From various reports (eg http://www.malaysiakini.com ) the police will set up road blocks from as far as KL to stop people to engage in `election tourism’ to Permatang Pauh tomorrow. Is it justified-where so many people will be inconvenienced? It may reflect a certain strategy of BN to keep the ground reality at Permatang Pauh from being witnessed by the outsiders-and thereby punctuate the mainstream (mis)representation of the realities in Permatang Pauh. But the people may not share this thinking -and if anything they probably like to be told the truth than fictions. It is sad that the nation’s security apparatus is used as a political tool by the ruling parties.
Non-voters told to stay away tomorrow
S Pathmavathy | Aug 25, 08 7:40pm http://www.malaysiakini.com
The contest for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat is the most unusual by-election ever witnessed in this country, according to Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar today.
“I have never seen a by-election that is as militant, aggressive and violent as this one,” he told a press conference in the Parliament lobby.
syed hamid albar putrajaya pc 310708 01″We have got about 70 police reports and 26 are being investigated (thus) far… this is unusual in Malaysia as it has never happened like this (before),” he added.
The minister said as important as the by-election may be, supporters should not be impelled or provoked unnecessarily by sentiments.
“(There is) no need for us to be provoked by our feelings or be provoked to defend our own ideologies by the means of threatening or hitting anyone… these acts are not healthy for the development of democracy in Malaysia,” said Syed Hamid.
He also commented on the rumours that PKR is planning to bring over 25,000 outsiders to Permatang Pauh to aid with the polls.
“That place is small and if anything happens it could interfere with the journey of people who are going there to vote.
“That is why the police have released a statement to all those who are not voters to not come into Permatang Pauh on by-election day as to prevent any traffic congestion or any untoward incidents like the one on nomination day,” he said.
“So my hope is for – the people who love and appreciate our democracy – to evade the incidents from recurring by coming in huge crowds in order to disrupt the situation in Permatang Pauh,” he added.
In order to maintain peace and security, Syed Hamid said more than 5,000 police personnel have been mobilised to the area.
Over the past two days, police have erected roadblocks along major highways leading to Permatang Pauh, including the Jalan Duta toll heading north of Kuala Lumpur.
“In this by-election alone so many issues have already been brought up… there are 26 cases involving the use of violence, verbal insults, threats, stopping people from going to campaign and removing campaign posters and uttering seditious claims,” he said.
“I have never seen any election or by-election in this way,” he reiterated.