PETALING JAYA: The high-spirited festivities on nomination day are unique to Malaysia's political culture, said former Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof.
In other mature democracies, nomination day is usually conducted in a calm and quiet manner without much fanfare, Abdul Aziz told RTM for TV1’s nomination day coverage.
"The culture of political parties and their candidates bringing along so many supporters during the nomination process is only found in Malaysia," he said.
"Sometimes, one candidate will come with as many as 100,000 supporters. Imagine how many policemen are needed to control the crowd," he said, adding that nomination day was one of his biggest worries during his tenure as EC chairman.
He explained that in Malaysia, it has become the norm for politicians to show up with an army of supporters to show their strength and support in the constituency.
The sheer number of supporters poses a danger as the supporters can get carried away with their cheers and taunts, sometimes getting aggressive and throwing rocks and water bottles at each other, he added.
Furthermore, the supporters often leave the area dirty and may even cause property damage.
"It has become the EC's responsibility for supporters to be kept at least 100m from the nomination centre, so if they shout or throw things, it won't affect the nomination process," he said.