PETALING JAYA: Only those with first-hand information should lodge police reports over any alleged electoral offence, says Election Commission (EC) chairman Azhar Azizan Harun (pic).
"Nobody should lodge a report if he or she does not have a first-hand factual information on any incident.
"If anyone with a second-hand story lodges a report, his or her statement to the authorities would be merely hearsay," he told The Star on Friday (Jan 11).
Azhar, who is popularly known as Art Harun, was commenting on news portal Malaysiakini's report, which stated that PKR's Bob Manolan Mohamad had allegedly warned Orang Asli village chiefs (Tok
Batin) in the Cameron Highlands constituency that they could lose their salaries and positions if they did not vote for Pakatan Harapan in the coming Jan 26 by-election.
Azhar said that the EC, which did not have any investigative or prosecutorial powers, could only implore candidates and campaigners to comply with the Election Offences Act.
"Pasukan pemantau (observation team) can advise campaigners or candidates on the spot if it witnesses incidents that breach the law," he added.
Meanwhile, Bob Manolan, in a statement on Jan 11, said that his remarks to the Tok Batin were misquoted.
According to him, he said that Tok Batin should not hold the position of village chiefs if they also held positions in Umno.
He said that it would be a conflict of interest if Tok Batin remained as Umno members while drawing allowances from the federal government.
"In my statement, I did not issue a warning that says 'no vote, no pay'," he said.
Bob Manolan said that those who were appointed by the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) have the responsibility to carry the voices of the Orang Asli from their respective areas.
"It is logical and rational for them to be in line with the aspirations and policies of the Pakatan government, which wants to bring the best service and attention through the relevant agencies, especially Jakoa," he added.
Nomination for the Cameron Highlands elections will be on Jan 12 (Saturday), early voting on Jan 22 and polling day on Jan 26.