New ruling to prevent confrontations

PONTIAN: Johor police has defended its requirement for candidates campaigning in Tanjung Piai to obtain police permits for their walkabouts following grouses from the candidates.

State police chief Comm Datuk Mohd Kamarudin Md Din said the requirement was to avoid confrontations, which could threaten public order as well as to enable the police to monitor political campaigns by the parties.

“This is for us to ensure that there would not be any incident where contesting parties will meet at the same place and time, which could trigger provocation and threats to public order.

“I hope with this explanation, this issue can be accurately understood by everyone, ” he told reporters at the Pontian police district headquarters yesterday.

Comm Kamarudin said no permit applications for campaigns have been rejected with 562 permits issued – 124 permits for Pakatan Harapan, Barisan Nasional (304), Gerakan (115), Faridah Abdul Ghaffar (seven), Berjasa (eight) and Ang Chuan Lock (four).

“So far every police permit application was approved. There are no problems.

“The application is very simple as well. We just need 12 items to be filled up in the form, ” he said.

Comm Kamarudin said police were satisfied with the campaigns for the Tanjung Piai by-election.

“So far, there has been no big incident, ” he said.

“The reports we received at present are in regards to billboards and flags, which were vandalised. There are no violent incidents.”

Barisan’s candidate Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng said his campaign had been affected due to the new ruling while Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan had also expressed his dismay, calling it “troublesome’” to all campaigners, regardless of the political divide.

Meanwhile, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has requested the police to be fair, adding that he did not want to be seen as misusing his position as the Home Minister.

“I have received complaints that the ruling is a bit strict. I have handled many elections before and never has there been such a directive.

“Usually, once the Election Commission has announced the nomination, it is up to the respective candidates and their machinery to pull in support, ” he said.

Source: TheStar