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No violence in campaigning please

  • Any act of violence is a sacrilege to the sanctity of democratic elections.

Sin Chew Daily

The physical tussle in Ayer Hitam parliamentary seat whereby an MCA member was pushed down the stage by a PH supporter and was sent to the hospital, was an unfortunate incident.

As a matter of fact, election campaigning should be conducted in a peaceful and constrained manner and no physical violence should be involved.

It is hoped that all relevant parties will seriously look into this matter and work to prevent similar incidents from taking place again anywhere in the country.

Ayer Hitam is one of the key consistences in the 14th general electrons that will see Johor DAP chairman Liew Chin Tong facing off with MCA's deputy president Wee Ka Siong.

This “king versus king” race is one of DAP's major battlegrounds in the state with a high degree of strategic importance. As for BN and MCA, the race marks a very important defense warfare that must be won at all costs. Owing to the significance of the contesting candidates, Ayer Hitam invariably comes under national limelight and conflicts are therefore inevitable.

Prior to this, there were reported incidents of banner removal by rival parties as well as poison pen letters. With the latest physical clash, it is obvious that the political temperature in Ayer Hitam is fast rising.

Without the slightest doubt, the 14th general elections will be the most intensely fought election war in the country's history. No matter how aggressive the fights are going to be, there is this bottomline all contesting parties must firmly adhered to: no violence should be condoned.

We are a country that has all these years been practicing a democratic electoral system which has in the past witnessed 13 general elections. As a result, we should have the ability to create a matured political culture and uphold fair competition.

Despite the fact we can subscribe to our own political beliefs and support any political alliance of our choice, this should not be the reason for us to treat others with enmity and confrontation. There is no way we should allow our political differences to be elevated to the point of physical violence.

Simply put, democratic election should be held peacefully and fairly in the absence of violence.

Reassuringly, there have been plenty of remarks on social media condemning violence after the incidence in Ayer Hitam, while the local PH candidate has also tendered his apology. This shows that majority of the Malaysian society does not approve of violence.

Admittedly, heated political sentiments do occasionally blind us. As such, supporters of all political parties must exercise the highest degree of self restraint during this electoral season and learn to respect those holding opposing views so that the elections can be held in a peaceful manner.

Democratic elections constitute a mechanism of human civilization, allowing the citizens to elect the most capable representatives and government to run the country on their behalf.

Any act of violence is a sacrilege to the sanctity of democratic elections.

Fortunately the clash in Ayer Hitam has not resulted in serious injuries to any individual. It is hoped that the rival camps and their supporters will learn from this incident and strive to prevent similar clashes from happening again in future.

 

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