News Malaysiakini

Senator claims he did not threaten village chiefs, but here's the audio

Published:  |  Modified:

CAMERON POLLS | PKR senator Bob Manolan Mohd has denied threatening Orang Asli tok batin (village chiefs) in Cameron Highlands.

He was responding to a Malaysiakini report, which quoted him as stating that the tok batin could lose their posts and income if they do not support the Pakatan Harapan government.

In a statement this evening, Bob Manolan said what he meant was that the chiefs should not be involved with Umno while receiving an allowance from the federal government because this was a conflict of interest.

Manolan, who is an Orang Asli himself, said the chiefs are appointed by the minister in charge of the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) and therefore it was logical to expect that they subscribe to the aspirations of the federal government in order for the community's issues to be properly articulated.

"In my speech, I never issued a warning or threat to the effect of 'no vote, no pay'," he said.

[Editor's note: While Bob Manolan did not use the word "vote", he did state that those who do not "support" Harapan or the federal government would be removed. Refer to the audio recording and transcript at the end of this article.]

Malaysiakini also reported excerpts of Bob Manolan's speech where he said that the chiefs are paid between RM900 and RM1,200 by the federal government and therefore should support Harapan.

This was said during a dialogue today between Harapan lawmakers and 18 village chiefs at a hall in Pos Betau, a BN-stronghold within the Cameron Highlands parliamentary constituency.

Based on the audio recording, Bob Manolan had said "tak sokong, kita buang" (If you don't support, we would remove you) and "mana batin-batin yang tak sokong kerajaan, kita tak bayar gaji dia. Betul! Jangan bayar gaji dia" (If there are any tok batin who do not support the government, we won't pay their salaries. Correct! Don't pay them).

Several tok batin who spoke to Malaysiakini after the event expressed anger and disappointment with regard to Manolan's remarks.

The Orang Asli community make up 22 percent of the Cameron Highlands electorate, who will go to the polls on Jan 26.

Based on previous general election results, this demographic has consistently voted for BN in overwhelming numbers.

The audio recording and transcript of Bob Manolan's speech where he spoke about the need for the tok batin to support Harapan follows:

Batin dan jugak pengerusi MPKK adalah dibayar oleh kerajaan pusat. Iaitu gaji batin ada yang RM900, ada yang RM1,200 ada yang RM1,000. Bergantung kepada jumlah penduduk, bergantung kepada keluasan kampung.

Jadi batin ini memang dibayar oleh kerajaan pusat maka itu batin kena sokong Pakatan Harapan.

Tak sokong, kita buang.

Mana batin-batin yang tak sokong kerajaan kita tak bayar gaji dia, betul! Jangan bayar gaji dia.

Kita bayar gaji dia, dia tak sokong kita, buat apa kita bayar gaji dia

Kita mahu pemimpin masyarakat orang asli, pengerusi MPKK mesti menyokong agenda rakyat, eh agenda kerajaan.

Kalau mereka tidak boleh bekerjasama dengan kerajaan sekarang ini, bagaimana kita nak lantik dia jadi pemimpin masyarakat kampung?

Dasar kerajaan sekarang bukan seperti kerajaan dahulu, kerajaan sekarang pemimpin Orang Asli itu mesti membela nasib anak buah mereka, kebajikan mereka. Masalah kampung mesti mereka ketengahkan kepada kerajaan, bukan mengikut kerajaan dulu.

Angguk-angguk 'yes, yes' semua. Janji duit masuk tiap-tiap bulan. Ini kita tidak boleh terima.

Sebab itu saya dapat maklumat ada batin yang dalam masa yang sama dia pengerusi ketua cawangan Umno. Pilih antara satu, kalau dia nak jadi batin, letak jawatan sebagai ketua cawangan Umno.

Kalau dia nak jadi ketua cawangan Umno, letak jawatan batin. Itu saja.

Jadi yang bayarnya kerajaan pusat dan batin ini adalah tertakluk di bawah Akta 134 dan yang paling penting, ini dalam Akta Orang Asli (Akta 134) batin dilantik oleh menteri.

Menteri sekarang ini Pakatan Harapan. Ini kena jelas.

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