New EC ruling to limit poster war

The Star
Thursday January 31, 2008

ALOR STAR: The Election Commission (EC) has imposed a new ruling to limit the number of posters and banners during an election campaign.

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said a circular on the new ruling would be sent to the respective political parties within the next few days.
“There will be a guideline on the number of posters allowed, where and how they could be displayed, and so on. We want to standardise the format.
“For example, we may limit the number of banners to 20 per polling district per party,” he said, adding that the ruling was made during an emergency meeting with panel members at a hotel here on Tuesday night.
The EC is also collaborating with local authorities to limit the places where posters and banners could be displayed.
“We want to make sure all parties have enough space to display their banners. At the same time, we do not want them to make the place messy,” he said.
Abdul Rashid said the ruling was imposed for “disciplining” purposes, adding that it would ease tense situations arising from fights for space to put up banners and posters.
Political parties must apply for permits from the local council to put up banners and posters.
“The permits come with terms and conditions. The local council can take action against those who flout the rules,” he said.
Abdul Rashid noted that posters were not used during elections in developed countries.
“But in Malaysia, it has become part of the culture. So we allow it. But there should be a limit,” he said.
Abdul Rashid also announced that the panel had gazetted the latest electoral roll of 10.92 million voters during the meeting. The roll would be uploaded on the EC website within two weeks.
“People can check their polling district, polling station and even the polling stream on the website,” he said.
Of the 17,000 new registrations disputed by certain quarters, the EC had included 10,000 names in the electoral roll after verifying their eligibility.