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Mar 4, 2008

VOTERS .... Emmemmm PHANTOM?

Don't stop buses carrying voters, IGP warns political parties

Stopping buses or other vehicles to check passengers’ authenticity as voters is a definite no, police warned political parties. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said civilians, whether they belong to Barisan Nasional or the Opposition, have no right to stop outstation voters from entering Kelantan.

"It's illegal and we will take action if there are complaints," he told reporters after a briefing by Kelantan police on preparations for the March 8 elections. Also present were Kelantan police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi and senior state officers.

Musa said as far he was concerned, there was no such thing as phantom voters and taking the law into their own hands will only land them in serious trouble.

About 700 policemen of the 4,000 on duty during the elections in Kelantan will be stationed at all State entry points to ensure there are no problems.

"If there are complaints, tell us and we will do our own checking. If they are no discrepancies, we will allow them to continue their journey."

Police, Musa said, also viewed bribery seriously and will not hesitate to make arrests if there are grounds. Those caught offering money in exchange of votes would be referred to the Anti-Corruption Agency.

Musa said Kelantan was one of the seven "hot" states that will be under extra scrutiny by the police. The other six are Selangor, Terengganu, Penang, Kedah, Perak and Kuala Lumpur.

Musa said police have identified 31 areas in Kelantan as hot seats, but declined to name them.

"We expect tough contests in these particular seats and more than 300 policemen will be sent there to ensure everything is under control."

On election-related offences, he said in Kelantan, a total of 53 incidents have been reported but they were all minor cases. "Of these, police only opened up 24 investigation papers," he said.

Later in KUALA TERENGGANU, Musa said police are monitoring 61 "hot seats” but as usual, declined to name the areas to allow police to monitor them efficiently.

"The number of hot areas in Terengganu is not alarming. The number is the same as in the 2004 general elections," he said.

On election preparations in the state, 3,036 police officers and men would be mobilised at nomination centres, polling stations and counting centres. An additional 768 officers from Bukit Aman would also be stationed. A total of 103 Federal Reserve Unit personnel and 126 officer of Light Strike Force would also be deployed.

Musa said police issued 750 permits for election ceramah in Terengganu.

On election offences, Musa said since nomination day, 116 police reports were lodged while 36 are being investigated, mainly on cases concerning poster theft and burning and assault.

Ninety-five police reports were also lodged concerning minor cases, of which 63 cases are being investigated. - NST


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