KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 2 – The Election Commission (EC) is expected to face various slanderous and false accusations thrown by certain parties during the 14th General Election (GE14), but they may not be as bad as during GE13, says former EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof. He said this was based on the current situation in which the opposition parties appeared to be in conflict with each other and had differing views.
“In the GE13, the opposition campaigned aggressively and went all out.They were campaigning to win the election, and the people at that time were very eager to vote including Malaysians who returned from abroad. At that time, opposition parties like DAP and PAS were together.
“PAS is a party with very staunch members, especially in the grassroots, but this time it is different. PAS is no longer in the coalition. So they may slander (against the EC) but will not be as bad as during GE13,” he said when met by Bernama here, yesterday.
He was asked to comment on whether the EC would face more slanders in the coming general election compared to GE13 when the commission was accused of planning to have blackouts during the counting process, as well as bringing 40,000 Bangladeshis into the country to vote.
Abdul Aziz strongly supported the government’s efforts to create laws to address the spread of fake news, which he deemed would be able to prevent GE14 from becoming an ugly affair. The former chairman who led the EC between December 2008 and January 2016, also denied allegations that the EC had acted unfairly during the general election and had tried to help the ruling party win.
“I am very confident that if voters like a certain candidate or party, I believe they will select the candidate or party and nothing can change their decision, including the EC,” he said. In the meantime, he also corrected a misconception among the public that voters could allegedly be identified by the serial number printed on ballot paper.
According to him, the serial number on the ballot paper actually referred to the polling centre, and not the identity of the voter. “So the secrecy of vote is very secure, it is impossible for anybody to know a person’s choice of candidate or party through the ballot paper, except the voter himself,” he said. — Bernama