In his statement released yesterday, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang posed an interesting question to the Malaysian public:
“If, as Bersatu President, Muhyiddin Yassin could repudiate the Pakatan Harapan 2018 General Election Manifesto, what is there to prevent Muhyiddin from repudiating the Perikatan Nasional manifesto, particularly the “fighting corruption” plank, which was unveiled yesterday?” he asked.
The statement comes on the heels of an anti-corruption pledge that 28 Perikatan Nasional candidates took as part of PN’s anti-graft campaign pledge in the Malacca general election.
The PN candidates pledged rejection of “any forms of corruption, irregularities and abuse of power” and that they would not involved in such activities, directly or indirectly.
Ironically, the first electoral scandal in the Malacca general election came from Perikatan Nasional – the motor-cycle engine oil change programme in Machap Jaya.
Although the issue raised questions on whether it is an electoral offence, it is clearly caught by the PN anti-corruption pledge which commits every PN candidate to reject all forms of electoral malpractices – directly or indirectly.
PN’s Machap Jaya candidate Tai Siong Jiul had brushed off such concerns, saying he didn’t pay for it although he admitted that his election office arranged the function and some of his friends sponsored the programme.
Kit Siang who is also the MP for Iskandar Puteri questioned if Muhyiddin is going to sack Tai Siong Juil as PN candidate for violating the PN anti-corruption pledge, even before the ink of Tai’s signature on his anti-corruption pledge was dry.
PN’s anti-corruption pledge is somewhat controversial considering the many allegations of the former Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin buying support to form his government.
In May of 2020, several audiotapes were released with the voice of a man, who is supposedly Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, rallying support for the building of a new coalition and collapsing the Pakatan Harapan administration.
“There are more than 30 Umno MPs. Why don’t we meet and tell them ‘let’s form the government, why don’t you come and join Bersatu?’
“We will be the single largest Malay ruling party in the country. And we’ll give them positions. If they can’t be ministers, they can be chairmen of GLCs (government-linked corporations),” he said.
The offering and receiving of positions such as ministerships and GLC posts is a form of gratification amounting to corruption within the ambit of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009 and may be punishable for a jail term of not more than 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification.