‘Disappointing’ if Streram canvassed for votes on polling day, says EC

EC deputy chairman Azmi Sharom.

RANTAU: The Election Commission said it is “disappointing” if the Pakatan Harapan candidate in the Rantau by-election, Dr Streram Sinnasamy, had appealed to voters today to support PH.

Streram told reporters after he cast his vote at SJK (T) Rantau this morning: “I hope God is with us today to win this DUN (state seat) for Pakatan Harapan.

“And I hope everybody who comes here will vote for PH.”

EC deputy chairman Azmi Sharom told FMT that he was disappointed in Streram if it was proven true what he said.

“They (the election candidates) should know what the rules are and it’s a simple matter of following them,” he said when approached at SJK (T) Rantau.

“The law is very clear. Today is when there cannot be any sort of campaigning at all.

“The reason, the logic behind this, is you want polling day to be calm, when the voters can go and think for themselves and decide who they want.

“We don’t want any pressure on the voters. That is why we have these rules.

“If what is reported is correct, it could be that it is against the rules because we’re not supposed to campaign at all on polling day.

“But, of course, this is hearsay. I’m reading what you are showing me … We’ll see what happens next.”

Bersih chairman Thomas Fann told FMT that going by the wording of Section 26(1)(a) of the Election Offences Act 1954, it is illegal to canvas for votes on polling day.

Meanwhile, both Streram and Umno’s Mohamad Hasan said they would accept whatever the decision was tonight, “win or lose”.

Today is also Streram’s 34th wedding anniversary. He said it will be especially sweet for him and his wife if he wins.

“It will be an anniversary present for her,” he said.

He said she would not be upset with him if he became an assemblyman and got caught up with his work.

“She always wants me to serve the people.”

Mohamad told reporters at SJK (T) Rantau he was pleased with how voting was going on.