KIMANIS: Sabah Umno Youth has urged the Election Commission to drop its plan to use video cameras at the Kimanis by-election booths as this may compromise voting secrecy.
The Election Commission (EC) earlier announced the use of video cameras at all 68 voting channels in the by-election here to ensure an efficient and transparent election process.
Sabah Umno youth chief Abdul Azis Julkarnain said the EC was duty-bound to uphold the secrecy of the ballots.
“We don’t want the cameras to be used to identify who the voters are voting for. We don’t want voters to fear that those in the ruling parties and the government would know who had voted against them,” he told reporters at the Barisan Nasional command centre at Kimanis Centro.
A total of 29,644 Kimanis voters will get to elect a new Member of Parliament either from the ruling Warisan or Umno this Jan 18.
In another development, Azis defended the police report lodged by a youth member on Jan 6 against Warisan for allegedly violating the Election Offences Act by organising a Christmas and New Year’s Day celebration on Jan 4.
The function was held on the same day that nominations for the Kimanis by-election were held.
Azis denied accusations by Warisan that the police report was meant to incite hate or that Umno was being disrespectful to Christian traditions.
He maintained the report lodged by Beaufort youth member Mohd Fadzli Misdeh was over the violation of Section 8 and 10 of the Election Offences Act and was not in any way being disrespectful of Christians.
Some 41% of the voters in Kimanis are non-Muslim Bumiputeras.
“After Fadzli lodged the police report on Jan 6, the police called him up and had his statements recorded for over four hours, without food and water,” he said.
Azis also claimed Warisan supporters had destroyed BN campaign materials such as posters and banners, citing a viral video of an incident this morning.
“The incident was also witnessed by Warisan vice-president Peter Anthony and Sukau assemblyman Saddi Abdul Rahman who joined Warisan from Umno last year,” he said.
Azis said the incident happened at Kampung Pimping yesterday and that a police report had been lodged.
Saying destroying campaign materials was against Section 4A of the Electoral Offences Act, he appealed to the EC to take action against Warisan.