Elections Commission met today and decided that nomination for the 222 Parliamentary seats and 505 State Assembly seats in 12 states (with the exception of Sarawak) for the 13th General Election is on Saturday 20 April 2013 and polling is on Sunday 5 May 2013.
That is effectively 15 days of allowable official campaigning days.
That is very long indeed. Considering that the nation had technically been on 13GE ‘Orange Alert’ since more than 21 months ago and the Opposition parties have been actively campaigning in their ‘Politics of Hatred’ strategy almost daily everywhere in the country, 15 days of intense ceramahs could set the heat a little up on the red mercury scale.
That is not withstanding that the advancement of communication technology and connectivity, campaign materials are easily transmitted which include lies and seditious materials.40 million registered cellular phones which include 14 million 3G lines already a demonstration that almost every single eligible voters could be reached in fraction of the blink of an eye.
Especially for the young and more communication savvy 3 million new and first time voters, the advancement of technology and communication connectivity means that they are able to access a massive amount of campaign information from where ever they are, be in text, photos, recorded audio or video formats and medium. They need not attend the more interesting ceramahs in person, to get the gist of the messages transmitted by the candidates offering themselves.
The Opposition parties are expected to perpetuate lies on top of making ridiculous accusations with intent to stir up emotions and sow further ‘Politics of Hatred’ strategy in their campaigns, but this time with a lot more intensity. The Chinese Chauvinists within DAP is also expected to play the racist card in their Mandarin ceramahs to the Chinese ethnic crowd. They have done this in the past and they are very capable to do it again, now that they are vying into new electoral markets.
That is more pressure for the authorities to ensure that no people with sinister agenda do something evil and mad, like what pro-Opposition lawyer Haris Ibrahim has been doing lately and could do serious destability and fear.
We are of the opinion that EC should have allowed minimal campaigning period. Many things could happen in extra five whole days.