Make a report – EC says after Bersih complains about PN’s half-priced groceries

PN’s sale of potatoes, chicken, eggs, and Milo under fire.

The Election Commission (EC) said a report should be lodged if people believe that an election offence had been committed in the run-up to the Malacca polls.

The commission said this when asked to respond to Bersih’s complaint against a Perikatan Nasional (PN) programme where it sold grocery items at half price in conjunction with the state election.

“Any activities that allegedly breach any provisions under the Election offences Act 1954, before, during, or after an election, should be reported to the relevant authorities such as the police and MACC for further action,” the EC told Malaysiakini.

Bersih had zoomed in on PN’s Gerai Prihatin Rakyat events with the next session scheduled to be held in Kampung Jus Permai, Selandar, and Pantai Klebang tomorrow (Oct 30).

“Bersih 2.0 would like to remind that this type of activity is an election offence under Section 8 of the Act, involving the direct or indirect distribution of food, drinks or supplies, whether prior, during or after an election with the intention to secure votes.

“Even though the Gerai Prihatin Rakyat does not directly distribute food, drinks or supplies, the items were still sold at great discounts and this could influence voters in favour of candidates from the organising parties,” it had said.

Social media posters for the grocery sale featured Malacca PN chairperson Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen, together with Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin.

The electoral reform group added that the Election Offences Act 1954 came into effect as soon as the Malacca state assembly was dissolved.

The dissolution took place on Oct 4 and was gazetted on Oct 5. Nomination day is set for Nov 8 while polling day will take place on Nov 20.

According to the event’s promotional material, four selected items – 2kg potatoes, one whole chicken, one carton of eggs, and one 200g Milo packet – worth RM33 will be sold at RM15 to one member from households earning below RM4,000.

Bersih warned organisers, including Rafiq, Muhyiddin, and the company supplying the items, that the Election Offences Act provides for up to two years imprisonment or a fine of between RM1,000 and RM5,000.

By : LOW CHOON CHYUAN – MALAYSIAKINI

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