KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 ― The Election Commission (EC) has said that Cabinet members can use government vehicles and drivers during political campaigns, if both are listed as part of their security detail.
EC chairman Azhar Harun told Malay Mail that the Commision has never stopped any Cabinet members from utilising the security detail given to them for their safety.
“With regards to the official car and driver, as stated before this, it is subject to the set usage conditions of the assets.
“If the condition of usage is for personal use, then it can be used. If the asset is included into the security detail, then it can also be used,” Azhar added.
Azhar was responding to an Utusan Malaysia report which quoted PKR leader Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad requesting that the EC allow some leeway for ministers to use government vehicles, when going about their walkabouts during the campaign period before by-elections.
Utusan quoted Nik Nazmi saying that the proposal was to avoid the incident in Semenyih recently, where Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman was heckled, chased and allegedly assaulted by whom he accused of being Barisan Nasional members.
“Ministers get the privilege of having security escorts to ensure no untoward incidents happen, and the EC has to give leeway for them to use them while visiting by-election areas.
“For example, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad got onto a private helicopter when visiting Cameron Highlands during the by-election, whereas his security would have been more assured if a government vehicle is used,” Nik Nazmi was quoted saying.