MACC to deploy officers during Cameron Highlands by-election campaign

EC chairman Azhar Azizan Harun said today action would be taken against any offender under the Election Offences Act 1954. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
EC chairman Azhar Azizan Harun said today action would be taken against any offender under the Election Offences Act 1954. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 9 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is to station its officers and personnel in ‘hot areas’ to combat vote-buying during the Cameron Highlands parliamentary by-election, according to the Election Commission (EC).

EC chairman Azhar Azizan Harun said today action would be taken against any offender under the Election Offences Act 1954.

He said he had discussions with MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun and the police top management at Bukit Aman today to address issues associated with corruption and violation of election campaign regulations.

“They will work closely (with the EC) to ensure that no one violates the rules, regulations and ethics of election campaigning,” he said in a statement.

The EC has set nomination for January 12, early voting for January 22 and polling for January 26 in the by-election, called after the Election Court annulled the victory of Datuk C. Sivarraajh of BN-MIC in the 14th general election last May.

Azhar Azizan advised all those involved in the Camerons by-election to abide by the rules, regulations and ethics during the 14 days of campaigning from nomination day on January 12 to 11.59pm on January 25.

“All parties are prohibited from opening, setting up or operating offices and booths on polling day,” he said.

The contesting candidates or political parties should not conduct campaign activities that violate the election laws and regulations such as holding feasts, giving gifts and goods, using government assets and facilities, organising government programmes and activities of a racial nature and touching on religious sensitivities, he said.

He said that to ensure a peaceful and harmonious election process, all quarters including political party leaders, candidates and supporters should abide by all election laws and regulations as well as directives issues from time to time by the EC, police, MACC and other authorities.

Reports or complaints must be addressed to the MACC if any quarters were found to violate the election laws and regulations, particularly in relation to corrupt practices, during the official election campaign, he said.

“Offences under the Election Offences Act or Penal Code should be reported to the police. Other offences, if any, should be reported to the relevant authorities to enable action to be taken,” he said.

Azhar Azizan said the Pahang police, especially, had made preparations at all stages of the by-election, from nomination to campaigning to polling and after polling.

“The EC is confident that the police can handle any eventuality and ensure security at the maximum level to enable the candidates and voters to exercise their democratic right,” he said.

He reminded all quarters that on polling day, all forms of campaigning and appealing for votes were prohibited, including over the social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“The EC hopes that all quarters will abide by the laws, regulations and ethics of election campaigning to ensure a smooth by-election without undermining public order,” he said. — Bernama