BERSIH: Missing votes unacceptable

BERSIH Ceramah at Alor Star tonight: I will be speaking together with Mohd Sabu and other BERSIH leaders. Call Nasir at 0124215955 for details.

Missing Ijok ballots: EC’s explanation weak

Nov 20, 07 5:13pm Malaysiakini
Polls reform group Bersih today rejected the Election Commission’s (EC) explanation that the 142 missing ballots in one area during the Ijok by-election in April was due to ‘human errors’.

“If 142 missing ballots can be explained away, how about the missing ballots in Lumut?” asked Bersih, which stands for the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, in a media statement today.

The Lumut parliamentary seat, where a navy base is located, has recorded as high as 2,763 unreturned ballot papers in the 1990 general election, 3,487 (in 1995), 8,176 (in 1999) and 5,486 in the last elections in 2004. 

“Can the people trust the electoral process when thousands of ballots are mismanaged in every election? Is (EC chief) Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman not concerned about his commission’s integrity and credibility,” asked the group.

The EC’s attribution of the 142 missing ballots to ‘human errors’ was conveyed to election watchdog Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel) in a meeting yesterday.

Mafrel, which monitored the conduct of the Ijok by-election, had urged in August for a special inquiry to be conducted to probe the missing ballots. It has since accepted the EC’s explanation.

Barisan Nasional’s K Parthiban defeated PKR candidate Khalid Ibrahim by a 1,850 vote majority amid allegations of election irregularities and phantom voters in the by-election.

Unanswered questions

Apart from the missing ballots, Bersih said there were many outstanding electoral issues in the by-election which have yet to be explained by the EC.

The bigger scandals, according to Bersih, include 50 dead voters, votes ‘stolen’ by impostors and 23 voters without national identity cards which were allowed to vote in Ijok.

“Bersih stresses that such irregularities are not isolated cases, but rather, they reflect systematic patterns,” added the coalition, which is made up of five political parties and 67 NGOs.

For example, Bersih said, the EC should explain why was there a sudden increase of 8,463 voters in the Ipoh Timur parliamentary seat held by parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang.

Out of the number, 3,208 of them are postal voters. The seat was won by Lim in the last general election with 9,774-vote majority.

In view of that, Bersih reiterated that the domestic postal voting – for police and army personnel working locally – must be abolished.

“Monitoring of the voting process is insufficient because postal voters are also assigned en masse to any marginal constituency to counter opposition support as and when deemed necessary by BN,” claimed Bersih.

The EC has recently said the postal voting system will not be repealed but it would allow polling agents representing the candidates to observe the casting of postal votes.

Related report
Missing ballots: Ijok not an isolated case

And this must be seen as a move to reward Rashid for his ‘special and excellent service’ to the Barisan Nasional coalition all these years.

With Rashid around, BN has no problem of winning big in general elections and by-elections.

BERSIH will do our best to stop Rashid at all cost. The longer he stays, the bigger the damage to the Malaysian democracy.

Amendment gives lifeline to EC chief
Yoges Palaniappan
Nov 20, 07 3:59pm
The Constitution Amendment Bill, which was tabled for first reading in Dewan Rakyat today, may allow Election Commission (EC) chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s tenure to be extended for another year.Abdul Rashid, who is due to retire on Dec 31 on reaching the mandatory age of 65, may serve an extra year after the Bill comes into implementation.Clause two of the Bill seeks to amend Article 114 of the Federal Constitution to increase the age of retirement of a member of the EC from 65 to 66 years of age.Whereas, Clause three of the Bill provides that the new age of retirement applies to a member of the EC appointed after the coming into operation of the proposed Act.

However, a serving member will be given an option to retire at the age of 65 years or the new age of retirement.

Prepare to lead EC

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz, who tabled the bill, told reporters that the Bill will also apply to members of Public Service Commission.

Explaining that the Bill would be tabled for second and third reading on Dec 11, Nazri said: “We need a two-third majority to pass this bill in the Dewan Rakyat as it involves amendment to the Federal Constitution.”

The Star today quoted Abdul Rashid as saying that he has not received any notice from the Prime Minister on the possible extension of his tenure.

“I have received no notice and I don’t care. But if I am asked to, I am prepared to lead the commission into another election, even upon retirement,” Abdul Rashid said.


3 Responses to “BERSIH: Missing votes unacceptable”

  1. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    Truth and justice are no longer Malaysian way
    Michael Backman
    November 21, 2007

    Recent street protests have highlighted the self-serving nature of Malaysia’s Government.

    THE Government of Australia will probably change hands this weekend. There will be no arrests, no tear gas and no water cannons. The Government of John Howard will leave office, the Opposition will form a government and everyone will accept the verdict.

