PONTIAN, Nov 13 — Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan expressed concern over a new electoral ruling requiring police permits for walkabouts and door-to-door campaigning for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election.
He said the abrupt ruling causes difficulty for by-election campaigners regardless of their party affiliations.
“Since when do we have such a ruling for elections?” the Negri Sembilan state lawmaker raised when met after a Barisan Nasional (BN) ceramah at Kampung Parit Rambai here last night.
The Election Commission (EC) issued a statement about the new requirement for such moving political campaigns yesterday.
The 63-year-old Mohamad, also known as Tok Mat, said he was worried after being informed on the new ruling during his campaign rounds in Parit Ismail here yesterday.
“I immediately texted EC chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, and he replied that the decision on the new ruling was made by the police,” the Rantau assemblyman said.
He urged the police to review their decision as there are only three days of campaigning left before polling day this Saturday.
Also with Mohamad was BN’s Tanjung Piai by-election candidate Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng who said the new ruling will affect his campaign rounds.
However, the by-election candidate from MCA said he will use other methods to campaign, without elaborating.
Earlier yesterday, Azhar said the Opposition had acted in bad faith by blaming the EC for the police’s new ruling.
He was surprised that “senior politicians” lacked the understanding of the basic legal framework concerning elections.
“The requirement for police permit for all ceramah is stated in the law. It is not within the jurisdiction of the SPR to issue permits or to impose requirements for permits. It is the police’s jurisdiction and power.
“In the case of Tanjung Piai, the police has decided to impose a new requirement for permits even for walkabouts and house-to-house visits. The SPR has nothing to do with that requirement and is not able to impose its will on the police,” Azhar said in a statement, using the Malay initials for the EC.
The Tanjung Piai by-election will see a six-way contest between PH’s Karmaine Sardini, BN’s Wee, Gerakan’s Wendy Subramaniam, Berjasa’s Datuk Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz, and two independent candidates Ang Chuan Lock and Faridah Aryani Abdul Ghaffar.