The Melaka state assembly had been dissolved on 4 October and the Melaka state election being set on 20 November.
As the state election is around the corner, there were allegations online that Bersatu had been giving out cash bribes to the residents of Melaka in an effort to fish for votes.
Nonetheless, the Vice-President of Bersatu, Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen has come out to refute such claims and said that the cash handed out to the man on a motorcycle by the former Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was only returning change to the individual.
Meanwhile, Malaysiakini reported that Rafiq clarified that the photo was taken at a Gerai Prihatin Rakyat in Melaka, which was a programme that was organised by Bersatu aiming to reduce the cost of living of the residents of Melaka.
Earlier, the same exact photo went viral on social media, with many alluding to the exchange being a form of ‘cash bribe’ for Melaka voters.
A twitter user shared the photo showing Muhyiddin handing out the RM5 note to an individual, captioning “Assalamualikum @SPMRMalaysia.”
Meanwhile, Rafiq stressed that the allegations of bribery is slanderous and meant to defame Muhyiddin, who is also Bersatu president.
“The photo being spread is when Muhyiddin visited the Gerai Prihatin Rakyat and was returning change to a Malaccan worth RM5.” he was quoted saying by Malaysiakini.
He also explained that the Gerai Prihatin Rakyat initiative was organised by an non-governmental organisation (NGO) which is closely related to the Perikatan Nasional coalition.
For this week, they had been providing 4 selected items, which they are 2kg potatoes, one whole chicken, one carton of eggs and one 200g Milo packet and they will be sold for only RM15 to one member from households in Melaka whose income are below RM4,000.
However, the electoral watchdog Bersih had in a statement said that the cheap sales could be seen as a form of ‘vote buying’ and is an election offence under the Section 8 of the Election Offences Act 1954.
The Election Commission (EC) then requested Bersih to lodge a report on the incident if they deem it to be an offence, and that the EC will only conduct an investigation if a report is made.
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