EC upset over candidates operating 'pondok panas'

B Nantha Kumar

Modified 13 Apr 2019, 5:48 am

RANTAU POLLS | The Election Commission (EC) is upset with the attitude of some Rantau by-election candidates and their supporters for not shutting down their campaign booths.

EC chairperson Azhar Azizan Harun said the commission found that political parties had been stubborn over the matter, albeit having been reminded to close their pondok panas (campaign booths) on polling day.

"I have visited three polling centres. The election process had been going well. But, I felt dissatisfied with candidates and political parties, discipline-wise, because the pondok panas still exist.

"Even when I told them to stop (operating), they would just stand down for some 15 minutes before continuing again.

"I even went to warn them twice, but still they would continue, (including) using mobile phone (to check on voters' information)," he told reporters after visiting a polling centre at SK Nyatoh earlier today.

According to Azhar, there was no need for the booths as EC had already sent out voter cards to all eligible voters in Rantau constituency.

"There is no need to do the check again. This is because we have sent out voters' cards, which can be checked against EC website as well as (mobile) application.

"We also have EC booths at each polling centre, where voters themselves can check their information there," he said.

Azhar also expressed his satisfaction that no untoward incident has happened during the by-election so far.

"I'm glad nothing untoward happen. There was no fighting or public disturbance so far, except for some tense situation."

Meanwhile, on allegation that Pakatan Harapan candidate Dr S Streram had continued campaigning on polling day, Azhar called for related parties to lodge reports over the matter.

This followed Streram's alleged response to a media question this morning, where he expressed his hope that Rantau voters would support Harapan.

"You saw there was a video. So, lodge a report. Please do. I am not sure if he was really campaigning, but it was an offence.

"He is not allowed to campaign during polling day from 12 midnight last night until 5.30pm today. (He) cannot ask for people to vote for him... If there is video evidence, I am asking for reports to be lodged," he said.

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