Bersih files complaint against Najib for violating election law

Former prime minister Najib Razak is accused of committing an offence by campaigning for BN on polling day of the Sungai Kandis by-election. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Election watchdog Bersih 2.0 has filed a complaint with the Election Commission (EC) saying former prime minister Najib Razak committed an offence by campaigning for Barisan Nasional (BN) on polling day of the Sungai Kandis by-election.

Acting chairman Shahrul Aman Mohd Saari said Bersih submitted its complaint against Najib yesterday and was considering lodging a police report as well.

However, he did not give FMT a definitive answer on when that would be done.

Lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali however said it would be better for Bersih to file a report for the police to begin investigations.

“This is a criminal offence under the Election Offences Act (EOA), and a suspect could be arrested for investigation,” he said.

Rafique added that the EC and police should treat Bersih’s complaint seriously to stop others, whether from the government or the opposition, from canvassing for their party or candidates after the campaign period.

In a statement on its Facebook page, Bersih said the former prime minister had committed an offence under Sections 26 (1)(a) and (f) of the EOA.

Section 26 (1)(a) states that no person shall on polling day hold, convene or organise in any place any form of meeting, rally, display or entertainment or give any form of address or lecture, whether or not such meeting, rally, display, entertainment, address or lecture is open to or involves members of the public.

Section 26 (1)(f) prohibits canvassing for the votes of electors in any constituency for or against any candidate or political party at an election by whatever means, including visiting electors at their homes or places of work or interviewing members of the public.

It also states that any person found guilty of violating these provisions shall be jailed up to one year, fined a maximum of RM5,000 or both.

Bersih also shared a screenshot of Najib’s Facebook post calling on Sungai Kandis voters to give BN a chance at being a stronger opposition and defending the interests of the people through its candidate, Lokman Noor Adam.

In his post, Najib also said the by-election was a chance for voters to protest and warn the government that they did not want to be deceived, and that all its promises must be fulfilled.

PKR candidate Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni retained the seat for his party with a majority of 5,842 votes.

Zawawi obtained 15,427 votes and Lokman secured 9,585 votes while independent candidate K Murthy received 97 votes.

Mohamad: Sungai Kandis by-election result a good sign for BN