Isn’t buying votes something we know only too well?

Opinion  |  Francis Paul Siah
Published:  | 

COMMENT | Two election court judgments were meted out in recent days – that of the Rembau state seat in Negeri Sembilan and the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat in Pahang.

Of the two, I think that the Rembau case is a no-brainer. The returning officer erred big time. Denying entry to a candidate into the nomination centre just because he lacked a so-called piece of paper is wrong, dead wrong.

I believe this is the first time such an incident occurred, at least to the best of my knowledge.

From my experience entering nomination centres as a candidate, everything was smooth-sailing as it should be. In the two elections which I participated, the nomination centre was at the Kuching City South building.

The first time, the officer at the entrance did not even bother to check anything. He just waved me and my proposer and seconder in. Earlier, we had to pass by some police officers among the crowd before we reached the main building. The policemen also allowed us to pass without any hassle.

Perhaps, Kuching is a small place and we, local politicians, were familiar faces. It was really that simple.

On the second occasion, the sentry at the main door requested to see my papers. I just pulled out my file with my nomination paper and that was it. He ushered me in. No hassle too, nothing. He did not even bother to ask or look for anything from my proposer and seconder.

Well, I suppose 20 years ago, it was more quiet times. There was little or no tension. Elections in Sarawak were orderly and peaceful.

On the Cameron Highlands judgment, I was actually very surprised, or should I say puzzled.

On Nov 30, the Election Court in Kuala Lumpur declared the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat vacant, paving the way for a re-election...

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