UMNO leaders slam Hadi’s justification of vote buying as ‘charity’

AFTER referring to an apparent vote-buying attempt as an act of charity, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) leader Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang crossed a line, drawing criticism and mistrust from UMNO leaders.

Hadi was quoted in several internet publications as suggesting that those who were seen on camera giving money to voters were only acting out of charity.

No electoral regulations had been infringed, according to the PAS president, and such an act was not improper.

According to reports, Terengganu UMNO filed petitions on Jan 3 about the results in Marang, Kemaman, and Kuala Terengganu, saying Perikatan Nasional (PN) engaged in money politics during the national elections. Hadi currently holds the Marang seat.

Last week, a video that showed a man giving money to a group of individuals who had to promise they would vote for the PAS while wearing a cap went viral. The person made handouts to each person in the crowd only after they repeated his statement, which stated that they would vote for PAS.

While PAS supporters suggested that the video was a hoax, Hadi’s statement may imply that the video is not a hoax and that some PAS-connected individuals may have given out handouts to encourage people to vote for the party.

Moreover, High Education Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin tweeted last night (Jan 21) in response to Hadi, “Is this a confession of giving to the voters? If so, let the responsible party decide.”

Khaled commented on an article on Hadi’s statement that appeared on the Tun Carlos website.

“If he does it, it is a charitable act, but if others do it, it is corruption. Religious leaders (ulama) cannot keep changing the rules. In the end, political ulama will not be respected by the Muslim community in general.

“As a religious leader you need to have integrity, you cannot keep changing your tune,” The Star reported UMNO leader Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as saying today.

Furthermore, UMNO’s information department head Isham Jalil criticised Hadi for supporting the practise of handing out cash to voters during the most recent general election.

According to Isham, as per Hadi’s reasoning, anyone might give “handouts” during the campaign season without considering any anticipated returns. — Jan 22, 2023

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