TELUK INTAN The National Welfare Foundation wants Malaysiakini to take down a report in which a single mother claimed she was asked to vote for the BN in Saturday's by-election, after being given cash and supplies by Wanita Umno head Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
Foundation chief executive officer Rafek Reshidullah described the article as “untrue, false and defamatory” towards Shahrizat, who is also the foundation chairperson.
In the report published yesterday, P Panjalay ( right ) of Taman Semarak, Teluk Intan, said Shahrizat visited her home, presented her with RM500 and disposable diapers, and urged her to vote for BN candidate Mah Siew Keong.
Panjalay said she was not sure whether the money came from the Welfare Department or from Umno.
Her home was one of two scheduled visits arranged for Shahrizat, who is also special adviser to the prime minister on welfare and women's affairs.
Shahrizat denies claim
Shahrizat later denied the claim, saying she made the visit in her capacity as National Welfare Foundation chairperson.
Rafek, in a statement yesterday, claimed Panjalay’s case was approved last December in order to help ease the widow’s burden in caring for her three mentally-disabled daughters and that Rafek herself handed the disposable diapers and medicinal aid to Panjalay.
“The National Welfare Foundation will not hesitate to take legal action on the unfounded statement and allegation, if Malaysiakini fails to take the statement (the report) down,” the statement says.
Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan said the news website has a policy of not removing reports once they are published, adding, "we have included Shahrizat's denial in our story yesterday ."
Meanwhile, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng ( left ) dismissed Shahrizat’s denial, saying she should be aware that such an act could still constitute money politics under the Election Offences Act 1954.
“Shahrizat denied that she was using cash and gifts to fish for votes because she was visiting clients of the National Welfare Foundation as chairperson of the foundation.
“Shahrizat should know that the Election Offences Act 1954 states clearly that a person involved in certain activities that may influence voters is guilty of vote buying and bribery, whether done directly or indirectly,” Lim said in a statement earlier today.