The authorities will act against all perpetrators of political violence, including those who are pro-BN, in the run-up to and during the 13th general election.
"Even if they are BN supporters, we will take action. You know me. Two wrongs don't make a right," caretaker law minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
This, Nazri said, was because the laws had to be enforced to be of any use in keeping the peace and protecting members of the public.
"Without enforcement, the law will amount to nothing," he said.
This was Nazri’s response when asked to comment on recent police arrests of 15 individuals for offences linked to the May 5 general election and whether there was a need for the government to commit to more aggressive actions to prevent such violence.
Nazri said the government would not just wait for the election to start or when it is over to effectively enforce laws on political violence.
Therefore, the authorities must be on their toes all the time and Nazri gave his assurance to the people that “the police are on the case”.
He said that he and the Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail would make sure that swift and sure actions would be taken against those caught, if the cases investigated by police “show all the proper legal ingredients” for indictment.
In recent weeks, cases linked to political violence in the run-up to GE13 have started trickling in, with several election volunteers threatened and injured with deadly weapons and at least one case of arson on a party’s election operations room.
Critics have lambasted the government for an apparent lack of action against perpetrators of political violence, some of whom are alleged to be BN supporters as Pakatan ceramah sessions have been attacked by thugs wearing BN merchandise and paraphernalia.
'Sack Umno members who stand against party candidates'
On another matter, Nazri called for swift action against Umno members unhappy with the BN candidates selection and who have said they would, on principle and under protest, contest in GE13 as independents.
However, Nazri qualified his call by adding that by right, any such action would be an internal party matter.
"I say sack them straightaway. No need to wait to issue show cause letters," he said.
A party member standing against the official party candidate in an election, Nazri added, would be a clear case of betrayal of the party
Last night, Gerakan's Batu Uban coordinator A Mohan and Umno veterans incumbent Tasek Gelugor MP Shariff Omar and Sungai Dua state seat incumbent Jasmin Mohammed publicly declared war on the BN after finding out that their names were not on the candidates list.
Mohan, Shariff and Jasmin also vowed to stand as independents against the party's chosen ones.
The BN is not alone in this as some PKR leaders sidelined in their election candidates lists have expressed similar sentiments.
Tapah PKR division leader Ridzuan Bani, disappointed with his party’s choice, said he may join the battle against MIC's M Saravanan, PKR's K Vasantha Kumar and possibly another from Ikatan Muslim Malaysia for the Tapah parliamentary seat.
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