By Arnaz M Khairul
KUALA LUMPUR: PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli has claimed that the Election Commission (EC) officer who stopped Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) candidate for Rantau from entering the nomination centre last Saturday was a former information chief of Rembau Umno Youth.
Rafizi today showed evidence of the officer, Hafidzan Idris, actively campaigning for Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Rembau candidate Khairy Jamaluddin and Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Mohamad Hassan a week before the incident.
Netizens had posted pictures of Hafidzan actively engaged in the party activities of both Mohamad and Khairy. Rafizi said this happened between 2014 and April 17 this year.
Rafizi said Hafidzan himself reported on the incident at the Rembau nomination centre on his Facebook account the day it happened.
PH candidate Dr Streram Sinnasamy, a doctor at a private hospital, was barred from entering the nomination centre to contest the Rantau state seat, which is within the Rembau parliamentary constituency.
Streram’s disqualification resulted in Mohamad winning the Rantau seat uncontested.
Following the incident, a heated exchange of words erupted between Rafizi and Khairy, the Umno Youth chief and Rembau incumbent MP, who is defending his seat.
Khairy yesterday served a writ of summons on Rafizi for allegedly defaming him and Mohamad.
Rafizi, who has confirmed receiving the writ, said Khairy must explain the incident which allegedly involved an active member of his party in his constituency.
“This has surely cast a lot of doubt on the integrity of the process and raises further questions on whether this was something planned.
“Khairy was there during the situation. As a person holding a senior position in his party, he must answer why he did not intervene to ensure the integrity of the nomination process.
Rafizi also argued that passes for candidates to enter the nomination centre were not obligatory.
“There was also something fishy in the manner Streram and many other candidates were informed very late of the requirement.
“There was one candidate who came from Paroi and stated that he had received his pass at midnight the day before and the EC officer on duty had stated the office was open till midnight. Streram, however, had gone to the EC office in the evening the day before to find it closed.
“In any case, the election regulations do not make it compulsory to have the pass to enter the nomination centre as entry was at the discretion of the EC’s registration officer on duty.”
Rafizi said he did not fear facing Khairy in court, as he had already faced 14 lawsuits filed by Umno leaders.
“This is something I am used to. But Khairy has a lot to answer as all these details have gone viral on social media.
“Hafidzan too has closed his Facebook account, but not before all the evidence had been copied and spread by netizens,” he said.