Inappropriate for Wan Azizah to campaign in PD as DPM, says reform committee

PORT DICKSON: It is improper for Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to campaign for her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Port Dickson in her capacity as the Deputy Prime Minister.

Election Reform Committee (ERC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman (pix) said it would have been more appropriate if the PKR president had instead been campaigning for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate as a party leader.

“She is the president of that party (PKR) so if she had announced herself when campaigning as the president, I think that's alright.

“But I think it is not proper for her to come as the deputy prime minister. That is not very correct,” he told a press conference, here, today.

Wan Azizah had campaigned for Anwar in Port Dickson on numerous occasions and was introduced as the country's number two instead of her position as PKR president in many of her programmes.

Abdul Rashid also argued that ministers should stay away from campaigning in elections to avoid committing election offences, noting the likes of Wan Azizah and Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu's presence here.

He noted some of the promises made by cabinet members and the use of government assets, which were also previously singled out by electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 and other individuals.

“One or two ministers have come here, this should not have happened. Unfortunately, the Election Commission can't do much based on the current law.

“But we (ERC) will make some recommendations (for the government) to ensure more control for the commission,” he said.

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Abdul Rashid, however, said these “election offences” committed by the PH government during the campaign period was very few and far between as compared to when Barisan Nasional (BN) was in power.

“But I don't think they will repeat their mistakes. I think everything else about the election is very fair,” he said.

Abdul Rashid said the media also has greater freedom now to report as opposed to previously, and that the opposition were also not being suppressed.

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