EC try to clarify its media management policy during polling day in Sarawak’s just concluded state elections. The explanation simply explain what they did without so much effort to provide rationales for the policy eg why is the media not allowed to enter the polling centers as before-so long that they have a media pass? The EC’s policy contrast with them bending over backward to allow the police to put cameras around the polling center -sometimes from inside the restricted 50-m areas around a polling center. Does it mean that EC mind the reporters’ cameras which tell the world of what transpired inside the polling center or polling/counting stations but close its eyes on the intimidation from the police’s cameras? It is time the EC come clean on its inconsistent policies that sideline voters’ interests but accommodate the demands from the power-that-be, a total opposite to the expectation from the public of a EC which is fearlessly discharging its duties to uphold free and fair elections.
|EC Explains Procedures For Media During Elections|
|KUALA LUMPUR — The Election Commission (EC) explained on Friday that media representatives were allowed into election nomination centres, polling centres and vote tallying centres on condition that they had a special pass and had signed the oath of secrecy.
EC Public Relations Officer Sabri Said said two types of special pass were issued by the EC to media representatives – a pass for reporters and a pass for photographers.
Media photographers were allowed into nomination and polling centres for a specific period, he said in a statement issued to dismiss claims by the Federation of Sarawak Journalists Associations (FSJA) of rough treatment of journalists during the recent Sarawak election.
“However, the photographers were not allowed to enter the voting booth and cannot linger in the polling centres, while reporters are not allowed within 50 metres of the polling centres,” he said.
Sabri said that during the counting of votes, only reporters and photographers with special pass were allowed into the vote tallying centres and be at the specified places.
He said the EC welcomed suggestions on more effective participation by the media during the election process.
FSJA had claimed to have received several complaints from its members in Sibu, Miri and Bintulu that the pass issued by the EC was not recognised by EC offices at the respective centres.