Pakatan leaders press-wary after getting multiple compounds

Coalition’s parties, candidates fined on several occasions since campaigning started

MELAKA : Press members travelling one hour from the city centre to the state constituency of Rim hoping to get comments from Pakatan Harapan (PH) top guns on the Melaka election were met by disappointment after the leaders refused to speak, fearing compounds by the authorities.

Such is the worry among the opposition leaders as they practise extra caution when conducting any activities to avoid being fined. 

It is understood that PH parties and candidates have been issued compounds on multiple occasions since the start of the campaigning this week. 

Met at a food stall in Felda Kemendor under the Rim constituency, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng all avoided speaking to the press, saying they do not want to be fined for breaching the government’s standard operating procedures. 

“You all want a press conference? If you want a press conference, if there is a compound, you have to help pay. I don’t want to pay another RM10,000,” Anwar said in jest, before leaving in his vehicle.

PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (right) says he does not want to pay another RM10,000 if Pakatan Harapan were to conduct a press conference in Melaka. – ALIF OMAR/The Vibes pic

Mohamad, or more commonly known as Mat Sabu, similarly expressed concern, saying: “I can’t speak. RM4,000 (compound). I don’t have money.” 

Earlier, Lim was also heard saying press conferences are not allowed to be held throughout the campaign period. 

An invitation had previously been issued to selected media informing the movement of the PH leaders today. 

Among others present at the event were Upko president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, Melaka PH chairman Adly Zahari, and Rim PH candidate Prasanth Kumar Brakasan. 

Since nomination day on Monday, various PH events have been “ambushed” by the authorities, with a number of compounds already issued to its candidates. 

On Wednesday, its manifesto launch was delayed after police paid a visit to the venue. Interestingly, Barisan Nasional, which also launched its manifesto earlier that day in a smaller venue, did not face any problems with the authorities

At the same period, a PH candidate was fined RM4,000 for wearing a jacket bearing the coalition’s logo while campaigning for the election in Kampung Melaka Pindah. 

Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil yesterday tweeted the compound that was issued against a PH candidate.

In his Twitter post, the compound was said to be issued on Thursday at 11am in Warung Kak Pah, Kg Melaka Pindah.

The fine valued at RM4,000 mentioned that the offence committed is as follows: “Candidate uses jacket with Pakatan Harapan logo while campaigning for the Melaka election.”

According to PKR Youth chief Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir, in Rim alone, PH has already been issued three compounds amounting to RM12,000 so far, some for questionable reasons, including for gathering over three people to put up party flags and hand out pamphlets. 

“We see this as more of an attempt to restrict our campaigning than to avoid a Covid-19 surge. 

Akmal Nasrullah also expressed concern that other party machineries and grassroots members might use PH’s name when conducting their election activities, with fines later issued to the opposition coalition.

By : Amar Shah Mohsen – THE VIBES

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