PETALING JAYA: Election Commission (EC) chairman Azhar Harun has urged the public to file a police report against PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang for alleged misconduct during the Cameron Highlands by-election if they had the proof and not wait for him to do so.
This follows claims that Hadi had violated the law by using religious sentiments to woo voters after he allegedly said it was the duty of Muslims to vote only for Muslim candidates.
Azhar said the responsibility for filing police reports does not only lie with the EC, adding that his officials were not present when Hadi gave his speech.
“If anyone has any information (about Hadi’s alleged offence), they should lodge a report, don’t wait for me,” he told FMT.
Lawyer Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar Al Mahdzar had said the EC must show that it is serious and that no one is allowed to flout the law like using race and religion to rile up a community to vote in a certain way.
He told FMT that failure to act might encourage leaders from both sides of the political divide to do the same in the upcoming Semenyih by-election, where campaigning will begin after nomination day on Feb 16.
Hadi, the Marang MP, had allegedly urged Muslim voters to trust only Muslims to represent them, saying non-Muslims had no concept of sin and heavenly reward, which made them unfit to sit in Parliament.
Commenting on Syed Iskandar’s statement that the EC must be consistent as it had lodged a police report against Pakatan Harapan candidate M Manogaran for wearing a shirt with the coalition’s logo at a polling station, Azhar said it was because EC observers were there.
“The EC officer accompanied him (Manogaran) out,” he said.
He said the EC will not sit idly and he would instruct his secretariat to go over Hadi’s speech before taking any further action.
BN’s Orang Asli candidate Ramli Mohd Nor won the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat, beating Manogaran and two independent candidates.