PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 has chimed in with Election Commission (EC) chairman Azhar Azizan Harun’s calls for other Port Dickson by-election candidates to be allowed to campaign in the military camps, since Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic) had done so.
Bersih 2.0 (or the Coalition for Free and Free Election) said all candidates should be accorded the same treatment to ensure an even playing field according to the Defence Ministry's principle of administrative neutrality.
"Otherwise, the Ministry of Defence would be seen as abusing government machinery for the Pakatan Harapan candidate," the Bersih steering committee said in a statement Tuesday (Oct 9).
Bersih also called for Anwar's upcoming free dinner event for 3,000 to 4,000 people in Lukut to be postponed until after the by-election.
"Such dinner is no different from the feast thrown by Jho Low in Penang during the 13th General Election," it said.
"Section 8 of the Election Offences Act prohibits treating of food, drink, refreshment or provision to induce voters to vote for a particular candidate," it added.
Bersih also highlighted Section 19, which caps the expenses for the election campaigns of parliament seats at RM200,000.
"Therefore, the expenses incurred in the free concert in Port Dickson during by-election should be (borne) by the candidate, his election agent or person authorised by the election agent and be included in the financial statement of the candidate’s election campaign expenditure," it said.
On Oct 8, Anwar told the EC and Bersih not to "abuse their power" and "don't be too much" after the two organisations criticised him for attending the free Picnic@PD concert on Oct 6 during his election campaign.
The concert was organised by the Anwar Ibrahim Club (AIC), Pertubuhan Khidmat Kebajikan Masyarakat Madani and Muafakat Anak Muda Port Dickson.
Anwar later clarified that he respected the authority of the EC and the work of Bersih.
He suggested that certain flexibilities should be considered and certain regulations should be looked at to determine if they were "too constricting on the movement of candidates".
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