Independent chides rival over alleged campaigning for votes on polling day

Independent candidate for the Rantau by-election Malar Rajaram after casting her vote at SK (C) Chung Hua.

SEREMBAN: Independent candidate Malar Rajaram has chided her Pakatan Harapan rival in the Rantau by-election, Dr Streram Sinnasamy, for allegedly campaigning for votes after polling began this morning, saying she finds it “pathetic”.

“We have rules and regulations,” the housewife and former radio broadcaster from Port Dickson told FMT.

“And since he is contesting in a by-election, he should have known better.”

Malar said it did not matter what other people do, referring to Streram’s claim that Barisan Nasional (BN) supporters had also been canvassing for votes today.

“If Barisan does it, let them.

“You have to take a stand as a leader and call them out if you see this happening.

“But if you are doing this yourself, then I don’t know what kind of role model you are for your constituents. I cannot digest that.”

Malar said the candidates in the by-election were not supposed to campaign after midnight on Friday.

“We all received a letter to this effect. Why is it so difficult to understand the election law?” she asked.

Streram had told reporters after he cast his vote at SJK (T) Rantau: “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.”

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

The EC also asked for witnesses to lodge police reports to enable investigations to be carried out.

Thomas Fann, chairman of electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0, also said that canvassing for votes after the campaign period is against the Election Offences Act 1954.

Malar said that win or lose, she will be at the SJK (C) Bandar Seri Sendayan multipurpose centre for the by-election results tonight.

“I might be an independent candidate but I want to do what is right,” she said.

Malar is up against Streram, Rantau incumbent Mohamad Hasan from Barisan Nasional and another independent candidate, Mohd Nor Yassin.