Update: When asked about the much disputed police presence at the 3 by-elections the EC chief Tan Sri Abdul Aziz can only managed:`It is a police matter’.(Bernama report)It totally gave away any pretence that the EC is on top of the entire election administration-which invariably involve security. So this is the underlying factor of the EC’s impotence: it is but one of a number of parallel election administrators -with the others being the police, the anti-corruption agency, the local governments, the Information Ministry etc. EC is in no position to order these other election administrators to perform according to free and fair election standards. Certainly it is not in its hand to ask the police to stop charging 10 times more than the EC during any elections! Given the fast inflating policing costs voters can look forward to a day where each and every voter will be given personal escourt to the very `dangerous’ polling centre! `We will bill you later…’ could be the last words from the `friendly’ copper.
IGP: police presence at by-elections essential
KUALA LUMPUR (April 23, 2009) : Police will be deployed in every general or by-election to ensure law and order, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said today.
“Peace and security will not be compromised. Until the Election Commission amends the laws, deployment of personnel will be tailored to the needs.
“It is the duty of the police to ensure law and order throughout the nation at all times. This is speacially so during any by-election or general election,”
Musa said in reference to a report by Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Maferel) published in theSun today.
In a preliminary report on the three by-elections held on April 7, Maferel chairman Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh said their observers had noted that the people were wary about the unjustified mobilisation of policemen.
Musa said a by-election was not simply about nomination day and polling day but involved political rallies, related events and meetings held during this period where provocative words used could stir up emotions, leading to tensions.
Therefore, it was essential that the police were at all key events to ensure that they are conducted without disruption and peacefully.
“Adequate police presence is necessary to ensure that rallies and gatherings do not degenerate into potentially chaotic situations that could put lives at risk,” he said in a statement.
He added that in determining the level of police presence at various by-election events, the police took into consideration various factors such as the political sensitivity, the size of the crowds and the security situation.
“We feel that the expenditure incurred is justified, given the circumstances of the time, and we note that the three by-elections were conducted smoothly and peacefully,” he said. — BERNAMA