(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday):
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
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.
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.
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.
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day should be withdrawn immediately.
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