Pakatan who used to condemn SPR now condemn those who condemn SPR

(MMO) – Several Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders today slammed some opposition parties and their leaders for finding fault with the Election Commission (SPR) over the dates set for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election in Johor.

MCA and Umno have claimed that the EC had intentionally set the dates to coincide with their annual general meetings scheduled for November 2 and 3 and November 13 to 16, respectively.

The EC yesterday announced nomination for November 2 and polling for November 16 for the by-election, necessitated by the death of the MP, Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik, 42, on Sept 21 due to heart complications.

The PH leaders said the EC would have considered various factors before setting the dates and there is no intention to sabotage the two opposition parties.

PKR Information chief Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin said these opposition parties must accept the fact that the EC is an institution that exercises independence and will have its reasons for selecting those dates.

“It will be too much for the opposition parties to think that the dates were set as an attempt to assist the PH. I suggest that the opposition parties focus on healthy campaigning and not harp on trivial matters,” he told Bernama.

DAP vice-chairman Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji said the opposition should be open-minded and accept the decision of the EC like how the PH accepted the EC decision to hold the 14th General Election on a weekday, Wednesday.

“We hope the Barisan Nasional will be open-minded. We, as the opposition parties previously, faced a similar situation but we accepted the decision of the EC. The EC has also given its valid reasons,” he said.

Tengku Zulpuri advised MCA and Umno to postpone their AGM.

“MCA and Umno may claim that they have made the preparations (for their AGMs) and made payments but we have to understand that the by-election is necessitated by a death and not planned.

“The EC is required to hold the by-election within 60 days from the occurrence of the vacancy. Do not harp on religious issues, and by not respecting Deepavali and such,” he said. Deepavali falls on October 27.

Parti Amanah Negara communications director Khalid Samad said it is not only the MCA or Umno which have their annual party events.

Even Amanah has made preparations for a party convention that has to be postponed now, he said.

“Usually, at the end of the year, every party has its programmes. We have to adjust accordingly,” he said.

Dr Md Farid, a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and an anaesthesiologist by profession, had garnered 21,255 votes in GE14 to capture the seat previously held by Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng (BN-MCA).

Wee had received 20,731 votes and Nordin Othman of PAS, 2,962 votes. Dr Md Farid had won the seat with a majority of 524 votes.