Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: No such thing as a free lunch, Streram

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YOURSAY | ‘It is good to help poor students, but why only Rantau, and why now?’

Free food coupons by Miri MP in Rantau an election offence, says Bersih

Anonymous 1689721435778173: I wonder if these handouts would still occur if PKR’s Dr S Streram was not chosen to stand for the Rantau by-election. Also, the timing. It is good to help the poor, but why only Rantau, and why now? It seems rather suspicious.

Helping the children will also ingratiate you with their parents, Streram, and their parents are voters. Don't take us for fools. As they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch under these circumstances.

Ravinder: Stop fooling the people with such “reasons”. Why couldn't this "goodwill gesture" wait just a couple of weeks more? Is it a matter of life and death?

Well, in a way it is, isn't it - life or death on voting day. Once a seat is declared vacant, being "nice" by handing out gifts of any kind, directly or indirectly (as in this case to the children), is calculated to win votes. Therefore, it should be wrong.

Lodestar: Whether or not it is charity or an election offence is up to the Election Commission (EC) to decide, not for electoral watchdog Bersih to cry bloody murder.

Can't Bersih look at it from the viewpoint of needy children getting a bit more food? And if it takes an election for people to be more generous, so be it.

As it occurred before nomination day, the effect of this goodwill gesture would have evaporated come election day. Hence the impact on the by-election results will be negligible compared to racial and religious incitement by Umno-PAS. What is Bersih planning to do about that?

The timing is important. It's not for Bersih to unilaterally decide that the exclusion period starts when the seat is declared vacant.

All the election law states is that treating and handouts should not occur "before, during and after an election." There is a case for it to start from nomination day, because any incentive has a diminishing time effect.

It would be up to the court to decide, so don't jump to the conclusion that an election offence has been committed.

Anonymous_3254e11f: Pakatan Harapan looks really stupid by doing such things.

You can do this after the by-election is over and prove to the people that regardless of whether you win or lose, you are still helping people.

Children are not voters – nothing wrong with coupon handout, says Streram

Anonymous_1543386425: Streram, please don't be technical. Giving food coupons to children is like giving them to parents who benefit from such gifts.

Please stop this practice immediately. Follow the spirit of why candidates or their agents are not allowed to give gifts to voters. You may be in trouble now for your colleague's actions.

Can't Harapan fight an election without such nonsense?

Lipdah: The child tells his parents that Harapan gave him coupons. That will influence the parent - more likely in a positive manner than negative.

The fact remains that there is "influence", which should not be happening at this stage of the by-election campaign.

Frankie: Streram, your excuse that children do not vote clearly is a disgrace. Do you sincerely believe that there'll not be any influence on the election when you hand out those vouchers, even if they are children?

After fighting for decades for fair play and accountability, and now being on the side of the government, you should be leading by example. Sincerely apologise and move on instead of giving excuses.

Harry Mou: Harapan, please mind your actions. I am a Harapan supporter, but I don't agree with this vote-buying. The EC should take action immediately.

Bold Truth: This will be your undoing. Congratulations on the hattrick, Harapan.

Be more mindful of your action and words. People are not dumb, they did vote out BN.

We want leaders and professionals at the forefront who take responsibility and are responsible for their every action.

'Different races, but like family' – MIC hogs limelight in PAS mouthpiece

Kural: Hopefully this event is indicative of a mindset change from the past emotional political campaign rhetoric on race and religious identity, and will lead to a commitment towards willingness to embrace multiculturalism as a prerequisite for effective human and national development in the Malaysian setting.

Any such collaboration would stand PAS in good stead if there is genuine will.

And for MIC, which has been dismissed by its community and its political associates as irrelevant due to its leadership failures in the recent decades, this should not be a case of a drowning man grasping at straws, but a renewed opportunity to right the party’s wasted years in the interests of a few selfish party leaders.

Establish a culture of demonstrably proactive service to the community, take pride in the contribution of its community in the development of pre- and post-Independence Malaysia, seek to restore the party’s stature back to that of the brief era of late former MIC president V Manickavasagam’s leadership, and make legitimate claims for compensation and shared wealth.

Malaysian: This, I believe, is an honest attempt by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and PAS to build bridges way ahead of GE15.

Any interracial move at unity should be welcomed. Hadi, I believe, is sincere and should be given all the support and encouragement for his effort.

Wu Runfa: With the Rantau by-election coming soon, suddenly “Only Muslims can be leaders” has disappeared, to be replaced with “We are family”. Hypocrites.

To God the Glory: MIC, like MCA, is truly stuck between a rock and a hard place. Only those with interests still tied to these parties or who are indebted to them for many favours in the past will remain with them.

They are trying to ride on Umno and PAS for support, knowing very well that the support of the Indian and Chinese communities has been lost forever.


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