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Village in Batam warns its votes are not for sale

Jakarta Post - April 3, 2019

Batam – With only a couple of weeks until polling day, residents of a housing complex in Nenas village, Batam, Riau Islands, have made it clear their votes are not for sale.

They have erected a banner at the entrance to the complex that says: "Accept 'serangan fajar', but do not vote because of it".

Serangan fajar refers to the common practice of candidates paying cash to voters a few hours before polls open. The banner is therefore stating that while residents may accept money given to them, they should not allow it to influence how they cast their votes.

Tohom Sinaga, the head of neighborhood unit (RT) 003 and community unit (RW) 009 in Nanas, said the banner was a method of educating the community before polling day.

"This is a part of the political education. We want to encourage our community to be consistent in choosing their future leaders," Tohom said as quoted by kompas.com.

Tohon said Nenas comprised nine neighborhood units with 15,000 families. Therefore, he said it was important to inform the community about avoiding vote-buying.

Meanwhile, the head of Batam Election Supervisory Agency, Syailendra Reza Irwansyah Rezeki, said the banner did not violate any rules because it was merely a statement.

"But of course it becomes a problem when they accept money from candidates. It means there is transactional politics happening there," Syailendra said. (hol)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/04/03/village-in-batam-warns-its-votes-are-not-for-sale.html