All election candidates should have equal access to campaign in army camps, says EC

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 07 Oct 2018

PORT DICKSON: The Defence Ministry has been urged to give equal access to all candidates in the by-election here to ensure it is fair, says the Election Commission (EC).

EC chairman Azhar Azizan Harun, also known as Art Harun, said the EC has no jurisdiction in the matter as permission to enter army camps is under the purview of the military and the Defence Ministry.

"However it is not fair and just if only one candidate is allowed to campaign in army camps and others aren't allowed to do so.

"It contradicts (bercanggah) against the principle and spirit of democracy and the presence of free and fair campaigning activities.

"As such, the EC would like to urge (menyarankan) that the army camps or even the Defence Ministry give equal opportunities to all candidates, subject to any camp or nation's security procedures practised by the camps or the Ministry," said Azhar in a statement on Sunday (Oct 7).

On Saturday (Oct 6), PAS candidate Lt-Kol (Rtd) Mohd Nazari Mokhtar said all the by-election candidates should be given equal access to campaign inside army camps.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, one of seven candidates in the Port Dickson by-election, had recently visited one of the army camps here.

However, Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Aminuddin Harun had clarified that he was the one who invited Anwar to a function at the army camp. Both Anwar and Aminuddin are from PKR.

Meanwhile, the EC said it has been monitoring the campaigning activities in Port Dickson since they started and has noted that some received negative public reactions, which may give the process of elections and good democratic practices a bad name.

Azhar said the EC believes it is the responsibility of every candidate and their parties to ensure the law is not abused and the principles and spirit of democracy are upheld.
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