The abuses of government resources for party campaign have been common in Malaysian elections-but those involving the army has still been rare. But that does not mean that it cannot happen as alleged below here.
Manek Urai: Army boosting BN’s chances claim
Tarani Palani | Jun 25, 09 7:33pm http://www.malaysiakini.com
Old habits die hard it would seem if the allegation by an opposition leader is to be believed.
Apparently, the Defence Ministry has instructed the army to launch ‘projects’ at Manek Urai in Kelantan in order to increase support for the ruling BN coalition ahead of the by-election there on July 14.
PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar told reporters in Parliament today that he has three letters to show there had been communication between the Defence Ministry and the army instructing the latter to launch these ‘projects’.
He said the letters showed that the government was abusing its powers in covertly using the armed forces for political campaigning in Manek Urai (below).
manek urai by election background lay of the land pas bn campaign 160609 08Mahfuz, who is also Pokok Sena MP, said the ‘projects’ specifically targeted areas where the electorates were classified as either ‘gray’ or ‘black’ – meaning non-Umno supporting areas.
Quoting from one of the letters, he said: “[…] it has been identified that projects can be launched in these areas. The selection of these areas are based on such factors. The location activity is focused on election areas that are categorised as grey and black”.
According to Mahfuz, the ‘projects’ – named Jiwa Murni – will cover places such as Kampung Manek Urai Baru, Kampung Manek Urai Lama, Kampung Budi, Kampung Machang Manjur, Kampung Sungai Peria, Kampung Kongsi Baru, Kampung Temiang, Kampung Bumut Saih, Kampung Gajah and Kampung Manek Urai.
Mahfuz pointed out that if the government was truly interested in helping the residents there, there was no need to classify the areas as ‘gray’ or ‘black’.
He claimed there was also instructions in the first letter stating not to launch the ‘projects’ to close to nomination day on July 6 so as to not appear suspicious.
Awaiting official reply
One of the letters is seven pages long with appendixes while another is six pages long outlining a more detailed strategy, he said.
Mahfuz refused to reveal the nature or any details of the ‘projects’. When asked if the ‘projects’ had been launched, he said he could not confirm that.
He said one of the letters was from the Defence Ministry’s ‘Detective Division’ to a high-ranking officer in the army dated June 1.
mahfuz omar utusan malaysia lawsuit 231208 01Another was the subsequent approval letter from the office of the deputy minister of defence dated June 9 giving the ‘projects’ the green light.
However that letter was not signed by the defence deputy minister but by the military aide to the minister.
Mahfuz (left) said the words and sentences used in the letter plus the terms ‘grey’ and ‘black areas’ to him indicated a direct link of the usage of the army to help strengthen BN’s position in Manek Urai ahead of the coming by-election.
“We always make allegations but now I have proof (of the manipulation of the army for the government’s political interest),” he said
Mahfuz had earlier posed a question in Parliament relating to the contents of the letters but did not receive a response.
When asked why he did not report the matter to the police or the MACC, he said that it was sufficient for him to highlight such alleged abuse of power in Parliament
He added that he was awaiting some kind of a reply from the government on the issue before deciding on his next step.