    For this, every Australian can feel justifiably proud. This playing by the rules is what has made Australia rich and a good place in which to invest. It is a country to which people want to migrate; not leave.

    Now consider Malaysia. The weekend before last, up to 40,000 Malaysians took to the streets in Kuala Lumpur to protest peacefully against the judiciary’s lack of independence, electoral fraud, corruption and a controlled media.

    In response, they were threatened by the Prime Minister, called monkeys by his powerful son-in-law, and blasted with water cannons and tear gas. And yet the vast majority of Malaysians do not want a change of government. All they want is for their government to govern better.

    Both Malaysia and Australia have a rule of law that’s based on the English system. Both started out as colonies of Britain. So why is Malaysia getting it so wrong now?

    Malaysia’s Government hates feedback. Dissent is regarded as dangerous, rather than a product of diversity. And like the wicked witch so ugly that she can’t stand mirrors, the Government of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi controls the media so that it doesn’t have to see its own reflection.

    Demonstrations are typically banned. But what every Malaysian should know is that in Britain, Australia and other modern countries, when people wish to demonstrate, the police typically clear the way and make sure no one gets hurt. The streets belong to the people. And the police, like the politicians, are their servants. It is not the other way around.

    But increasingly in Malaysia, Malaysians are being denied a voice — especially young people.

    Section 15 of Malaysia’s Universities and University Colleges Act states that no student shall be a member of or in any manner associate with any society, political party, trade union or any other organisation, body or group of people whatsoever, be it in or outside Malaysia, unless it is approved in advance and in writing by the vice-chancellor.

    Nor can any student express or do anything that may be construed as expressing support, sympathy or opposition to any political party or union. Breaking this law can lead to a fine, a jail term or both.

    The judiciary as a source of independent viewpoints has been squashed. The previous prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, did many good things for Malaysia, but his firing of the Lord President (chief justice) and two other Supreme Court judges in 1988 was an unmitigated disaster. Since then, what passes for a judiciary in Malaysia has been an utter disgrace and the Government knows it.

  2. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    Ampun Tuanku,

    Dua kali dalam tenure pentadbiran Dr Mahathir Muhammed, institusi KEDIRAJAAN diinjak-injak.

    Rakyat tidak menggelombangkan angkatan. tidak menyuarakan bantahan, tidak menggalang-gantikan
    diri, merafakkan kesetian.

    Demikianlah rakyat ketika itu

    Begitu perih dan pedihnya hati, kalbu dan sanubari para kerabat DYMM, seluruhnya.

    Pada november 10 07, rakyat yang tidak berani bangkit dahulu itu, telah dengan berani dan penuh setia,SELURUHNYA bepakaian kuning yang tertulis Daulat Tuanku, berduyun-duyun tiba, dalam bilangan puluhan ribu,(dan ratusan ribu lagi yang disekat di seluruh bandaraya Kuala Lumpur) datang berkumpul di hadapan Istana Negara untuk memohon limpah perkenan ke bawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Yang Di Pertuan Agong mendengar rayuan dan aduan rakyat untuk menyelamatkan agama, tanahir dan bangsa Malaysia dengan memperbetulkan komponan asas
    mekanisma demokrasi, yakni, kebersihan perlaksanaan perlakuan dan pengendalian pilihan raya.

    Apakah berkumpulnya puluhan ribu rakyat kebawah Duli Tuanku di hadapan Istana Negara, setelah melepasi azab diugut,ditakut-takutkan, disekat perjalanan olih road block polis di seluruh negara, disembur dengan water cannon berisi asid dan lada, ditembak dengan gas pemedih mata yang membutakan mata;
    dan kini,
    pada pascanya,
    gelombang kuning rakyat Ke Bawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku yang penuh setia itu, masih lagi diugut akan ditangkap, masih lagi dimomokkan sebagai kelompok maknusia yang mengadakan perarakan dan perkumpulan HARAM.

    Apakah takrif haram ini merupakan pengiktirafan yang seharusnya diterima oleh rakyat yang merafakkan taat setia

    Kalau demikianlah hakikatnya, ke manakah lagi kami rakyat akan berpayung

    Ke manakah lagi kami rakyat hendak menjunjung duli, merafakkan sembah taat setia selain dari ke bawah DYMM Yang Di Pertuan Agong, raja kami yang amat kami sanjung dan kasihi

    ke manakah lagi kami rakyat hendak
    berpandu selain dari mematuhi tuntutan Rukun Negara

    Ke manakah lagi kami rakyat hendak berlindung kalau tidak pada keramatnya keabadian Perlembagaan Negara Kita Malaysia tercinta.

    Ampun Tuanku.
    Daulat Tuanku!

    Adalah patik
    Cicit Sang Sapurba,
    rakyat Malaysia yang amat mengasihi Tuanku.

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