Taib Mahmud's regime has much to lose and is 'instilling fear' in the people, according to Sarawak PKR.
KUCHING: The state Barisan Nasional (BN) is allegedly using its military personnel to intimidate voters in the outlying areas in Sarawak.
According to Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian, he has been receiving reports of army personnel threatening constituents as “there is so much at stake”.
“The state BN government even uses the army to threaten people as there is so much at stake in this coming election.
“Just last evening I have received reports from my area, Ba’Kelalan, that the army personnel who are now constructing roads to Ba’kelalan are telling people if they vote for the opposition and the Barisan Nasional lost, they will tear down all the schools,” he said.
Bian, who is poised to contest in Ba’Kelalan, also said that a “desperate BN” had begun flushing cash into longhouses in several constituencies ahead of nomination day on April 6 and polling on April 16.
“We have also received reports that Alfred Jabu (deputy chief minister and Layar assemblyman) has offered RM500 per family.
“We heard that Jabu and his men are moving around in the Layar constituency handing over cash to longhouse chiefs.
“In the Krian constituency, Peter Nyarok (the incumbent and assistant minister) is telling people that if they are going to vote for Pakatan, we will withdraw projects that have been given to their longhouses.
“Nyarok is trying to exert his seemingly ministerial power to threaten and instil fear in the people,” he said.
“What kind of politics do we have now? This is a sad thing. We expect the coming election to be the dirtiest one, ” he added.
Bian was alluding to a recent allegedly secret poll which claimed that BN could crash out in the coming election.
The poll had revealed that Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Party (PBB) was likely to lose at least 14 of its 35 seats and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) at least 12 of its 19 seats. Both parties form the spine of Sarawak BN.
The two other Dayak-based parties – Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Partiy (SPDP) – have eight seats each. SPDP is also facing a tough fight in at least four seats.
Said Bian: “As the polling day gets nearer, they (BN) have to resort to money politics and threats because there is so much at stake, particularly for the chief minister and many of his cronies.”
“Not only from the political point of view, but also business… look at the businesses of those who depend on the government and the chief minister for contracts and tenders,” he said.
“They cannot afford to lose and that is why they have to use money to buy votes. It is now starting. We need to curb this, otherwise it would stay. And we have to tell people to beware of this kind of politics.
“It is going to go on and on until the last minute of the election. It is getting worse.”
“Hopefully, we can curb and eradicate money politics and eventually the people will beware of it and hope they will not be duped by these threats.”