KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 – Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu’s appearance at an army event in Port Dickson yesterday seems to contradict Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s claim that there are no ministers making big promises before the upcoming by-election, like what used to happen with the previous Barisan Nasional government.
At a dinner held at the Army Museum in this resort town, the Parti Amanah Negara president, who is more popularly called Mat Sabu, made a pledge that a vote for Anwar will see him eventually become prime minister.
“If our candidate is chosen as the MP, he will eventually be the prime minister. Surely all the grouses will be settled and your welfare taken care of,” Mat Sabu told the army personnel, in his speech at an event to present Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) medals to ex-army personnel, Malaysiakini reported.
The PKR president was also present, but later both Pakatan Harapan leaders denied that the promise of greater benefits for veterans was an inducement for the large number of army voters in the parliamentary constituency.
Anwar also denied that the event was part of his campaign, though Mat Sabu said he was to campaign in PD later the same night.
Armed forces personnel homes renovation not a bribe?
Meanwhile, the news portal reported Mat Sabu as denying the RM500,000 allocation for the home renovations of armed forces personnel in Port Dickson constitutes an election bribe.
“That is up to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to decide. This is because the allocation was given out before the nomination day for the by-election,” he was quoted as saying.
The defence ministry had announced the allocation on Sept 21, not long after former Port Dickson MP Danyal Balagopal Abdullah announced he would be resigning and paving the way for Anwar to make a return to the Dewan Rakyat.
Making election promises, the New Malaysia way
The issue of grandiose promises made by Anwar since the campaigning began for the PD by-election has already caused some consternation among Pakatan Harapan supporters and Bersih.
This was because Anwar has already made four major campaign promises.
On Monday, he said that a big project involving investment from Taiwan would bring employment opportunities for locals.
This was in addition to three other projects – a new five-star hotel, an airline programme and an education programme – which he said were being lined-up during a speech at a campaign rally last weekend.
Anwar will be facing former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Isa Samad; retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Mohd Nazari Mokhtar, of PAS; and five independent candidates, the most prominent of which is his accuser in the Sodomy II, Saiful Bahari, for the PD by-election taking place on Saturday, October 13.