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Giving free food during Yhaipusam is not 'treating' - Manogaran

Last Update: 21/01/2019

TANAH RATA, 21 Jan (Bernama) -- Giving out free food or 'annadhanam' during Thaipusam celebration is a tradition and has nothing to do with the election campaign, clarified Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate for Cameron Highlands by-election M. Manogaran.

He said the food packs prepared at the coalition booth by the roadside outside the Sri Subramanier Temple here were given out to any passer-by and not merely targeted at voters.

“This is for the public, for tourists who pass by, we are not identifying voters,” he said after performing prayer at the temple in conjunction with Thaipusam at Ringlet near here today.

He was asked whether the practice could be considered as treating, which was an offence under the Election Offences Act.

Commenting further, Manogaran, who is also a lawyer, explained that treating was when such act was targetted at voters.

“(So) This is not treating. Treating is when you identify particularly voters...and this is our tradition so it is not connected because this is something to do with our festival,” he said.

Apart from PH, BN was also seen providing free food at their booth, laid out buffet-style.

Meanwhile, on the alleged misuse of state government vehicle belonging to the  Raub Forest Department by PH campaign machinery at an Orang Asli settlement yesterday, he said this should not have happened.

“No quarters should use any government vehicle at any election or by-election,” he added.

Earlier today,  Pahang Keadilan Chief Fuziah Salleh had denied the allegation that she had used the vehicle and said she would take legal action on the parties responsible for making the unfounded allegation.

In the four-corner fight by-election, Manogaran is facing former senior police officer Ramli Mohd Nor, 61, representing Barisan Nasional and two independent candidates, namely Sallehudin Ab Talib, 61, a former senior lecturer at the Aminudin Baki Institute and Wong Seng Yee, 40, a farmer.

The by-election is being held after the Election Court on Nov 30 last year nullified the victory of BN’s candidate Datuk C. Sivarraajh in the 14th General Election due to vote-buying.

Polling is on Saturday.




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