Since the GE15 date was announced, unbecoming behaviours such as destroying campaign banners and spreading racist remarks have taken place.
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General elections can bring out the ugliness in people when they are ruled by their emotions.
In the lead-up to the 15th general election (GE15) this Saturday (19 November), there have been reports of people vandalising campaign materials, verbally abusing candidates and burning party tents.
Meanwhile, certain candidates have also spouted inflammatory remarks while campaigning for votes.
Here’s a list of mischief that has been happening ever since the campaigning week started:
Campaign materials vandalised
Several GE15 candidates from various parties have had their campaign materials such as party flags and banners vandalised.
The campaign materials were cut, torn, taken down, scribbled on, or even burned.
In no particular order, the candidates who have faced this and reported the incidents include:
- Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Hannah Yeoh in Segambut
- Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Chua Jian Boon in Kulai
- BN’s Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom in Jerai
- PH’s Fahmi Faizal in Lembah Pantai
- BN’s Tengku Adnan in Putrajaya
- PH’s Nurul Izzah in Permatang Pauh
- BN’s Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim in Kuala Kedah
- Independent candidate Cleopatra in Batu
- Gabungan Rakyat Sabah’s (GRS) Yee Tsai Yiew in Kota Kinabalu
In other instances, individuals have taken it upon themselves to remove buntings in areas such as Batu Pahat and Santubong.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said the police will conduct a transparent investigation into incidents where campaign materials were vandalised regardless of the offender’s political party affiliation, Astro Awani reported.
Party tent lit on fire
A MIC operation tent along Jalan Mutiara 1 in Taman Mutiara, Johor was set ablaze by an unknown man.
The 28-year-old suspect was drunk and lit the tent using a lighter and has been arrested by the police.
According to the New Straits Times, the case is being investigated under Section 436 of the Penal Code. Upon conviction, it carries 20 years of jail time and a fine.
GE15 candidate faced verbal abuse
PH candidate for Simpang Renggam parliamentary seat Dr Maszlee Malik had abusive words hurled at him while visiting a flood relief centre in Kampung Ithnin Maarof on 13 November.
Two individuals confronted Maszlee outside the building and called him a “liar.” Maszlee has also apologised for using hurtful language during the confrontation and had forgiven the individuals.
GE15 candidates gave inflammatory speeches
A few GE15 candidates have made remarks that were racist in their campaign speeches. Sik PAS Youth chief Shahiful Nasir and actor Zul Huzaimy are under police investigation for the remarks they’ve made.
The Edge reported that both men are being investigated because their remarks could threaten public order.
Shahiful reportedly said those who vote for Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional would end up in Hell.
He has since issued an apology and has applied for leave from his duties and other party positions.
Meanwhile, Zul allegedly said he wanted to slaughter “kafir harbi” (enemies of Islam) during a speech in Kemaman, Terengganu, on 4 November.
Zul also apologised in an Instagram video but claimed that his speech was taken out of context in the edited clip and asked people to watch the full clip again.