes were needed. UMNO got non-Malays’ votes through threat of a repeat of riots. The eunuch among the non-Malays kept Mamakthir in power in 1999.

  8. #8 by boh-liao on Thursday, 28 April 2011 - 3:36 am

    Ha, ha, SUPP very pandai ooh, never refuses 2 make $$ out of any situation
    Instead of takut, SUPP is contemplating taking legal action against Ho Leng n Malaysiakini

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