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All PAS flags must come down
By Raja Petra Kamarudin

The Putrajaya branch of the Election Commission has just instructed all Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) flags to be brought down. According to the phone call message received by Abdul Rahman Othman, Parti Keadilan Nasional’s candidate for Putrajaya, a letter to this affect is in the process of being drafted and will be hand-delivered to him soon.

It seems this instruction has come from the ‘very top’ and involves the entire country, not just Putrajaya, and this must be done before 10.00pm tonight. This would mean in areas where PAS is contesting then the keADILan flags would instead have to be brought down.

It is not clear though whether the ruling party too will be subjected to this same ruling; what can tantamount to ‘changing the rules halfway through the game’. The ruling party, Barisan Nasional (BN), is a coalition of 14 political parties. The ruling party, however, is contesting under BN, a registered party, and not under any of the individual component parties. If this same rule was to apply to the ruling party as well, then all the Umno, MCA, MIC, and so on, flags would also have to be brought down.

However, there is a strong possibility the ruling party may be exempted from this ruling, as it will not be that difficult for the Election Commission to come up with a ‘credible’ excuse to exempt the ruling party. This would mean there is now one set of rules for the opposition and another for the ruling party.

Raja Petra Kamarudin
Director, Free Anwar Campaign - 18.03.2004
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