The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) refers the action by Barisan Nasional’s candidate Mohamad Hasan who flashed his ballot paper after marking it and before putting it into the ballot box today at the Rantau by-election. Does he not know that it is an election offence to breach the secrecy of a vote, even one’s own vote, or did he do it in defiance of the law?
Section 5 of the Election Offences Act 1954 underlined the importance of maintaining secrecy of voting and information related to voting. The penalty for breaching secrecy is up to one-year imprisonment or RM3,000 or both.
The reason why vote secrecy is important is exposure of how one voted on Polling day, especially someone influential, after the campaign period is over, could influence how others vote. It could even facilitate the buying and selling of votes. Such a breach by Mohamad, if not dealt with, might encourage others to flagrantly expose their votes in future elections. This could have serious consequences related to the offence of campaigning on Polling day and corruption.
Bersih 2.0 calls on PDRM and the Election Commission to act against Mohamad for such blatant and defiant act to break election laws. A strong message must be sent that secrecy must be maintained during voting and that no one is above the law.
Statement issued by:
Steering Committee of Bersih 2.0
(Image source: Online)