KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 — Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) Jeneri state seat candidate Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor has been said to have violated the Election Offences Act 1954, when he deliberately showed off his marked ballot papers to media personnel.
The act was caught by media photographers when the caretaker Kedah menteri besar was in the midst of submitting his ballot papers at the Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Baru Beris Jaya polling centre in Sik at about 11am.
Berita Harian reported today that Sanusi’s actions drew criticism from social media users, who shared a photo of the caretaker menteri besar displaying his political party of choice on the ballot paper.
According to the Malay language daily, the photo was taken by media personnel shortly before Sanusi, who is also the PN election director, was about to submit his paper to the ballot box.
In Malaysia, voting is supposed to be done in secrecy and this could amount to an offence under the Election Offences Act 1954.
Checks revealed that Sanusi’s action had contravened Article 39 of the Election Offences Act 1954, which states that no elector who has voted in any election shall, in any proceedings, questioning the election, be required to state for whom he has voted for.
The Act further states that the offence can be punished with imprisonment of up to a year or a fine of up to RM3,000, or both.
It was reported that a similar incident happened during the Besut by-election in 2013, when Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abdul Rahman did a similar act. He was later reprimanded by then EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof.