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EC condemns unruly conduct to improve electoral process
Kuala Lumpur: The Election Commission (EC) today condemned what it described as unruly behaviour by certain people at the "Janji Bersih" gathering here on the eve of Merdeka Day, and said such conduct was not the right way to seek to improve the electoral process.
EC secretary Datuk Kamaruddin Mohamed Baria said those people had acted in a rude and uncivilised manner and their actions did not at all reflect the culture of courteous Malaysians.
"The EC views the stepping on photographs of the national leader and insulting the national flag during the gathering as the organiser's way of encouraging young people to be unruly," he said in a statement.
Improvement to the electoral process could not be done through such unruly behaviour at gatherings, he said, adding that the EC would be implementing many improvements in the 13th general election which were agreed through discussions with various quarters.
He was commenting on the unruly behaviour of several participants of the last Thursday's "Janji Bersih" gathering who stepped on photographs of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and waved a flag which they claimed would replace the national flag.
Kamaruddin said the EC welcomed the efforts by the authorities to take immediate action against the individuals involved, and ensure that no one acted arbitrarily to tarnish the EC's image.
In Alor Setar, Kedah Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah called for tough legal action against the individuals involved in the unruly behaviour.
He said in a statement that they resorted to such behaviour because the Home Ministry was seen to be soft in its approach to handling the matter, thus making the culprits to become bolder.
"In several cases of extreme behaviour against the country and its leaders in the past, the Home Ministry was seen to be soft despite a public outcry for action.
"This has to stop. The harshest measure is most necessary," he said.
In Tawau, Sabah Assistant Finance Minister Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan said he feared that the incident of young people stepping on the photographs of the nation's leader and insulting the national flag were the beginnings for the sparking of chaos in the country.
The Apas state assemblyman and Tawau Umno Division chief said the behaviour of the youngsters were alien to Malaysians and should be checked right away for the sake of peace and harmony in the country.
"This culture does not reflect our values in Malaysia. It is imported and not good. Our youngsters must be wary and not get influenced by such a culture," he told reporters after opening the Tawau Wanita Umno delegates meeting.
Tawfiq said many of the youngsters of today were born in a progressive country and lived comfortably and were thus easily influenced by irresponsible people.
He advised youngsters to emulate the noble values handed down by the past generations which helped to maintain peace and earned Malaysia the respect of the world community. -- Bernama