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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who says election handouts not bribes: Saifuddin slams Nazri

Who says election handouts not bribes: Saifuddin slams Nazri

Voters, especially those in Sarawak, will punish BN during the elections for thinking they are stupid and trying to buy their votes by offering handouts and goodies, said Member of Parliament for Machang Saifuddin Nasution.

He was referring to remarks made by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz that hand-outs and goodies in the form of financial assistance to voters during elections could not be considered as corruption.

According to Nazri, the financial aid given to voters during an election was the federal government’s way of “fulfilling its promises” and manifestos.

But Saifuddin accused Nazri and the BN government of abuse of power and misuse of taxpayers’ money. Very often, the promises were never kept or the money allocated for the various projects were “hijacked” midway and never reached the people it was destined to help.

“They think they can fool people, especially those who live in the rural areas in Sarawak because of their poor living conditions. But what are now the relevant issues for these people are the land exploitation,” Saifuddin, who is also the PKR secretary-general, told Malaysia Chronicle.

Worse than Dr M's time

The PKR leader said the indigenous people were now more aware of their land rights and after 30 years under Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s rule, they know that he is more concerned about his personal wealth than their welfare.

Saifuddin also said being on the ground for the last few months and observing the situation in Sarawak, he was confident instant help in the form of goodies will not attract the voters to support BN anymore.

In the past, money was a key carrot for gaining votes from the rural Sarawak folk. This time the voters will not be taken for a ride and will show their true feelings through the ballot box by denying BN a victory.

“It is obvious Nazri and the government are making use of funds to buy support from people. This is a more blatant misuse of funds compared to Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s time,” said Saifuddin. - Malaysia Chronicle

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