Extensive vote-buying in Sabah polls, says electoral watchdog

Bersih 2.0 has 59 reports of election misconduct by all political parties

KOTA KINABALU – Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 today highlighted the prevalence of vote-buying activities during the Sabah polls last month.

The watchdog said the majority of these offenses were committed by Warisan Plus and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS).   

In a statement, Bersih 2.0 said it had recorded 59 observation reports on election misconduct.

It said the Warisan Plus coalition (Warisan-DAP-PKR-Upko-Amanah) had 22 reports of election offenses while GRS (Barisan Nasional-Pakatan National-PBS) had 18 and the rest committed by other parties.

Bersih 2.0 observers received reports on bribery offenses, vote-buying and distribution of cash in villages

The watchdog also reported the misuse of government assets and resources despite the watchdog’s criticism during every election.  

It said the caretaker government should not use governmental assets during the campaign period.  

Observers also recorded gift-giving offenses, adding that voting and transportation activities on polling day were common. 

Bersih has called on the Election Commission (EC) to be strict on enforcing election laws.

“The EC has managed to ensure election officials follow health SOPs, such as the use of face masks, hand sanitisation and disinfection of polling stations every two hours. 

“There are still shortcomings that need to be improved, such as unsuitable polling centres that don’t have Covid-19 screening tents.”

It added there were many voters who took pictures of their ballot papers to display on their social media accounts.  

“This may be an offense under Section 5 (Maintaining Confidentiality) of the Election Offenses Act.”

The Vibes

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