Monday, April 5, 2010

Federal government gets a lashing for 'campaign'

Federal government gets a lashing for 'campaign' .
Mon, 05 Apr 2010 13:39 .SHAH ALAM: Malaysians For Free Elections (Mafrel) has slammed the Barisan Nasional federal government for timing the launch of several housing and schools projects to coincide with the Hulu Selangor by-elections.

Mafrel chairman Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh said it was as if the BN government did not respect the democratic election process.

He also urged the Election Commission to act against the BN.

“This is a form of campaigning and if you refer to the election regulations the action is wrong according to polls rules.

“As such the EC must warn BN and issue a directive disallowing any form of campaigns until nomination day,” he said in a statement.

Since last week, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin have taken turns to launch projects in the Hulu Selangor constituency.

Using the project launches as a platform, they have touted BN’s plusses, urging the constituency to vote for BN, while hitting out at the opposition.

“The Hulu Selangor by-election campaign is not scheduled until nomination day on April 17 and any form of campaigning until then is not allowed.

“Article 10 of the Election Act 1954 (Amended in 2006) states that a person is found guilty if campaigning is done before, during or after an election, directly or indirectly,” he said.

The Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of PKR MP Zainal Abidin Ahmad on March 25. Zainal beat BN’s G Palanivel, who is also MIC deputy president, with a 198-vote majority in the March 2008 general election.

MIC has already proposed Palanivel’s name to the BN council as a candidate, although local Umno leaders have asked for the seat to be allocated for their candidate.

Meanwhile the EC has issued a warning to all groups to stop campaigning.

Deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan OMar said the official campaign period will only begin on April 17 after nomination for candidates.

“EC can act against any party or individuals who put up banners and buntings, or groups parading for the purpose of campaigning. I request the local councils and the police to monitoring such activities. All contesting parties must abide by the rules,” he said.

The by-election is on April 25.

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