(This story first appeared in Free Malaysia Today)
KUCHING: Sarawak PKR Chief Baru Bian calls on the Election Commission and Malaysian Anti-corruption Commission to immediately investigate an allegation that Barisan Nasional had resorted to vote-buying to the win the Bawan Assan seat.
Bian was commenting on a news item on 100 Ibans who stormed the SUPP Office in Sibu on Monday demanding that they be paid the balance of RM400 each.
The natives from two longhouses of Rumah Chandi and Rumah Pasang claimed that they were given RM100 as an upfront payment before voting day and promised another RM400 for each voter after the election.
It is understood they have been paid the RM400.
But Ibans from another longhouse are also claiming the same amount.
Asked to comment on this, Bian said: “This is solid evidence that the BN won by ‘rasuah’ whereas we in Pakatan Rakyat lost but retained our ‘meruah’.
“This appears to be the practice everywhere including N70 Ba’Kelalan,” said Bian who was elected as assemblyman for Ba’Kelalan.
“I demand EC and MACC to investigate immediately. This is proof of our fear in the first place that this election would be the dirtiest
“We want to see how neutral and effective EC and MACC are,” he said.
Meanwhile, the chairman of Sibu SUPP Bumiputra committee Andrew Shilling denied the allegations and accused DAP and Sibu Election Watch (SEW) of making ‘absurd’ claim.
“It is very absurd, not true and baseless to say we were distributing RM400 election money to 100 Ibans as reported,” he said, claiming that the accusations had damaged the reputation of the Ibans and they are considering taking legal action.
Shilling, who is a political secretary to the Chief Minister, admitted however that he met 18 longhouse chiefs and representatives of village development and security committee (JKKK) at the SUPP headquarters on Monday to discuss payment of wages for election workers.
He said that the group of people who assembled on the ground floor of the headquarters had nothing to do with the party.
“They could be supporters of the opposition parties,” he said.
SUPP-BN candidate Wong Soon Koh was re-elected to the Bawan Assan constituency defeating DAP candidate Alice Lau Kiong Yieng with a majority of 1,808 votes.
Wong secured 7,316 votes as against 5,508 votes by Alice Lau.
The constituency has 16,743 voters, out of which 5,834 are Iban voters.
It is said that Wong’s victory was due to the strong support given by the Ibans.