Press release (2nd April, 2019) Promise of Feast of Goats After Election Is Bribery

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) refers to the MalaysiaKini’s report today titled, “Ex-Malacca CM flirts with election laws with feast of goats.” It was reported that Idris Haron said, “If we win by 300 votes (in Angsa Emas) I will sponsor two goats for a feast in Taman Angsamas.” The Angsa Emas polling district is in the Rantau constituency where a by-election is taking place.
Bersih 2.0 is of the view that Idris has committed the election offence of bribery as defined in Section 10(c) of the Election Offences Act 1954 for the following reasons.
a) A conditional promise was made that he will provide the two goats after the election on condition that the Angsa Emas polling district gives more than 300 votes to Mohamad. This element of conditional promise differentiates it from the offence of treating. If he fulfils the promise by providing a feast after the election, it would then be Section 8 for the offence of treating.
b) The phrase that precede the offence as used in Section 10 is ‘before, during or after an election” would cover any offence if a clear link can be proven between the act and the corrupt intention to induce voters. Though the act of throwing the feast is after the election, the corrupt intent started during the campaign period.
c) Section 10 stated the “anyone” can commit an election offence and it is not limited to a candidate. It should also be noted that recipients of a corrupt act are also liable to be charged.
Bersih 2.0 calls on the MACC to investigate this election offence of bribery by interviewing those who were present at the ceramah at Angsa Emas and the reporters who covered the event. Action should be taken and the Court should have the opportunity to hear such cases so that precedents could be established to provide legal guidance on election offences.
Statement issued by
Steering Committee of Bersih 2.0