Long campaign period will not cause tension, says Najib

The Star: February 15, 2008
SEPANG: The longer-than-usual campaign period set by the Election Commission will not contribute to tension in the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said as long as every party and politician respected the election laws, there would not be any trouble.
»I am not complaining as it used to be a month when I first started« DATUK SERI RAFIDAH AZIZ
“I don’t feel the long campaign period will contribute towards unrest in the country. We have enough capability to control the situation,” he said.
“If everyone respects the law, there won’t be any tension,” he told reporters after attending the groundbreaking ceremony for the Yayasan Harapan orphanage at Kg Baru Labu Lanjut here yesterday.
Najib was commenting on the decision by the commission to set polling date on March 8, giving political parties a campaigning period of 13 days beginning from nomination day on Feb 24.
In the last general election, nine days, including nomination day, was set aside for campaigning.
MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy told Bernama: “I don’t think it is too long as it will enable the candidates to spend more time to meet the people to explain their manifesto. As far as MCA is concerned, it is not a problem.”
Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said the EC probably wanted to show that the elections in the country are clean and fair and give equal space and opportunity for all the political parties to reach out to their voters.
Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang lauded the EC for allowing more than 10 days of campaigning.
“I’m very surprised and impressed with the chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Rahman, for allowing 13 days to campaign,” he said.
Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said the campaign period was nothing compared to a month in the old days.
“I am not complaining as last time it used to be a month when I first started,” she said.