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Ensure a peaceful GE14

  • Malaysian voters have reached a certain level of democratic maturity to tackle whatsoever circumstances that might surface.

Sin Chew Daily

Bukit Aman has identified individuals and bloggers who may fan public emotions and launch the SLMA (surprise last-minute attack) during the upcoming general elections.

Members of the public and political parties have been warned against challenging the police during the elections.

There are uncertainties in the run-up to GE14, and political parties and their supporters are anticipated to throw in all their efforts to ensure victory in the elections, including disseminating fake news and doctored images on social media sites and creating stereotyped impressions among the voters in hope of influencing the voters.

There was a flood of unverified rumors during the last general elections in 2013. The police believe more of such fake news will emerge as the clock ticks closer to the polling day, and are adequately prepared to tackle any situation that may arise, including the SLMA issue.

Many may still recall the many rumors spread during GE13, including "40,000 Bangladeshis sent to polling stations to vote" and "lights off trick at vote counting stations".

Even though such information was later proven to be unsubstantiated, many still opt to believe in it and would continue to recycle it on the social media today.

Social media users are reminded that they should refrain from sharing unverified information or face the risk of imprisonment.

The most worrisome and viral of them all is the SLMA issue that involves race and religion. As race and religion will continue to dominate in the upcoming general elections, Malaysians must remain highly cautious about any possibility.

No one wants any unpleasant incident to take place during the elections but to be frank, this is possible. So, all quarters, in particular the political parties, must ensure that their supporters remain highly alert of their surroundings and deal with any eventuality in a more rational and calm manner.

The police have said they will not use force which is only the last resort under extenuating circumstances. As such, all parties are urged to fully cooperate with the police and abide by the law, including not to fan public emotions, and discourage supporters from spreading lies in the Internet,in particular those related to sensitive racial and religious issues.

The country has so far held 13 general elections. Save for the political tsunami in GE12 and the continuation of the anti-establishment sentiment in GE13, most of the elections were held relatively peacefully, showing that Malaysian voters have indeed reached a certain level of democratic maturity to tackle whatsoever circumstances that might surface.

It is hoped that such a high level of democratic spirit will be extended in GE14 so that the elections can be completed in the most peaceful, orderly and problem-free atmosphere.

 

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