Saturday January 26, 2008
By CHRISTINA CHIN
PENANG: The Gimme 5 logo pasted on bags of rice distributed by Gerakan leaders to the people in Bukit Bendera was designed to promote the Rukun Negara among Malaysians.
Kebun Bunga assemblyman Quah Kooi Heong yesterday denied claims that the green palm print bearing the words Bukit Bendera and Gimme 5 was a general election slogan.
“The Opposition can say what they want – this is a free country. Besides promoting the five principles of the Rukun Negara, Gimme 5 is also a popular catchphrase referring to the high five celebratory gesture.
“The party has yet to decide on any campaign slogans as far as I know. The general election date hasn’t even been announced,” he said.
Quah was responding to the claim by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) that the party was giving away rice to fish for votes.
Bersih had called on Bukit Bendera MP and Deputy Information Minister Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye to “own up” to the alleged breach of section 10 (c) of the Election Offences Act 1954 which prohibits any person from providing voters with gifts before, during and after an election.
It was reported recently that Quah and Chia had distributed packets of rice weighing 5kg each with the labels attached at the Rifle Range area – an election hotspot in the state.
Bersih alleged that the label was Barisan’s message to voters denoting a clean sweep of four state seats (Kebun Bunga, Tanjung Bunga, Air Putih and Pulau Tikus) and a parliamentary seat (Bukit Bendera).
Said Quah: “The explanation is very simple. We are promoting the Rukun Negara campaign. There are many ways to do so and this is just one of them. The rice was donated by a private company which asked us to help distribute it to the residents.”
Gimme 5 not BN slogan