PKR election rules too rigid, complain contenders

PKR vice-president contender William Leong Jee Keen singled out the rule against using group images in campaign materials, stating the party election committee needed to be more realistic. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Several PKR leaders have called for a review of certain campaign guidelines introduced by the party for the upcoming elections, calling them rigid and impractical.

The new set of guidelines, contained in a PKR circular, bars them from conducting ceramahs or large feasts attended by more than 100 people. They also bar candidates from using group images in campaign materials.

“The use of posters, advertisements and any campaign materials are meant to introduce the candidate, and must portray only the image of the candidate,” states the circular, which was issued on Sunday and signed off by PKR election committee chairman Rashid Din.

Party vice-president contender William Leong Jee Keen was of the view that limiting the gathering to just 100 did not sound realistic to him, considering they had 800,000 members to consider.

“Looking at the time span that we have, and the fact that it is ‘one member one vote’, I ask you this: Do you think it’s practical for us to only see 100 people at a time? I don’t think that’s practical.

“I don’t think there is a need for such a limited number. Why should this be so, as long as the actions do not amount to money politics?”

Leong was asked to comment on the new guidelines introduced by the party’s election committee. Candidates who breach these new regulations run the risk of disciplinary action or being barred from contesting in the party polls altogether.

Leong also singled out the rule against using group images in campaign materials, stating that the party election committee needed to be realistic as members have to choose the central leadership committee and the divisional leaders, among others.

“If you are a youth, then there is the PKR Youth. And then the Wanita PKR wing. You are talking about choosing hundreds of people. I think there needs to be some flexibility here,” he said.

Johari echoed Leong’s sentiments, stating that while the intention was good, the guidelines were “a bit out” of line when it came to practicality, especially the rule limiting the audience to only 100 people.

“For people like me, I can get media coverage, so pressmen can take videos and pictures of me, and I can appear in the newspapers.

“But can you imagine, for a novice or a newcomer, who has no position at all? How do they meet the people? It’s impossible. Limiting the audience is being impractical. The election committee should review these rules immediately,” he said.

As for the group images, the Sungai Petani MP said the whole idea of having such boundaries was to ensure decorum and discipline.

“Putting up posters and what not have nothing to do with corruption. It shows your adulation.

“I am with Rafizi Ramli (PKR deputy presidential candidate). I want to put myself up with Rafizi. What is wrong with that? Why stop it? This is a democracy.

“Allow them to do it. This is not about Boy Scouts. It is a political party.

“So long as you avoid corruption, smear campaigns, mud slinging, misusing of government positions and giving goodies or promises, it should be okay. You don’t have to be so rigid.”