(Penang, Saturday): Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon has made a very serious allegation yesterday that "the DAP had resorted to personal attack in its campaign although the Opposition party had claimed it would never do so before nomination day on Wednesday". (New Straits Times 1.11.97)
Tsu Koon should furnish proof that the DAP is resorting to personal attack in the Sungai Bakap by-election, and I promise to take action, including disciplinary action, against the DAP official or member concerned. May be, Tsu Koon can let me know what are these personal attacks he is referring to.
DAP is fully committed to a free and fair election process to allow the voters the opportunity to decide the candidate and party of their choice on polling day, without any dirty tricks from any quarter, whether it be politics of fear as in trying to turn the Sungai Bakap by-election into a vote of confidence in Mahathir as Prime Minister, the politics of money or the politics of character assassination.
There is, for instance, a limit on permissible election expenditures under the election law, which is RM30,000 for a State Assembly election. However, the Gerakan had already spent over RM30,000 for the Gerakan candidate even before nomination day.
Gerakan held two free dinners for the voters in the constituency to campaign for its candidate before nomination day - a 180-table dinner in Simpang Ampat on 18th October and a 135-table dinner in Sungai Bakap on 25th Oct. They were free dinners for the public, where expensive consolation prizes like refrigerators and television sets were given out to the public, again for free. The costs of the two dinners would come to RM44,100 (at RM140 a table for 315 tables) - which already exceed the legal limit imposed for state assembly expenditure by a candidate!
I understand that the Gerakan election workers are paid RM100 a day. If they keep within the election expenditure limit, the Gerakan campaign can engage less than 30 workers - and will not be able to spend a single sen on any other expenditure - during the 11-day by-election campaign period.
I am told that foreign workers have been seen putting up Gerakan election posters. Is the Penang Chief Minister prepared to investigate?
How much is being spent in the Gerakan Sungai Bakap by-election campaign? There is talk that the Gerakan Sungai Bakap by-election campaign has a financial war-chest of RM1 million.
Is the Gerakan by-election campaign prepared to fully account for all its by-election expenditures - whether before or during the by-election, beginning today with a daily audit of the by-election expenditures?
The DAP Sungai Bakap by-election campaign is prepared to submit itself to an independent daily audit of its by-election expenditures from today onwards. Is the Gerakan Sungai Bakap by-election campaign prepared to submit itself to similar daily independent audit of its by-election expenditures?