Opposition targets Rosmah for ‘vote buying’

By Clara Chooi (Malaysian Insider)
KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — Women opposition MPs have scoffed at Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s attempt at winning over Hulu Selangor voters through the use of what they claimed was Barisan Nasional (BN) gimmicks.
Wanita PKR chief Zuraida Kamaruddin said Rosmah could end up spoiling BN’s chances of winning the Hulu Selangor by-election on April 25.
“She better stop or she will only make things worse for the BN. She has done a lot of silly things and, in fact, the Prime Minister should be careful of her — she would only make him look worse,” the Ampang MP told The Malaysian Insider this afternoon.
She was referring to Rosmah’s announcement yesterday that a Permata Negara centre would soon be set up in Hulu Selangor “for the benefit of the children in the area”.
At a function at Kampung Sungai Buaya last night, Rosmah had claimed that the parliamentary constituency was in need of such a centre and this had been communicated to her when she met with the locals there.
Permata is a government-funded body formed for the purpose of providing early childhood education.
Zuraida accused Rosmah of engaging in “vote buying” with her announcement, saying that the prime minister’s wife was insincere in her claim that she wanted to help the children of Hulu Selangor.
“She did the same thing in Bagan Pinang. She promised a terrace home to the Permata Remaja programme in one of the areas in the constituency and until now nothing has been done.
“Today, because of the by-election, she is again making false promises, empty promises,” she said.
She added that the semi-urban constituents of Hulu Selangor did not need a Permata Negara centre but were more in need of basic fundamental needs like better accessibility to good schools, good education and a good support system.
“You have to study the demographics of the people here. What they need is not this ‘high-end’ product of a Permata Negara centre. If the basics are not even provided, then how can you suddenly, out of the blue, put a Permata Negara there and hope you have solved their problems?” she asked.
Zuraida’s criticism of Rosmah today was shared by another PKR MP, Nurul Izzah Anwar, who is also daughter of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
In a statement, the Lembah Pantai MP also said she doubted Rosmah’s sincerity in helping the children of Hulu Selangor.
“While I welcome Permata’s efforts to improve the quality of early childhood education in the country, this announcement angers me. Efforts to upgrade the quality of early education should not be given to people in the form of ransom to secure a victory in Hulu Selangor,” she said.
She added that Permata, with an allocation of RM20 million, should continue to provide assistance in all areas without having to wait for a by-election.
“Rosmah claims her announcement is in the best interest of the young children in Hulu Selangor. Would she then deny these promised facilities if the BN loses in the by-election?” asked Nurul Izzah.