EC officer had direct knowledge of your offence, Azhar tells Najib

Election Commission chairman Azhar Harun.

PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission officer who lodged a police report against Najib Razak during a previous by-election for an alleged election offence had direct knowledge of it, says EC chairman Azhar Harun.

In a statement to FMT, Azhar said the officer in question had seen Najib’s Facebook post on the polling day for the Sungai Kandis by-election.

“Najib, as a senior lawmaker and a former prime minister, ought to know the difference between direct knowledge that would satisfy the best evidence rule and indirect knowledge that is otherwise known as hearsay.”

He was responding to Najib’s “reminder” earlier today that EC officers could report election offences on their own to the relevant authorities amid allegations of vote-buying by Pakatan Harapan in the Semenyih by-election.

Najib had cited the report lodged against him by the EC officer over his Facebook post which was deemed as campaigning on polling day — which is an election offence.

Azhar added that the report lodged against Najib was “way before” his appointment as EC chairman.

“I wish to congratulate the EC’s secretariat and my EC colleagues for their tireless efforts in bringing greater awareness about election offences.

“My colleagues at EC have obviously succeeded in creating this awareness so much so that even Najib is now talking about election offences and the dangers that the offences bring as well as their impact on democracy.”

Azhar repeated his call to Najib to move a private bill in Parliament so that the EC would have all the powers that Najib wishes it had.

“I give an assurance that the EC would, if given such powers, investigate and prosecute all offenders, including those serial offenders during GE13 and GE14 and all the by-elections in between.”