Five PD candidates sign Bersih pledge to ensure free and fair polls – Nation

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Five PD candidates sign Bersih pledge to ensure free and fair polls - Nation


PORT DICKSON: Five of the seven candidates in the Port Dickson by-election have signed a pledge to support free and fair polls.

The two candidates who did not sign the pledge by electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 were former Negri Sembilan mentri besar Tan Sri Isa Samad and Lt Kol (Rtd) Mohd Nazari Mokhtar of PAS.

Those who signed it were PKR president-elect Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Anwar’s ex-aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, Stevie Chan Keng Leong, Lau Seck Yan and Kan Chee Yuen.

Bersih 2.0 acting chairperson Shahrul Aman Mohd Saari said he was glad the candidates supported the pledge and expressed hopes that such initiatives would be taken seriously by all Malaysians.

“We don’t want the culture of intimidation, money politics and usage of government machinery to continue.

“In Malaysian culture, I think we are too used to (politicians) organising dinner events or giving us gifts (during elections), but we must realise that this reduces the integrity of any election,” he said at a press conference on Friday (Oct 5) that was also attended by Bersih 2.0 executive director Yap Swee Seng.

Independent candidate Saiful said some candidates had already violated the pledge, especially regarding the use of government machinery.

“One candidate has even used the army as a platform to speak to them, even using official vehicles.

“Even mosques are used as venues to give speeches, so it’s a clear violation,” he said without naming anyone.

Stevie Chan said he agreed with Saiful’s observation that not all candidates were playing by the rules.

“Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told voters that he would secure two private projects for Port Dickson if he won – a 5-star hotel and an airline training programme.

“On Oct 4, he launched a free online tuition programme for Port Dickson, but the website is linked to ezLearn2u, which has been running the same programme with the assistance of the Perak state government.

“I am disappointed that such blatant attempts to ‘buy’ votes are being employed,” he said.

In response to this, Shahrul said Bersih did not agree with such moves and hoped that government agencies and officers would pay attention to such matters and avoid getting involved in such programmes or events.

He said it was not right to create circumstances that was seen as giving an unfair advantage to one candidate over another.

“We realise that this culture has been part of the previous government… to serve the government of the day is to serve the political party of the day.

“We hope this will be rejected and people will know the differences between activities organised by parties and government,” he said.

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