Pengerusi SPR kerajaan PH menjelaskan kenapa ianya “susah” untuk SPR mengambil tindakan ke atas “kebetulan-kebetulan” kerajaan PH yang dianggap rasuah pilihanraya.
Alasan dia ialah kes-kes ini adalah terlalu rumit untuk SPR.
Oleh kerana terlalu “rumit” untuk SPR maka PH pun bebas untuk terus merasuah pengundi dengan menggunakan wang Rakyat.
Difficult to take action against politicians promising rewards during an election? EC chief explains why
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 — The Tanjung Piai by-election is nearing its final lap, and with it, both Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional have been locked in a fierce battle for votes.
With just three days left to the November 16 polling day, which would conclude the six-way battle for the seat, PH and BN have been thrust under the limelight, most notably for the number of election promises or goodies made to voters throughout the campaign period.
Many social media users had also scoffed and cried foul over the manner in which PH had “coincidentally” announced allocations for the hotly contested parliamentary seat, piling pressure on the Election Commission (EC) to act.
However, the task being demanded of the agency is not easy to execute, as such cases are too complex even for the EC, chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun shares with the Malay Mail.
According to Azhar, it is difficult to out rightly label such election promises or money politics as an offence or otherwise, as there is no body of jurisprudence developed by the courts on the matter.
“In other words, there has been no court pronouncements on whether they constitute election offences.
“Under the Election Offences Act 1954, bribery; general bribery and corruption; doing certain action in order to influence voters to vote in a certain way or not to vote in a certain way, are election offences,” Azhar told Malay Mail when contacted.
“But the decision by the court regarding these offences has been far and few between. Only in the Cameron Highland case did the Election Court hold, that paying voters cash in the presence of a candidate is bribery/corruption.
“As to whether promises made or action done by a sitting government for the benefit of all voters in a constituency during campaign period constitute bribery/corrupt practice — nobody, and that includes me, knows!” he added.
Azhar lamented that the public and politicians as well as NGOs are usually under the wrong perception that such issues fall under the EC’s purview.
“Well, they are not. The EC organises and run elections. The proper authority in respect of enforcement of election offences is not the EC. They are the RMP and the MACC,” he said, using the acronym to refer to the Royal Malaysia Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
He said that the EC however, does appoint Election Campaign Enforcement Officers (PPKPR), who have been announced in all the by-elections run by the EC.
Azhar said that the PPKPRs are usually made of police officers, local council officers, as well as representatives from political parties who are involved in the by-elections.
He added that the PPKPR also have a specific set of duties, and are only empowered to monitor several offences “that are clear and without doubt”, such as campaigning without permit, or putting up of illegal banners or posters.
“However, as to those activities which are not campaignings, or when those activities require serious legal interpretation, the PPKPR do not involve themselves in it,” he said, adding that the report by the said team are also uploaded on social media on a daily basis.
“They are very effective in preventing those campaign activities that come within their powers to monitor,” he said.
Azhar said that the PPKPRs, or anyone in the EC however, are free to lodge reports with the police and the MACC, if they have “personal knowledge” of any election offence constituting investigations from the police and the MACC.
“The PPKPR members have done so in the past,” he added.
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