NIBONG TEBAL, June 21 — Police have formed a special task force to monitor those playing up the sensitive topics of race, religion and royalty (3R) throughout the campaigning period for the Sungai Bakap by-election, which will kick off tomorrow.

Penang police chief Datuk Hamzah Ahmad said the task force will take stern action against those touching on the issues during their campaign trail.

“Political parties are reminded not to play up the 3R issues as it can lead to disharmony and unrest among the people throughout the by-election,” he said at a media conference here today.

He also advised the parties to apply for permits early for the purpose of holding talks and other campaigning activities.

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“Yesterday, the Seberang Perai Selatan (SPS) district police chief Choong Boo Khim briefed representatives of candidates regarding procedures and safety issues, including permits and areas designated for supporters throughout the nomination process at the Jawi multipurpose hall tomorrow,” he said.

He said 600 police officers will be on duty tomorrow, and 12 teams will be assigned to ensure the by-election proceeds smoothly and safely.

“The public is advised to check MySPR Semak (to check their voter status). PDRM (Royal Malaysia Police) has also set up special hotlines namely the Penang Contingent Control Centre at 04-2643122 and the SPS Control Centre at 04-5820184,” he added.

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The EC has set July 6 as the polling day for the Sungai Bakap by-election and June 22 as the nomination day, while early voting will be on July 2.

The by-election was called following the death of the state assemblyman, Nor Zamri Latiff, on May 24 due to stomach inflammation. — Bernama

* An earlier version of this article contained an error by Bernama which has since been rectified.