Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 said the action of several ministers and an MP holding events in Cameron Highlands before the start of the by-election campaigning period is “principally wrong”.
Its steering committee member Alexzander Johnson said although the ministers and MP did not breach the election laws, it was not right for the government’s representatives to be seen as “campaigning”.
“In principle, it is wrong for them to focus on Cameron Highlands just because there is a by-election,” he said at a press conference here today.
However, he said the election laws could only be enforced on Saturday – nomination day.
Johnson singled out a programme with the Orang Asli held last week attended by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
“We feel it is not right to hold programmes with the people there at the moment.
“Why can’t they wait until after nomination?” he asked.
He also said Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran; Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar; Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waytha Moorthy and DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang had been spotted at several events in Cameron Highlands recently.
Bersih 2.0’s executive director Yap Swee Seng said it would urge candidates in the by-election to sign a pledge to stay away from corrupt practices during the 14-day campaigning period.
“We will send letters to the candidate from DAP as well as the other parties so they are aware of the law and not to break it,” he said.
He added that Bersih 2.0 would not hesitate to report any offences to the authorities if their observers reported them.
The Election Commission has fixed polling for the by-election on Jan 26.
The by-election was called after the Election Court nullified the victory by MIC’s C Sivarraajh’s during the May 9 general election.
The court found that money was given to voters during the campaign period.
Sivarraajh is barred from contesting this time around.
So far, only M Manogaran of DAP has been announced as the Pakatan Harapan candidate.
The MIC has not named its choice.
Former MyPPP president M Kayveas is expected to contest as an independent.