SG KANDIS POLLS | A free durian festival in Sungai Kandis planned by a Selangor government-linked cooperative has been postponed until after the by-elections.
This, after electoral watchdog Bersih had criticised the event as corrupt and said it went against election rules.
Koperasi Hijrah Selangor (Kohijrah), in a statement late last night, agreed that the programme, as part of a food truck carnival to be held in Section 32 in Shah Alam, would be in breach of election rules and thanked Bersih for issuing a reminder.
However, it said the durian festival this Saturday had been planned well before the Sungai Kandis by-election and that the durian feast was merely to mark the last day of the carnival.
"We would like to inform that the invitation to Selangor Menteri Besar (Amirudin Shari) and (PKR Sungai Kandis candidate) Zawawi Mughni was made ad-hoc and that there was no confirmation from their side," it added.
Meanwhile, in a statement later, Bersih welcomed the postponement of the event, calling it the right move in leading by example in support of free and fair election.
"We hope such election campaign tactics will not happen again in this by-election in Sungai Kandis and any other future elections in Malaysia.
"We urge all politicians, especially those with government position, to reject any invitation that mix government events with their
political party election campaign activities," said Bersih, further urging the by-election candidates and their respective parties to campaign based on plans, programmes and policies, instead of resorting to vote buying, dishing out goodies, and inciting racial and religious hatred.
Amirudin's office yesterday said it was unaware of the durian fest and denied giving permission for the menteri besar's image to be used.
The programme would have seen Kohijrah giving away 1,000 durians.
Kohijrah is linked to Hijrah Selangor, which is a micro-credit programme for entrepreneurs by the Selangor government.
In the Aug 4 by-election, Pakatan Harapan's Zawawi will face BN's Lokman Noor Adam and independent candidate Murthi Krishnasamy.
The Sungai Kandis state seat fell vacant after the death of assemblyperson Mat Shuhaimi Shafie on July 2 from lymphoma.
He won the Sungai Kandis seat with a 12,480-vote majority in GE14.