Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
I read with interest a statement by Attorney-General Tommy Thomas regarding the police permit issue which has been all the news theses past few days.
According to Thomas, the provision under the Election Offences Act 1954 does not expressly refer to walkabouts and door-to-door campaigning, meaning, permits are not required for such activities.
“With respect, this provision does not expressly refer to walkabouts and door-to-door campaigning.
“The words used in the provision cannot, under any circumstances, be interpreted to extend to walkabouts and door-to-door campaigning,” he reportedly said.
Question is, where has Thomas been hiding all this while?
On Tuesday, Election Commission (EC) chair Azhar Azizan Harun announced that the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) required all parties and candidates contesting in Tanjung Piai to have a permit for house-to-house and walkabout campaigns.
This irked Barisan Nasional’s Ismail Sabri Yaakob who called for an urgent motion to debate what he referred to as a “new rule.”
Unhappy, Azhar brushed off Sabri’s claim as “lacking in merit” and added that “some politicians suffer siege mentality and are out to gain sympathy.”
Did Thomas miss this?
While I did vow not to take sides in this by-election, that does not stop me from pointing out that Thomas is the “principal legal advisor to the Government of Malaysia.
Question is, was he sleeping when Azhar bullshxted the GoM about the need for politicians to obtain “walkabout and door-to-door campaign permits?”
Word on the ground is that Azhar was aiming to stifle Barisan Nasional’s campaign, said to be making great headway due to the active participation of MCA and MIC leaders.
PH, I am told, is lagging in this department, with rumours that the DAP and PKR deliberately stayed away whenever Karmaine Sardini ventured into PPBM strongholds.
There is definitely an air of solidarity on BN’s side of the isle despite initial grouses by UMNO members that the coalition had picked an MCA candidate.
Everything was going along just fine until the EC swooshed in, placed ridiculous restrictions, stood with arms folded and called anyone who dared question it “people suffering siege mentality.”
Then, from out of nowhere, Thomas suddenly comes into the picture, saying “look here, I think you lot got it all wrong. You don’t need permits for walkabouts.”
And the guys at BN are supposed to say “thank you?”
Where has Thomas been these past two days?
Could it be that he carefully timed his clarification to look like a ‘hero’ after giving Azhar enough time to damage BN’s campaign?