SEMENYIH: Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 this morning alleged that Muhammad Aiman Zainali, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate for the Semenyih by-election, had contravened the Election Offences Act 1954 by urging voters to support him and the ruling coalition.
Aiman, 30, of PPBM, who cast his vote at SMK Engku Husain in Kampung Baru Semenyih, had told reporters that things were going on smoothly.
“I hope the voters will make a smart choice to determine the fate of (those in) Semenyih … and by God’s grace, I hope they all vote for Pakatan Harapan.
“Vote for Aiman Zainali,” he was alleged to have said just before leaving the voting centre with his wife Nurul Filzah Bakthiar.
Bersih 2.0 chairman Thomas Fann told FMT it would be considered an election offence even if he only spoke to reporters “as they are considered members of the public all the same”.
“Section 26(1)(a) of the Election Offences Act 1954 states clearly that no person shall campaign on polling day.
“If Aiman had called on voters to vote for him and PH, he has committed an offence,” Fan said.
Section 26(1)(a) states that no person on polling day shall hold, convene or organise any form of address that is open or involves members of the public or otherwise.
Section 26(2) meanwhile, states that any person who contravenes any of the provisions of the subsection shall be liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for not more than one year, a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or both.
Meanwhile, PSM central committee member S Arutchelvan, who is the party’s campaign manager for the by-election, claimed that both PH and Barisan Nasional (BN) were “blatantly abusing” the Election Offences Act by campaigning openly outside the polling centres.
He also claimed that PH was giving out food near the Sin Ming polling station while BN supporters near SMK Engku Husain were calling on the public to vote for their candidate.
Arutchelvan said he spoke to EC officials “who only took pictures but did not take any action or reprimand them”.
“PSM believes in free, fair and clean elections. We stopped our campaigning at midnight and we instructed all our members and volunteers to strictly follow the laws.
“But what is happening today is totally disappointing and SPR (Election Commission) is helpless. This is against the spirit of new Malaysia,” he said in a statement.
Later this morning, BN candidate Zakaria Hanafi, also urged voters to support BN when arriving at the polling centre in Kampung Sesapan Kelubi, Beranang.
“Vote BN … vote (for an) ‘orang kampung’,” he told reporters.
FMT is contacting PH, BN and the EC for comments.