PETALING JAYA: The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) wants Pahang Mentri Besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail to explain what he meant when he told Cameron Highlands voters that land matters came under the state government.
Bersih said it viewed the statement by Wan Rosdy, which was reported in a news portal, with grave concern as it meant he was reminding voters that as the mentri besar he had the power to make decisions on land matters.
“To a farming community such as Cameron Highlands, the security of land tenure is a matter of great importance as their livelihood depends on it,“ it said in a statement today.
Wan Rosdy reportedly told an audience he did not want to promise anything regarding temporary occupation licences, except to say that the local farmers’ lot would improve compared with what it is now.
“If we help each other, that’s even better. But I don’t want to promise we can solve everything. You have to remember, if I can solve it, no problem! I will help,“ he was quoted as saying by a local portal.
He also allegedly urged the crowd to vote for Barisan Nasional because land matters were under the state government’s jurisdiction.
“Bersih 2.0 is of the view that political parties should not abuse their power as federal or state government to turn incumbency into a basis for patronage to discriminate against constituencies that did not vote for their parties.
“Governments have a responsibility to discharge their duties to all citizens without bias and carry out their duties based on clear criteria and existing policies,“ the statement read.
Bersih also said such remarks could be deemed to be an undue influence, an election offence under Section 9 of the Election Offences Act 1954, or even an abuse of power as defined under Section 23(1) of the MACC Act 2009.
“Bersih 2.0 urges Wan Rosdy to immediately clarify his remarks and assure voters in Cameron Highlands that he will carry out his duty as the mentri besar and work to resolve all outstanding issues, especially land issues, whoever gets elected.
“Voters should not be subjected to such threats over their livelihood when casting votes,“ it said.