TANAH RATA: The Cameron Highlands by-election which ended today showed an increase in awareness among the people and political parties towards having a more transparent election process, says Election Commission (EC) chairman Azhar Azizan Harun.
Although there were some issues raised by the contesting parties during the 14-day campaign period, Azhar said, on the whole, he was very satisfied with the by-election process.
“Particularly in terms of the awareness and concern of the contesting parties and the candidates involved, as well as Malaysians in general, on the election offences and how important it is for elections to be conducted in a transparent and fair manner,“ he told reporters after the decision was announced.
The election today witnessed a four-cornered fight between Pakatan Harapan’s M. Manogaran, BN candidate Ramli Mohd Nor, and two Independents, namely Sallehudin Ab Talib and Wong Seng Yee, with the BN candidate winning with a majority of 3,238 votes.
Azhar said the voter turnout today was also higher at 68.79 per cent when compared to the previous four by-elections, with only the one in Port Dickson registering a turnout above 50% (58.2%).
“I think the dynamics of this by-election was different from the others because here, out of the two main candidates, one came from PH which is the coalition of the Federal government, and the other is from BN, which leads the state government, and coupled with all the current issues, so more voters came out to vote, “ he said.
Meanwhile, Azhar said he left it up to the public to evaluate the EC’s performance in this by-election.
On Bersih’s call for the EC to lodge a police report against the actions of the PH candidate, who entered into a polling station wearing his party logo, Azhar said they would take it into consideration.
“After we have gathered all the facts, maybe we will get some legal views and take action accordingly,“ he said. — Bernama