Mat Hasan denies it’s BN.
The banners feature a photo of Pakatan Harapan candidate Dr S Streram and the words “Jangan Undi Keling” (Don’t vote for a keling), using a derogatory term for Indians.
Also on the banners is a crossed box next to the Barisan Nasional (BN) logo, as on a marked ballot paper.
BN candidate Mohamad Hasan has denied this is the coalition’s work and claimed it was a reverse psychology tactic by PKR.
The banner, which was allegedly put up in at least three locations, namely bus stops, bears a message written in the Minangkabau dialect: “Don’t vote for a keling. This customary land is our land. Don’t give him power. Rise, Negri Malays. Let’s crush him. Prove we are true Rantau folk.”
Harapan is lodging a police report over the banners.
According to Bernama, Streram has also expressed concern over his safety because the slogan “Ganyang Samo Dio”, which literally meant ‘Crush (destroy) him’, could be interpreted as an instruction to ‘beat’ him.
“Every day I am being provoked, but we (Harapan) will not retaliate by making provocations too. What’s important is for us to stay focused because I want the people in Rantau to give me a chance.”
“Maybe the provocations were meant to divert my attention, but I will stay focused,” he was quoted as saying.
He expressed regret over the posters, describing them as provocative.
At a separate press conference, Mohamad claimed the banners were self-provocation aimed at tarnishing BN.
“This is provocation that they did themselves. This is how they do psychological warfare,” he said.
The former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar said it made no sense for him to fish for Malay votes this way, while also alienating Indian voters.
This he says, is because he already has “90 per cent” of the Malay vote, and is working hard to get the support of Indians.
“It would be stupid of me to do this,” he said.
He urged the police and the Election Commission to take action against those responsible.
Mohamad also noted an oddity with the use of the Minangkabau dialect.
He said this was because there are no Minangkabau people in Rantau, with the Malay residents mostly of Bugis heritage
Among Rantau voters, 55 per cent are Malay, 26 per cent Indian and about 18.5 per cent Chinese.
The Rantau by-election is a four-corned fight between Streram, Mohamad, and independent candidates R Malar and Mohd Nor Yassin.
The polling day for the Rantau by-election is April 13.