Home Coalitions Clean and Fair Elections Promise of feast of goats after election is bribery

Promise of feast of goats after election is bribery

File photograph: Malay Mail Online

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The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) refers to a MalaysiaKini’s report today titled “Ex-Malacca CM flirts with election laws with feast of goats”.

Idris Haron reportedly said, “If we win by 300 votes (in Angsa Emas) I will sponsor two goats for a feast in Taman Angsamas.” The Angsa Emas polling district is in the Rantau constituency where a by-election is taking place.

Bersih 2.0 believes that Idris has committed the election offence of bribery as defined in Section 10(c) of the Election Offences Act 1954 for the following reasons.

A conditional promise was made that he will provide the two goats after the election on condition that the Angsa Emas polling district gives more than 300 votes to Mohamad. This element of conditional promise differentiates it from the offence of treating. If he fulfils the promise by providing a feast after the election, it would then fall under Section 8 for the offence of treating.

The phrase that precedes the offence, as used in Section 10, is “before, during or after an election” would cover any offence if a clear link can be proven between the act and the corrupt intention to induce voters. Though the act of throwing the feast would be after the election, the corrupt intent started during the campaign period.

Section 10 states the “anyone” can commit an election offence and it is not limited to a candidate. It should also be noted that recipients of a corrupt act are also liable to be charged.

Bersih 2.0 calls on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate this alleged election offence of bribery by interviewing those who were present at the ceramah at Angsa Emas and the reporters who covered the event.

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Action should be taken, and the court should have the opportunity to hear such cases so that precedents can be established to provide legal guidance on election offences.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee

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