Monday, August 25, 2008

By-Election Political Scenes

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Calling it the dirtiest election campaign ever, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is contesting the Permatang Pauh by-election, lashed out at the Barisan Nasional (BN) for its allegedly unethical ways of trying to demean the party.

"Since the 1999 general election, they have used every means, threat and dirty tactic in the book to ensure they secure the landslide victories.

"This time, this by-election takes the cake and the prime minister, deputy prime minister, ministers and other BN leaders have jumped on the bandwagon on a free-for-all, no-holds barred smear campaign against me," Anwar alleged after a visit to the Kubang Semang mosque and the Penanti market.

He said this was partly reflected by the detention of six people, including two PKR state executive councillors and a former PKR state assemblyman, for alleged corruption and "sexual" bribery in Ipoh involving a housing project.

"Especially during this by-election period, it is surprising how extremely efficient the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) officials have become.

Propaganda of me being an agent for the Chinese and Indians has also been distributed in the villages, painting me as a traitor to my own race.

"I have always advocated a Malaysian supremacy, not Malay supremacy, and this has been distorted by certain mainstream media using racial undertones to put me in a bad light in this by-election.

"They are trying to fool my people and I do not like my people (Malays) being hoodwinked and fooled," Anwar added.

Later, at a press conference at the PKR operations centre at Yayasan Aman, PKR secretary-general Datuk Sallehudin Hashim lambasted several media reports which stated that the executive councillors had been caught with RM100,000 in a hotel room.

He said the duo had been at a stall when they were approached by two unidentified men who chatted with them. Sallehudin claimed the two men left, leaving behind a bag and when this was realised by the two executive councillors, they touched the bag and were immediately detained by ACA officials.

He described the incident as an attempt to overthrow the PR state government and an effort to mar PKR's image in Permatang Pauh.

"Where did you all obtain these details? It was not even in a hotel room, it was at an open air cafe and did the ACA mention sex?" he said, adding that media reports should be accurate and not half truths.

PKR information chief Tian Chua, meanwhile, said that according to Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizhar Jamaluddin, there was no such housing project to start with and the two executive councillors were not involved in any housing portfolio.

"They have not been charged, and they have only been taken in for questioning but the ACA issued statements to the media and the public as though they were implicated including elements of sex being mentioned.

"We don't think that the ACA acted neutrally and independently in this case, and the timing is really questionable especially with the ongoing by-election campaign," he said.

Tian Chua also criticised the arrest of Batu PKR deputy chief Mohd Noor Kamil Abdul Samad and several other PKR members who have been detained in connection with the assault of two press photographers on nomination day.

He claimed that all of them were on duty that day and actually went to the aid of the two who were being assaulted.

"This also smells of an attempt to tarnish our image as the arrests have been portrayed as though they were the perpetrators when in fact they are being questioned to assist in investigations," he added.

No comments: