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Press Statement by Charles Santiago in Klang on Thursday, 13th May 2010:

Sibu should vote for new politics of change & reject old politics of buy-elections

By-elections held in Malaysia have been stranger than fiction. This time around the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak takes the cake for shameless vote-buying and unadulterated corruption.

Speaking to a group of Chinese educationists, this is what Najib said -"Please, I help you, you help me. That way we have a very fair and happy relationship. It won't cost you anything to give us what we want. We will do what we should to give you what you want. And you know what I want.

Certainly the premier did not mince his words.

There is nothing fair about this relationship as it is simple and pure corruption. Dishing out government allocations worth RM18 million is clearly fashioned to bribe the Chinese voters ahead of the Sunday by-election.

And neither the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) nor the Election Commission has responded to such blatant act of corruption by Najib while in other countries the elections body and anti-graft organizations would have initiated an investigation.

Even before this sorry episode, Najib and UMNO leaders have cherry-picked elections as a strategic time to give handouts.

These funds are state funds that are entrusted by the people to the government. It is not meant to bribe the people to hold on to the reins of power.

Staying in power should come from policies and social and economic progress resulting in a better quality of life for all Malaysians.

Najib and his foot soldiers have, thus far, not demonstrated any signs that they were willing to engage the people through an empowering exercise.

And therefore, Malaysians should not perceive such largess in a positive manner but in fact send a tough message to the government that they are judged not by the hand-outs but by efforts through- out the mandate period.

In this instance, Najib is clearly embarking on a reputation-cleansing exercise by trying to bond with the Chinese educationists after the government's failure to clinch Chinese votes in Hulu Selangor.

But the Chinese community must not fall into Najib and UMNO’s trap and instead vote with a conscience for the future of Sibu and the nation as Najib and the ruling government have acted with almost no fear of accountability.

I, therefore, call upon the voters to reject race-based politics and corruption and embrace the new politics of good governance, transparency and change by DAP/Pakatan Rakyat.

* Charles Santiago, DAP MP for Klang



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