Police should  only allow BN flag and ban the use of UMNO, MCA, Gerakan and MIC flags on Ketari nomination day  as it is BN which is officially contesting against the DAP and not the BN  component parties

Media Statement 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Tuesday):  The police rule that it will only allow Barisan Nasional and DAP supporters to carry their respective flags while escorting their candidates to the Bentong District Office on nomination day for the Ketari by-election on Saturday is most ridiculous and outrageous.  

If the police claim that the reason for the new-fangled rule is that the Ketari by-election would be a straight fight between BN and DAP, then the police should only allow the BN flag and ban the use of UMNO, MCA, Gerakan, MIC and other BN component party flags as it is the BN, and not these component BN parties, which  will appear on  the Ketari ballot paper. 

An election is an occasion for political parties, NGOs and public-spirited citizens to ventilate their causes or grievances, and there should be no improper and undemocratic restriction on the unfettered exercise of such rights by the police, which had never occurred before.  

It is no business of the police to impose such restrictions, which should come within the purview of the Election Commission, which is entrusted with the constitutional mandate to conduct free, fair and clean general elections. 

The police has acted unconstitutionally, which is compounded by the double-standard of allowing UMNO, MCA, Gerakan and MIC flags although none of these political parties will appear on the Ketari ballot paper.  Such ridiculous and outrageous police restriction on polling day should be withdrawn immediately.  

The police will do a greater public and national  service by focussing its energies to  ensure that the Ketari by-election is held in a peaceful and orderly atmosphere, where there is no undue restriction on fair and honest campaigning - and in particular, that the politics of money, intimidation and fear are not allowed to undermine the legitimacy of the electoral verdict of the people of Ketari on March 31 as happened in the recent Zimbabwe presidential elections.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman