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Thursday, April 28, 2011

PKR wants immediate probe on election payouts to Ibans

Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) has denied reports that 100 disgruntled Iban had stormed its office in Sibu over payments promised to them for supporting BN candidate Wong Soon Koh.

KUCHING: Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian wants the Election Commission (EC) and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to immediately investigate an allegation that Barisan Nasional (BN) had resorted to vote-buying to win the Bawan Assan seat.

Bian was commenting on reports that 100 Ibans had stormed the Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) office in Sibu on Monday demanding that they be paid the RM400 each which SUPP agents had allegedly promised them if they voted for the BN candidate.

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 longhouses are also claiming the same amount.

Said Bian: “This is solid evidence that the BN won by ‘rasuah’ whereas we in Pakatan Rakyat lost but retained our ‘maruah’.

“This appears to be the practice everywhere including in Ba’Kelalan.”

Bian, who contested and won the Ba’Kelalan seat in the recently held state election, said the Ibans’ allegations were proof that the polls was the dirtiest ever..

“I demand that the EC and MACC investigate this matter 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.

Not true

Meanwhile, the chairman of Sibu SUPP Bumiputera committee, Andrew Shilling, has denied allegations of payouts and accused DAP and Sibu Election Watch (SEW) of making “absurd” claim.

“It is very absurd and baseless to say we were distributing RM400 election money to 100 Ibans as reported,” he said.

Shilling said the allegations had damaged the reputation of the Ibans and they are considering taking legal action.

Shilling, who is a political secretary to Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, 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 Lau.

The constituency has 16,743 voters, of whom 5,834 are Iban voters.

It is said that Wong’s victory was due to the strong support given by the Ibans. - FMT

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