NST: Probe into vote-buying in Sarawak

KUCHING: The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) is investigating alleged corrupt practices and vote-buying in the Layar and Krian constituencies in last May’s state elections.
The probe is understood to have started in July, almost a year after defeated candidates Dayrell Walter Entrie and his father, Stanley Jugol, lodged reports with the ACA.

Besides the reports lodged on Oct 12 last year, they also handed over video and tape recordings of the alleged corrupt practices and vote buying to the ACA office here and its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
ACA officials from Kuala Lumpur are conducting the probe.
Entrie and Jugol lodged the reports after the Election Court struck off their applications to nullify the election of Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang in Layar and Assistant Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture Datuk Peter Nyarok in Krian on grounds of corrupt practices and vote-buying.
The applications were struck off on technical grounds at the preliminary stage of the hearing of the petitions.
Entrie, the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) Youth chief, lost to Jabu in Layar, while Jugol, the party secretary-general, was defeated by Nyarok in Krian.
It is believed that ACA officials had gone to the constituencies to interview witnesses and collect evidence.
Entrie, when contacted yesterday, said he knew that ACA investigations into the matter were underway.
“My polling agent and the people from Semomok and Nanga Padih longhouses have had their statements recorded by the ACA,” he said.
In his report, Entrie alleged that government grants were distributed to people in Semomok and Nanga Padih through their Village Security and Development Committees during campaigning or elections.
In the three-way fight for the Layar seat, Entrie polled 1,090 votes while Jabu, Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) deputy president, garnered 3,767 votes.
The third candidate, businessman Peter John Jaban, who stood as an independent, polled 105 votes.
Meanwhile, Jugol, in his report, alleged that 153 longhouses and two schools in Krian were given money for government projects worth about RM450,000 during the campaign period in the state elections.
He alleged headmen of longhouses received letters informing them of the government grants and urging them to vote for Barisan Nasional.
Apart from lodging a report with the ACA, he also lodged reports with the police on June 13 and 18 last year, claiming that offences had been committed under the Election Offences Act 1954.
Nyarok obtained 4,784 votes compared with 2,689 secured by Jugol.
It is learnt that a number of headmen had their statements recorded by the ACA in connection with the report lodged by Jugol.
Nyarok, Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) deputy president, when contacted, denied that he had been approached by the ACA to have his statement recorded.
“I do not know anything about the ACA investigations.”