Check facts before sticking ‘vote-buyer’ tag on Selangor, Bersih told

Debra Chong, TMI

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim chided Bersih today for accusing his Selangor administration of attempting to “canvass for votes” ahead of the May 5 polls, telling the elections watchdog to check its facts first.

Selangor is the latest to be blackballed by Bersih in its public name-and-shame list for purportedly violating its code of conduct for a caretaker government, after Khalid’s administration dished out several awards, including a RM300 bonus to each state civil servant and land titles to villagers in Bestari Jaya earlier this month.

“The Caretaker Government has merely implemented decisions made earlier to ensure that the interest and welfare of the people of Selangor are protected during the caretaker period.

“It must be stressed that the decisions and actions conducted are thus not tantamount to canvassing for votes,” Khalid said in a statement, citing from the state legal advisor’s report.

He told Bersih that the state Pakatan Rakyat (PR) administration was committed to ensuring a functioning bureaucracy and his administration was mindful of abusing public funds and state resources now that it is now in a caretaker mode pending the results of the 13th general elections.

“The state government hopes that Bersih will ascertain all the facts and legal details before casting any aspersions,” he said.

Bersih steering commmittee member, Irene Fernandez had hit out at Khalid and his executive council for abusing their office to win votes from Selangor residents in a bid to continue their hold on Malaysia’s wealthiest state.

“(It is) tantamount to vote buying,” Fernandez was quoted saying by news portal Malaysiakini.