It was reported that development pledges made by BN candidates and politicians cannot be construed as vote buying. However, Election Commission chairman Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman says that the candidates cannot make promises.
I find this line of reasoning thoroughly illogical. When the BN politician makes a clear offer to build a mosque or a bridge or give RM1.2 million for development; that is not to be construed as bribery.
However, if a politician says: 'If I am elected, I promise to,' that is not allowed.
A government minister (in what capacity, I am not sure; either as a BN politician or a Malaysian cabinet member) made the following offers and promises during the recent run-up to the Machap by-election - 102 grants for housing for second-generation settler families at Felda Tun Ghafar Baba scheme, a RM3.7 million allocation to Felda Machap to upgrade water pipes plus promises to construct a multi-purpose hall and to repair a mosque.
That's a lot of money. The timing is incredible. The community will get none of these except when a by-election or election is held. If any community wants any money flowing into their town from the federal or state government (it's is sad but true) wish that your representative drops dead for a by-election to be held soon.
The Election Commission says that they cannot do anything (or will not) but hopes that the voters will not be influenced. Forget about fair play and a level playing ground. Forget about the fact that the rakyat's money is used by a political party for their own selfish purposes.
It's not the first time it's been done. It also happens through the BN MPs community development allocation, which is only given to BN MPs.