KUALA LUMPUR - Gerakan president Datuk Mah Siew Keong has urged opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to apologise for allegedly spreading rumours about the presence of 40,000 Bangladeshi voters in the 13th General Election.
Mah said "darker-skinned" Malaysians were affected on polling day, as many were questioned on their citizenship at polling centres. "Anwar owes them an apology. He needs to stop politicking as there is no proof or a police report.
"I would not even dare say there were 1,000 Bangladeshi voters, how could he say 40,000? It is a huge number and he is now denying making the statement."
Mah said the episode was almost similar to the one in 2008 when Anwar had allegedly claimed that a large number of Barisan Nasional members of parliament were set to cross over to Pakatan, thus forming a new government.
"In the end, no such thing happened. We cannot just forget the matter. These are tricks used by the opposition to garner support."
During Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's visit to Bangladesh recently, his counterpart, Sheikh Hasina, had dismissed claims that her countrymen were brought into Malaysia to vote for BN.
In an about turn, Anwar denied making such claims and blamed pro-Umno blogs for attributing the statement to him.
On another matter, Mah announced Gerakan's new office bearers for the next term.
Mah's running mate and Kedah Gerakan chairman Dr Cheah Soon Hai was made deputy president.
The three vice-presidents are Johor chairman Datuk Teo Kok Chee, Selangor Gerakan chief A. Kohilan Pillay and Datuk Dr Asharuddin Ahmad.
Mah passed out a list of central committee members for the party's 2013-2016 term.
Simpang Renggam MP Liang Teck Meng is the new secretary-general.