Let’s work together for smooth polls, top cop tells GE14 candidates

By Thasha Jayamanogaran
Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order director Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah speaks to Malay Mail in an interview in Kuala Lumpur March 8, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — Bukit Aman hopes to work with aspiring lawmakers to ensure the 14th general elections this year will be a smooth process.

Its Internal Security and Public Order director Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah said each district police chief will meet election candidates to discuss how they can work together once election dates are announced.

“Candidates can voice out their needs or ask for any help, the cops will be there to assist,” he told Malay Mail in an interview this week.

He also urged election candidates and politicians to be responsible and ethical and not resort to character assassination while on the stump.

“Remember, as a candidate or politician you have the power to influence the crowd and your followers.

“While you have the freedom of speech to voice out the interest of your respective parties, let’s also be mindful and not irk the crowd to resort to any violence or unruly behaviour,” he said.

Zulkifli said the police have also formed a special social media team, which also includes representatives from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, to look out for seditious remarks, speeches and “fake news” during the election period.

He also hoped Parliament will pass a proposed law to curb the spread of fake news before the elections.

“Not that we can’t do without it, but it will be a great tool to deter fake news during that period,” Zulkifli said.

The current Dewan Rakyat meeting is widely expected to table a new legislation against fake news after the government set up a special committee in January.

But Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said told reporters last Monday that the Cabinet has yet to finalise matters on the fake news proposal, which she had previously said was needed because it threatens political stability, undermines public order, and disrupts national security.