KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 — DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang said PKR senator Bob Manolan Mohd’s controversial remark that Orang Asli village heads in Cameron Highlands will lose their salaries if they do not vote for the government in the parliamentary constituency’s upcoming by-election was indeed wrong, but pointed out that it was unacceptable for them continue being paid by the federal government while still serving as Umno heads.
“The uproar is understandable, as PPBM strategist Datuk Rais Hussin Mohamed puts it, it reeks of the politics of old. If that is indeed the case, Manolan has crossed the line and must be reprimanded and repudiated,” he said in a statement.
However, Lim said that when he listened to Malaysiakini’s audio recording of the incident he also heard several rounds of applause from the audience when the senator said Orang Asli chiefs who are local Umno heads should choose if they wish to continue getting paid by Putrajaya.
“I checked with others, including Raub MP Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji, Bentong MP Wong Tak, Sabah Senator Adrian Lasimbang, and Selangor assemblyman Young Syefura who were at the session. They confirmed that there was no threats to the Tok Batins for not voting for Pakatan Harapan,” he said.
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had immediately demanded Manolan clarify himself.
While Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in Brinchang earlier today assured the chiefs will continue to receive their salaries without being intimidated.
“Pakatan Harapan will not copy the Umno or Barisan Nasional’s old politics of threats and corruption, and we will not hesitate to repudiate and condemn any politics of threats or corruption occurring under the roof of Pakatan Harapan.
Manolan was speaking during a dialogue session yesterday between PH legislators and 18 village chiefs in Pos Betau.
Shortly after Malaysiakini ran the first story, he issued a statement denying he had ever threatened the chiefs and claimed he was misquoted.