Campaigning for GE14 has officially begun, and more posters and banners are being erected all over the country. Images of hopeful candidates and logos from political parties are emblazoned all over these publicity materials but the Election Commission (EC) has started to crackdown on violation of the campaigning rules today (April 30).
One of their latest victims is none other than a giant billboard in the parliamentary seat of Ayer Hitam. The billboard was defaced after some enforcement officers cut out a huge portion of it as it featured Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairperson Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s face.
According to Malaysiakini, PH’s candidate, Liew Chin Tong said, “We were told that our billboard cannot carry Mahathir’s picture and the Election Commission’s decision was to cut out Mahathir’s picture.” Officers climbed up the billboard and in one minute, they unceremoniously removed Mahathir’s picture.
They arrived at the billboard’s location at Jalan Utama 1 in Yong Peng and deemed that it had violated their guidelines as it featured Mahathir and Liew, as well as Chew Peck Choo, who is also the candidate for the Yong Peng seat. The EC had previously announced that they would set new regulations this GE14 to ensure that the public would not be confused, Bernama reported.
The guidelines said that political parties could use photos of only two leaders of the party, the president and deputy president, or their equivalent based on the use of logo/symbol of political party registered by the candidate during the Nomination Day on campaign materials, other than the photo of the candidate. The two leaders must also be from the candidate’s party.
Based on these new rules, the opposition has slammed the EC, saying that their intention was just to prevent images of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim or Dr Mahathir’s faces from appearing on promotional materials, based on The Star. Liew said that this rule was nonsensical and shouldn’t be happening.
“Why can’t we put up Mahathir’s picture? He is the prime ministerial candidate for Harapan,” he said. That was not the only billboard to be removed as a similar one which had Dr Mahathir’s face on it in Seremban was also taken down.
Another billboard was removed even though it did not have Dr Mahathir’s face but instead, it showed caretaker prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor. The EC said that this violated their guidelines as Rosmah was not an election candidate.
Although DAP cut out her picture, enforcement officers took down the billboard in the end. However, billboards of MCA president and Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which commended MCA’s ties with the Chinese Communist Party and how people stood to benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative, were left undisturbed as they carried a positive message, Straits Times reported. Well, well.
Watch the video here:
Looks like there might just be more of the same to come!
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