PONTIAN: Every programme relating to political campaigning and the by-election must get a permit from the police, including mobile campaigning, said Johor police chief Mohd Kamarudin Md Din.
As such, he said it was necessary for the competing parties and candidates to obtain permits if they wanted to hold house-to-house programmes aimed at campaigning for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary constituency by-election
He said the case was under Section 24B of the Election Offences Act 1954, which provided that any campaign conducted must get a permit issued by the district police chief.
‘’The police, after discussing with the Election Commission (EC), find that regardless of the type of campaign to be held, the candidate must get a permit.
“This, for us (the police) makes monitoring easy to ensure that matters relating to public safety are always given priority.
“It is also to avoid incidents of provocations and clashes between competing parties. So it is easier for us to oversee their movements (of the candidates),” he said at a media conference for the by-election at the Pontian district police headquarters here today. Present was state EC director Shafie Taib.
Asked on what was needed to apply for a permit for a mobile campaign, Kamarudin said the applicants needed only fill their personal details, duration and locations of the campaign.
Yesterday, EC chairman Azhar Azizan Harun was reported as saying that police had stipulated that all parties and candidates contesting in the by-election must seek a permit for house-to-house campaigns.
Azhar, in a statement, said police also established that a walkabout, which is also regarded as a mobile campaign, must have a clear time limit and location for monitoring purposes.
This had led to unhappiness among the opposition party leaders, including Barisan Nasional (BN) deputy chairman Mohamad Hasan, who urged the police to review the directive for the house-to-house campaigning as it was seen as burdensome.
Meanwhile, Kamarudin said 562 political campaigning permits had been issued by the police as of this evening to Pakatan Harapan (124), BN (304), Gerakan (115), Berjasa (eight) and independents (11).
In another development, he said 100 police officers and policemen from various departments were tasked with security at the PH mega ceramah involving Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the bus terminal site in Kukup from 8.30pm tonight.
Meanwhile, Gerakan lauded the police directive for all parties and candidates contesting in the Tanjung Piai parliamentary constituency by-election to get a permit to campaign house-to-house.
Its president, Dominic Lau, said the directive was for security purposes.