Election Offences


The race is on and candidates are going all out to woo voters. There’s no telling to what extent they will go, but there are some things they are not permitted to do. MalaysiaVotes.com compiles a list of some of the offences under the Election Offences Act, which does not only apply to the candidates and their workers, but also to election officers, appointed agents and the public.


For example, in a case where money is given to influence a voter’s decision, both the giver and the receiver are guilty of the offence. Depending on the offence, the penalty upon conviction can involve imprisonment and/or fine. This can result in disqualification from voting, contesting in an election or being a wakil rakyat during the sentence period.


Strictly prohibited


It is an offence to:


· Use false information when registering to be a voter or when filling up one’s nomination papers to be an election candidate


· Deface or destroy nomination or ballot papers


· Have unauthorised supply, production or possession of ballot papers


· Remove ballot paper from a polling station without authorisation


· Put into the ballot box anything other than the ballot paper


· Obstruct/prevent a person from voting


· Offer to buy ballot paper from any person


· Vote more than once in an election


· Impersonate a person, fictitious, dead or alive, to vote


· Willfully reject a ballot paper that is validly cast, or accept one that is not validly cast (applies to election or polling station officers/agents)


· Promote ill-will, discontent or hostility among the people, to influence voters, before, during or after an election


· Influence voters’ decisions by treating them to food, drinks and refreshments, or providing money, loan, ticket, job, office or any other reward that is a valuable or important consideration – it’s also an offence to accept these goodies


· Use threat, force or violence, or offer money or significant considerations, to influence someone to be a candidate or to withdraw from the race


· Hire vehicles to transport voters to and from the poll, or provide the transport fares. Exceptions: (1) A group of voters can jointly hire transport to go to the poll; (2) If voters cannot reach their polling stations without crossing the sea or river, transport means may be provided; the payment may be in addition to the maximum amount of election expenses allowed, provided that this transport facility is made available equally to all voters


· Provide musical instrument or loud speaker to anyone for political propaganda on nomination and polling days


· Be within 50m from the nomination and polling places, without authorisation


· Hold public meetings and rallies, displays or entertainment events without a police permit


· Distribute campaign materials without a permit from the State Election Officer or without paying a deposit of RM5,000 in an election for a parliamentary seat and RM3,000 for a state seat


· Campaign on polling day, such as holding public meetings/rallies or displaying campaign materials – clothing, head covering, ornament, water bottle or umbrella with the candidate’s name or party’s symbol – within 50m from a polling station


What do I do if I think someone is committing an offence?


Any person or political party can make a complaint to the Returning Officer about a candidate’s activities during the campaign. The officer can direct the enforcement team to look into the complaint.


The Election Commission, if deemed necessary, can set up enforcement teams to monitor and control the candidates’ activities. Each team is led by an enforcement officer and includes a representative from the local police district, local authority and the candidate/political party.


The team can immediately bring down any campaign material or stop any public address which does not comply with election laws. The team can also request the police to detain any person involved in the alleged offence.


In addition, anyone who has the right to vote or claims to be a candidate in a particular constituency, can file an election petition to the High Court concerning any violation of election laws or regulations.

One response to “Election Offences”

  1. Hi Jac, Danny & Susan great job on putting up this site. BTW what happened to the middle paragraph. Is it a problem with the layout?