Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin has assured that his ministry will not meddle in the affairs of the Election Commission.
This came as electoral watchdog Bersih yesterday urged the commission to take legal action on offences allegedly committed by both BN and Pakatan Harapan during the Sungai Kandis by-election earlier this month.
In a brief statement today, Hanipa, who is the de facto deputy law minister, urged the EC to take heed of the complaints by Bersih "without fear or favour."
He stressed that the Harapan administration – especially the Prime Minister's Department, under which he and Minister Liew Vui Keong serve – was committed to ensuring that the EC conducts each election in a manner that is both fair and just to all parties concerned.
"Therefore, I hope any sincere criticism given by any party, including Bersih, will be taken heed of by the EC without fear or favour.
"I would also like to state that our ministry will never intervene in the duties, role and responsibilities of the EC," he said.
In a press conference yesterday, Bersih revealed 14 election offences it detected during the campaigning period for the Aug 4 Selangor state seat by-election.
These offences fell into three categories: Treating and gifts, the use of government assets and programmes, as well as racial and religious politics.
Among them, it said, all five offences for the abuse of government assets and programmes were committed by Harapan – including its candidate Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni campaigning in a school which also served as a polling centre.
The NGO said a number of government leaders had also attended the launch of the Sungai Kandis operations centre with their official cars.
Among these were the water, land, and natural resources minister, the Selangor menteri besar, as well as the state assembly deputy speaker and an exco.