KOTA TINGGI, Oct 11 — Police said today they are tracking down the individuals and groups behind six banners attacking Umno and allegedly its vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, ahead of the 15th general election.

In a statement, Kota Tinggi police chief Superintendent Hussin Zamora said the banners were hung around the Kota Tinggi constituency less than 24 hours after the Parliament was dissolved yesterday.

“Yesterday, the Kota Tinggi district police headquarters found six public places where the banners, citing dissatisfaction with the GE15 candidates by a political party, were hung.

“The Kota Tinggi police warns that it will take action against the individual or groups involved in such acts,” said Hussin in a statement here.

The banners, which were simply white clothes with words spray-painted on them, called out Umno for failing to produce a local leader.

They also expressed support for one “Halimah” over one “Khaled”.

One of the banners hung in Kota Tinggi proclaiming preference for ‘Halimah’ over ‘Khaled’.

Malay Mail understands that the banners were in response to the possibility that Barisan Nasional (BN) will field former Johor mentri besar Khaled as a candidate for the Kota Tinggi federal seat.

Khaled lost both parliament and state seats in Pasir Gudang during the 2018 election.

Halimah may have referred to Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique, the incumbent Umno MP for Kota Tinggi, who won with a majority of 14,621 votes in 2018.

Hussin reminded the public that any party wanting to hang political banners for the election must submit an application to the Kota Tinggi District Council.

“Individuals or groups are reminded not to create such provocations that will disrupt the peace in the Kota Tinggi.

“The police can take action under Section 500 of the Penal Code for criminal defamation and Section 509 of the same Code for privacy intrusion against any individual involved,” he said.

Yesterday afternoon, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the dissolution of the 14th Parliament to pave the way for early polls, ignoring appeals from the Opposition and lawmakers from within his own party not to hold the GE15 until next year as the country prepares to face the annual monsoon floods.

Elections have to be held within 60 days of the dissolution.