Pakatan Harapan (PH) has been forced to hold its ceramah finale tonight with two days of campaigning left before the by-election here due to difficulties in bringing their leaders together now that many of them are ministers.
TTF: Strange excuse…whatever happened to the candidate?
Why can’t he handle ceramahs in the absence of ministers?
You mean to say that the PH candidate for Cameron Highlands is not able to talk?
CAMERON HIGHLANDS: Pakatan Harapan (PH) has been forced to hold its ceramah finale tonight with two days of campaigning left before the by-election here due to difficulties in bringing their leaders together now that many of them are ministers.
The coalition’s Tanah Rata campaign manager Chiong Yoke Kong admitted that scheduling PH leaders for the campaign has been a huge challenge as they must ensure that their plans do not run afoul of the election rules.
“The main challenge we face is getting our leaders for the campaigns as most of them hold ministerial posts. We are aware about the EC rule that ministers should not campaign during working hours.
“So it’s difficult for us to arrange the time for the campaigns. If we want to have a few leaders on one ceramah, then we have to find a suitable day where all would be free from their official duty. However, time is very much constrained for us as the campaign is only two weeks,” he told Malay Mail.
The Tanah Rata assemblyman said that this was the reason why they had to bring forward PH’s campaign finale, ‘Ceramah Perdana’, from Friday.
“Our main ceramah programme was initial set on Friday, which is a day before the polling day. However, we can’t gather all our leaders on that day, as a few of them have official work on that day. So we bring it forward to Wednesday,” he said.
Among the leaders who are expected to attend the Ceramah Perdana, which be held at the Cameron Highlands District Council parking lot from 7pm, are Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.
Previously, the EC had reminded ministers to campaign outside of office hours and ensure that no government assets are used for campaign purposes.
Chiong said that all PH ministers are aware of the EC’s rules and have been adhering to them.
He also said that PH party leaders have had to rush during their campaign as they have to return to work the next day.
“Some leaders will be only off for a day and when they come up here for campaign, they have to cover as many events as possible and on the same day they have to rush back as they need to work the next day.
“Slotting them in for the campaign activities is also a challenging task. Some could only inform that they are available to attend the activities a day before the campaign activities and some hours before,” he said.
However, Chiong said such challenges did not give any advantage to Barisan Nasional (BN) despite the fact that most of their leaders could only campaign at night while BN leaders could campaign in the daytime as they are less busy.
“I don’t think BN has any advantage of the situation as most of their campaigns are done in a small area.
“Even when Datuk Seri Najib Razak was here, he was only visiting the places which BN have lots of supports. He didn’t go out to the places where there is a large crowd,” he said.
On Monday, EC chairman Azhar Azizan Harun warned all parties involved in campaigning to obey the laws and regulations by not engaging in activities including gift-giving, government programmes, or usage of government assets and facilities to garner votes.
The Cameron Highlands by-election sees a four-cornered fight among PH candidate, M. Manogaran; Ramli Mohd Nor (Barisan Nasional) and two independent candidates — former senior lecturer of Institut Aminuddin Baki, Sallehudin Ab Talib, and local farmer, Wong Seng Yee.
Source: The Malay Mail Online