Abdullah: Retracting Ink Use Not A Ploy, Opposition Using It As Excuse

March 05, 2008
KOTA KINABALU, March 5 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today lambasted the opposition which claimed that the decision not to use indelible ink on polling day Saturday was a ploy by the Barisan Nasional (BN) to cheat.
“There is no such thing, we never cheat. We have been successful not because we cheated, we did well and we worked hard,” he said.
He said that the opposition would now use the Election Commission’s (EC) decision yesterday as the “best excuse” if they lose in the election.
“Now the opposition is happy because now they have an excuse to tell the whole world why they cannot succeed in the election. It’s the best excuse for them,” he told reporters after a meet-the- people session at Kian Kok secondary school here, today.
EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman yesterday announced the decision to scrap the indelible ink plan for the election following legal advice, and to ensure security and public order.
He said that investigations following a report to the police had confirmed that irresponsible groups had bought the ink from abroad to persuade and bribe those who were not so sure about the use of the ink by smearing ink on their fingers even before they voted.
Asked if BN was unhappy that the indelible ink ruling was not implemented, Abdullah, who is also Barisan Nasional chairman, said: “Well, we would have certainly welcomed such a move, but if it cannot be done we cannot just forget our election… election is election and we go ahead.”
“We (BN) have won many elections before, this is not the first time, it’s not even a second or third time, it’s the twelfth time… the election has been conducted very well, it’s the same, and the person who is the Election Commission chairman is a very experienced man, who has done well before.
“But these people (the opposition) have a lot of excuses, now they accuse that they are being cheated,” he said.
To another question on promises made by the opposition to win votes, such as promising a second Deputy Prime Minister from Sabah if they won the polls, he said the opposition was fond of making promises because they knew they could not win.
“They promise all sorts of things, if they don’t get it (win), then they would say sorry we can’t do it because the BN cheated us.
“In the first place, they don’t have a chance of winning because they are not contesting all the seats to form the government. They just want to deprive us (the BN) of the two-third majority, and with that kind of objective, they were talking about electing the second Deputy Prime Minister
“The opposition make all sorts of promises, but they are all false. Promises that cannot be kept and made only to make the rakyat happy,” Abdullah added.
The Prime Minister said that the BN government did not have to make false promises as it already had the Ninth Malaysia Plan and evidence of success from other projects and programmes.
Asked on the level of cooperation among BN component parties in Sabah, Abdullah said that although the level of cooperation was good, there was still room for improvement.
“They (Sabah BN component parties) have improved. They have to work together because the most important is only when the party wins, can we form the government.
“We want to form the government because we would like to carry on what we started, money allocated and machinery set up,” he said.
Abdullah also expressed confidence that the people of Sabah would make the right decision to support the BN come Saturday.