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The Election Commission and MACC should take action against Najib Razak for his blatant attempt at vote-buying on the Sibu by-election eve. The position is compounded by the seriousness of the offence committed by no country bumpkin, but a prime minister, observes Karpal Singh.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, on the eve of the polling in relation to the Sibu by-election offered RM5 million to solve Rejang Park’s drainage problem if the Barisan Nasional’s Robert Lau Hui Yew won. He said this when addressing 3,000 people at a ceramah in Rejang Park.
He said this,
“I wanted to come and see for myself what problem you have and if Robert Lau wins the seat, you will all see a new beginning.
“I want to make a deal with you. Can we have an understanding? The understanding is quite simple. I help you, you help me.
“Do we have a deal or not? We do! You want the RM5 million, I want Robert Lau to win. If Robert Lau becomes the MP on Sunday (16 May 2010), on Monday I’ll ask the cheque to be prepared.”
What the Prime Minister uttered in Sibu on Saturday night, 15 May 2010, clearly, amounts to an offence under Section 10 (a) of the Election Offences Act, 1954, the relevant parts of which read,
‘The following persons shall be deemed guilty of the offence of bribery:
(a) every person who, before, during or after an election, who directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, gives, lends, or agrees to give or lend, or offers, promises, or promises to procure or to endeavour to procure, any money or valuable consideration to or for any elector or voter, or to or for any person on behalf of any elector or voter or to or for any other person, in order to induce any elector or voter to voter or refrain from voting, or corruptly does any such acts as aforesaid on account of such elector or voter having voted or refrained from voting at any election’
The abovementioned offence is made punisable under Section 11(1)(b), the relevant part of which reads,
‘Section 11. Punishment and incapacities for corrupt practice.
(1) Every person who-
(b) commits the offence of treating, undue influence or bribery;
shall be guilty of a corrupt practice, and shall, on conviction by a Sessions Court, be liable, in the case referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b), to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years and to a fine of not less than one thousand ringgit and not more than five thousand ringgit, and, in any other case, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year and to a fine not exceeding two thousand ringgit. Offences under paragraphs (a) and (b) shall be seizable offences within the meaning of the Criminal Procedure Code.’
In view of the seriousness of the offence committed by no country bumpkin, but a prime minister, the position is compounded a thousand-fold.
I call upon the Chairman of the Election Commission to spring into action immediately and lodge a police report. The MACC should also take the necessary action.
The fact that Najib is the Prime Minister should have no bearing on the matter. The law is no respecter of persons. It does not discriminate. Anyone however high, must be treated without fear or favour.
Karpal Singh is a Member of Parliament