SEMENYIH: The Election Commission (EC) is hoping for a smooth and peaceful by-election as Semenyih turns into a political battleground.
This is the sixth by-election after last year’s general election.
Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun advised all parties to adhere to election rules and regulations throughout the 14-day campaign period, which kicks off today and lasts until 11.59pm on March 1.
“I implore each political party to keep things civil and keep their supporters under control,” he said.
He also encouraged those who witnessed any wrongdoing throughout the period to report to the police or the EC.
“This is especially if the acts are deemed corrupt or go against the Election Offences Act,” he said.
Yesterday, Azhar visited the nomination centre at Dewan Seri Chempaka in Taman Saujana Impian, Kajang, to check on preparations there.
Azhar, who was accompanied by three new commission members – Datuk Chin Phaik Yoong, Datuk Seri Ramlan Ibrahim and Zoe Randhawa – said he was satisfied with the preparations and was confident that safety and security would be upheld with help from the police.
He said about 54,000 voter cards had also been sent out to registered voters in the constituency.
“It is a new initiative. Anyone with the card will immediately know which voting stream to go to,” he said.
This was an effort to encourage and facilitate voters to come out and cast their votes on polling day.
Azhar also said more than 900 commission workers would be on duty throughout the election period.
The EC also said 13 nomination forms had been sold in the run-up to the by-election.
An EC spokesman said Umno bought five forms, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia bought three while Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) got one.
Each form costs RM20.
When contacted, independent candidate, Kuan Chee Heng, said he bought four forms.
Umno named 58-year-old administrative assistant Zakaria Hanafi as its candidate while 30-year-old engineer Muhammad Aiman Zainali would represent Bersatu and PSM by 25-year-old businessman Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul.
Meanwhile, in an effort to stamp out corrupt practices, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has set up a special operations centre to enable the public to report instances of abuse of power and corruption in the Semenyih by-election.
The centre, which will operate 24 hours daily, is located on the ground floor of Menara MPKj, Jalan Cempaka Putih in Kajang.
In a statement, MACC said apart from directing their complaints to the centre, the public could also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, they can call 016-988 0782 or 03-5525 6500, or fax 03-5525 6514.
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