Nga’s announcement shows need for rules on allocations, says activist

nga’s announcement shows need for rules on allocations, says activist

Activist Thomas Fann said the use of the incumbency advantage during polls to try and sway voters clearly rendered elections unfair to the opposition.

PETALING JAYA: A democracy advocate has called for guidelines for parties in government to deal with announcements of allocations when an election is imminent.

Thomas Fann said the guidelines should be drawn up by the Election Commission, the Public Services Commission and the parliamentary special select committee on human rights, election and institutional reform.

“This is to avoid any potential abuse of state resources during elections,” Fann, who is the chairman of Engage, told FMT.

The former chairman of electoral reform group Bersih was responding to an announcement by housing and local government minister Nga Kor Ming in Nibong Tebal today on an allocation of RM18 million for various projects in South Seberang Perai, Penang, under the Sentuhan Kasih programme.

Nga’s announcement comes ahead of the Sungai Bakap by-election on July 6.

While Nga has denied that the allocation announced today had anything to do with the by-election, Fann said “any fair-minded members of the public would know better due to the timing”.

“A restraint from any announcements of allocation when an election is imminent would have been the right and fair course of action,” he said.

He said the use of incumbency advantage to try and sway voters clearly rendered elections in Malaysia unfair to the opposition.

It could also be considered as an abuse of state resources, said Fann, who had previously criticised Nga for announcing a RM5.21 million allocation for Hulu Selangor residents before the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election.

“Sadly, the same parties that cried foul when they were in the opposition are committing such unethical acts now that they are the government,” he said.

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