| I was at the Batu Talam by-election nomination centre in Raub this morning with other BERSIH members to launch a leaflet campaign.The leaflet outlines 3 main demands as follow: To use indellible ink for all voters to prevent double or triple voting, to clean up the electoral rolls which were currently full of phantom voters and discrepencies and to abolish the postal votes except for diplomats and citizens living overseas.
During the press conference, I related a scandalous incident of phantom voters in PJ Selatan in 2004 general elections whereby 99 voters (of Chinese, Malay and Indian) were registered under the same address, a double-storey link-house in Petaling Jaya. A search carried out by the DAP showed that there were only 5 persons living in the house and not all of them were voters. A report was made with the SPR office but we do not even get a reply until today. The police also failed to act on the case despite of our official complaint. Those who wish to take a look at the evidence could contact Sivarasa Rasiah of PKR ( candidate for PJ Selatan in 2004).
BERSIH also supports the claims recently made by none other than the Chairman of SPR Tan Sri Rashid. He claimed that political parties have been abusing the registration process, the media is lopsided, abuse of government machinery during the election campaign, overspending of election expenditures and the current election process is by and large unfair and unclean.When I was asked whether DAP was involved in the contest, I told the reporters that DAP has nothing to do with the fielding of the independent candidate and the candidate is not even a DAP member. It is the democratic right of this young candidate to contest in the race and the fact that his father is a DAP man should not deny him of that right, and “outsiders” like Umno, MCA and other BN parties have no right to prevent him from contesting but to “shut up”.
Ng Chee Pang’s courage to face the Goliath monster must be commended. His participation has not only denied the BN a walk over but also provide a democratic platform for the people of Batu Talam to punish the Umno-led BN goverment for their abuses and corruptive practises.
The BN candidate from Umno is a man of controversy. He was tainted by a pending lawsuit hurled at him by one of his own members over a land-cheating case. Such person should not be fielded by Umno in the first place. What do you expect when you have a party like Umno?
Aziz Kiram, one of my juniors from the Raub Mahmud Scondary School, was also caught “cheating” when he filed his nomination papers. He should not have putting down “tiada pekerjaan” under the profession column since he is a contractor. But the objection put up by his opponent was “expectedly” rejected by the Returning Officer.
BERSIH has made use of the Batu Talam by-election to launch an awareness campaign to spread the message of electoral reforms and opposition parties which have opted out of the race should also make use of the opportunity to explain why the boycott was necessary and how it would bring about positive results in the long run. The people in Batu Talam and elsewhere has every right to know why the opposition has decided to boycott the by-election and the SPR should also do its part to quicken electoral reforms in this country.
I will be very disappointed if the opportunity created by Ng Chee Pang was not being used fully by BERSIH and the opposition parties and the boycott move was not carried through whole-heartedly by the relevant oppostion parties. Knowing the media is not on the side of the opposition parties, the leaders of opposition would have an uphill task to ensure their message could reach the rakyat. Failing which, the credibility of the opposition parties would be at stake.
Malaysiakini has the story…