A representative of Parti Pejuang Tanah Air’s (Pejuang) Amir Khusyairi Mohamad Tanusi, who is contesting as an independent candidate in the Slim by-election, has lodged a police report alleging that government Ministry of Human Resources (KSM) was using “jobs-for-votes” as a campaigning tactic.
Amirul Fairuzzeen Jamaluddin, 38, who is Pejuang’s campaign director, alleged that the event organised by the ministry, was essentially buying votes.
Pejuang was formed by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on 7 August.
Amirul said he lodged the police report on Sunday evening (23 Aug) at the Muallim district police headquarters and cited Section 10(b) of the Election Offences Act 1954. Section 10(b) involves the offence of making offers or promises to influence the votes casted.
“I made the police report on behalf of the candidate. Today, at around 5pm, I saw a Facebook posting by the KSM. In the programme, the minister said eight people were given jobs while four disabled persons were also offered a business assistance scheme which coincides with the by-election,” he told reporters.
The JobsMalaysia Career and Skills Carnival offered 9,045 vacancies from 25 employers for job seekers within the Mualim district, which also covers the Slim state constituency. The carnival was earlier officiated by KSM Minister M Saravanan at Dewan Tan Sri Ghazali Jawi in Slim River, Perak.
“We regret that while we celebrate the democratic process, we are met with an uneven playing field. We ask that the Election Commission take action over the programme,” said Amirul, who is a lawyer.
He described the event held in the midst of the by-election campaigning period as an “unhealthy” development.
“The campaign is for us to put forward what we have to offer voters, not to use government institutions in order to secure victory for certain candidates,” said Amirul.
The Slim state seat became vacant after its four-term assemblyperson Mohd Kusairi Abdul Talib, who was from Malaysia’s former ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN), passed away on 15 July.
Amir Khusyairi will be in a three-cornered fight with BN’s Mohd Zaidi Aziz, 43, and a third candidate, former teacher Santharasekaran Subramaniam, who is also contesting independently.