The charging of my polling agent under Section 3 (1)(i) of the Election Offences Act 1954 a mere two days after her statement was recorded and two days before polling day is a cowardly act of intimidation by Barisan Nasional (BN)

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming in Kajang on Friday, 3rd of May, 2013

My election agent was asked to give a statement at the Kajang Police Headquarters on the 30th of April, on the day of advanced voting, over allegations that she had improperly used a lock to secure a ballot box for advance voters at the Squadron 21, Royal Engineers Regiment, Taman Kajang Utama, advance voting polling station.

A mere three days later, on the 3rd of May, this election agent has just been charged in the Kajang Magistrate Court (Criminal Division) under Section 3 (1)(i) of the Election Offences Act 1954. This section reads:

Any person … without due authority destroys, takes, opens or otherwise interferes with any ballot box, ballot paper or packet of ballot papers in use or intended to be used for the purposes of an election…

At the same time, Azahari Ismail, in the Teluk Kemang parliamentary constituency, was also charged under the same offence yesterday on the 2nd of May.

The locking of the advance voting ballot boxes is a grey area and the final authority lies with the person in charge of the polling station in question (otherwise known as the Ketua Tempat Mengundi or KTM). Our reports indicate that the KTM in question in Taman Kajang Utama was very inexperienced and not aware of many of the elections related laws and procedures. This may very well have led to the confusion surrounding the locking of the ballot box.

The fact that these two cases were processed so quickly, in mere days, just prior to the most important general elections in Malaysian history shows that this is part and parcel of the Barisan Nasional’s strategy to intimidate polling agents and observers.

We strongly condemn these actions and we urge the Attorney General to drop these charges with immediate effect.

Dr. Ong Kian Ming
DAP Candidate for P102 Serdang