Stop canvassing for votes, EC warns contesting parties

Veena Babulal, SITI NUR MAS ERAH AMRAN

KUALA LUMPUR: Pas and Pakatan Harapan party workers have been instructed to stop campaigning in the twin Balakong and Seri Setia by-elections today.

Election Commission deputy chairman Tan Sri Othman Mahmood said failing which, action would be taken against them.

“We can take action but we want everything to be harmonious.”

“We have, however, directed our officers to direct them (party workers) to disperse and dismantle their tents,” he said.

Othman said the EC has made it clear that all campaigning activities must end at midnight before polling day.


In this Sept 7 picture, Election Commission deputy chairman Tan Sri Othman Mahmood (centre) checking on the final preparation ahead of the Seri Setia by-election. Pic by MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI

He said this at Dewan D’ Kelana, one of the several polling centres he is visiting today.

Section 26(1)(a) of the Election Offences Act prohibits any person to hold, convene or organise in any place any form of meeting, rally, display or entertainment or give any form of address or lecture whether or not such meeting, rally, display, entertainment, address or lecture is open to or involves members of the public or otherwise.

They are also disallowed from supplying musical instruments or loudspeakers to anyone for the purpose of political propaganda.

Those who violate the ruling shall be liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to a fine not exceeding five thousand ringgit or both.

Earlier checks conducted along Jalan PJS 10/11 and near Sekolah (J) Kebangsaan Tamil Seaport in Seri Setia showed supporters still actively canvassing for votes.

Tanjung Emas state assemblyman Rohani Ibrahim, who campaigned with some 70 Pas members, claimed it was not an offence to campaign on election day if it was conducted 50 metres away from a polling centre.

The supporters also sported life-sized posters of their candidates attached to umbrellas and their clothes.

Across the street, PKR member Napsiah Khamis gathered with some 20 Pakatan Harapan supporters.

The supporters were seen actively canvassing for votes urging constituents to vote for Pakatan Harapan.

“We are not campaigning. We are just meeting and greeting the voters. Also, this is the first time we are distributing the PH flags.” © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd