Archive for the ‘Election Commission’ Category

BERSIH: Missing votes unacceptable

November 21, 2007

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.

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Lim Guan Eng: EC unfair!

June 18, 2007

Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng In Petaling Jaya On 16.6.2007

Is The Election Commission (EC) Actively Conniving, Aiding And Abetting BN Dirty Election Tactics By Practicing Double-Standards In Giving BN The Complete Voters List Not Given To Opposition Parties?

Is the Election Commission (EC) actively conniving, aiding and abetting BN’s dirty election tactics by practicing double-standards in giving BN the complete voters list not given to opposition parties? EC can not fulfill its commitment towards a clean, free, fair and impartial elections when there is no level-playing field if BN parties are given advantages denied to opposition parties.

DAP is deeply unhappy that according to a New Straits Times report today, BN component parties will be given a complete list of the country’s 10 million registered voters to assist them in conducting door-to-door campaigning during the election. BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said the list to be distributed nation-wide contained personal details and also been divided racially to make it easy for distribution among coalition members.

Such biasedness against opposition parties and favouritism to BN only proves DAP’s claims that EC is behaving no different than being an agent of BN to help BN to win by hook or by crook whether using politics of fear, cheating, compulsion, money and even violence. Now BN possesses an ally in the EC to conduct the next general elections in its favour and ensuring its victories. As a first step to prove that EC is fair to all parties, is the EC able to make available such voter list given to BN?

That BN controls the EC is clearly demonstrated by their opposition to the use of indelible ink on voters to prevent multiple voting and other electoral abuses. Ever since EC Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid bin Abdul Rahman’s proposal to use indelible ink on the thumb of voters to safeguard against multiple or phantom voting, BN parties have strongly opposed it unanimously.

By Opposing The Use Of Indelible Ink To Prevent Multiple Voting, BN Leaders Still Relying On Politics Of Fear, Money, Deception, Compulsion And Violence To Win The Next General Elections.

Since such opposition by BN, the EC has suddenly remained strangely silent and there is no news about using indelible ink. The latest leader to oppose the EC’s proposal was Gerakan secretary-general Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye who said the Election Commission proposal was an outdated method. No one can understand Chia’s logic that it is outdated when it is uncontroversial, cheap and effective in preventing fraud in the electoral process from phantom voters or multiple voting  

                                                                  

DAP condemns BN component parties for opposing the use of indelible ink and oversight of postal voters during the voting process, which were one of the 10 proposal agreed to by Tan Sri Abdul Rashid when a DAP delegation led by me met him on 1 st June 2007. Only because the EC has confidence in doing their job and wants to inspire confidence from everyone that they have done a fair and efficient job in the next general election, that such checks must be implemented.

If the proposal of using indelible ink accepted by Rashid is rejected, this will only confirm DAP’s claims that the EC is neither independent nor fair and is unable to perform its constitutional duty of ensuring free, fair, clean and neutral elections. This will make Malaysia a sham democracy where voters can not choose their wakil rakyats and leaders.

                                                                                                                       

LIM GUAN ENG

BERSIH: Greater electoral reforms

June 5, 2007

We were least surprise when MCA leader like Ong Ka Chuan and several Umno leaders say ‘no’ to the use of indelible ink. That’s because with the introduction of indelible ink, they cannot manipulate future elections with multiple voting anymore. In past elections, certain members of the ruling parties were specailly tasked to vote more than once on polling day. Can you imagine, constituency like Kuala Terengganu had a turnout rate of more than 95%!

One needs not ‘sympathise’ with BN component parties because they still have plenty other manipulations in their hands to help win elections. Thier mantra is Cheat to Win!

4 June 2007

Media Release
————-

BERSIH welcomes EC’s decision on indelible ink

BERSIH welcomes the Election Commission’s decision to consider the use of indelible ink in elections. Its responsiveness to one of BERSIH’s three immediate demands will strengthen our democratic institutions
and increase the legitimacy of the elected government.

This long-awaited decision is the result of the unwavering demands of the 64 NGOs and political  parties that support BERSIH. This encouraging development suggests that civil society’s voice counts and all Malaysians who desire accountability, transparency and participation in public affairs must articulate and lobby for other forms of electoral and political reform.

However, the SPR must be seen to act speedily to ensure the implementation of indelible ink for the next election and further to make sure that such implementation is in accordance with internationally accepted best practices.

These efforts to promote democracy must be supported, nurtured and continued. BERSIH urges the Elections Commission to take up the other reform demands listed below:

1. Cleaning up the electoral roll

While indelible ink can eliminate multiple voting, it does not prevent the impersonation and involuntary transfer of voters. To ensure all legitimate voters and only all legitimate voters can vote in the elections, EC must advice against any decision by the government to hold elections before the electoral roll is satisfactorily cleaned up
and updated.

2. Abolition of domestic postal voting

Dialogues and debate on the continuity or termination of this non-transparent process must begin immediately. Should the EC, security forces and others object to the abolition of this process, they must articulate their rationale publicly or else suggest ways to overcome the problems associated with this process, such as the disappearance of 5,000 ballots in Lumut over four consecutive ,elections since 1990.

With the exception of personnel who are on active duty on polling day, army and police personnel should be allowed to vote in polling centres. For personnel on active duty who are required to cast their votes before polling day, polling agents from the contesting parties should be allowed to observe the polling process.

We understand that EC Chairman is leaving office at the end of this year unless his term is extended by the Government. Tan Sri Abdul Rashid, who served as Secretary of the EC between 1979 and 1995,
returned to serve as its Chairman since 2001. Unfortunately, the 2004 general election saw some of the worst irregularities ever and this trend worsened in the recent Ijok by-election. If Tan Sri Rashid wishes to leave office with some form of legacy of reform, we demand
that the EC act on other more long-term actions such as:

1. Duration of campaigning period

The campaign period should be a minimum of 21 days, if not five weeks. Short campaign periods of less than 10 days must be reviewed. A shorter campaign period tends to disadvantage opposition parties, which operate with fewer resources than the Government, as well as lack access to state and public media. The Government’s prerogative to
call an election as and when it suits its partisan interests is
another reason why a longer campaign period is needed, in order to maintain a ‘level playing field’ for all parties.

2. Media access

All parties should have equal access to local and national media, particularly during the campaigning period. One administrative measure that could be taken would be an organized debate on national TV. The EC should champion rights of freedom of expression and freedom of
information, in order to ensure a more level playing field during elections. Recognising problems with the concentration of media ownership in the hands of governing political parties, the EC should further champion the cause of diversity of media ownership.

3. Right of reply

A code of conduct must be issued to ensure balanced reporting in all media, based on the Malaysian Press Institute’s code of ethics for election reporting, as presented in the draft Media Council Act 2001.

SPR should improve mechanism for voters registration

May 2, 2007

SPR is again under fire because it was proven to be lopsided and functions like the 15th component parties of the BN ruling coalition in the recent Ijok “buy-election”. Its chairman Tan Sri Rashid openly said that there was nothing improper for any minister to approve allocation of funds or misuse government machinery during the campaign.

Apart from carrying out the much needed electoral reforms, SPR must also improve its mechanism for voters registration.

On one hand, the SPR discloses that some 5 million people (4 million Malays and 1 million Non-Malays) have yet to register as voters; but on the other hand, SPR does not make any effort to make it easy for those who are eligible to register.

SPR has entrusted the post offices all over the country to help register voters. But not every town/ village has a post office, and not every post office is equipped with online facilities. And there is no special counter alloted to help in registration.

And SPR these days do not advertise in TV and radio stations to remind people to register as voters. They behave as if they were not interested in getting more people to register as voters.

Many countries have started to allow people to register online. Some even adopted automatic registration. Why can’t SPR do the same since every citizen holds a Mykad issued by the National Registration Department.

Lat year, SPR finally allows party representatives to help out as registration agent. But I received complaints that the Selangor SPR office recently do not provide enough registration forms for our registration agents. This is not acceptable.

This morning, we went to Port Klang to launch a voter registration exercise in conjunction with the annual Hindu Chitri Pournami Festival. The festival attracted thousands of devotees from Port Klang, Pandamaran and other parts of Selangor. Our Port Klang branch chairman Selvadurai (Aboo) helped to set up the registration desk. He is also the founding chairman of the local influential Kelab Sukan Depoh. His club is one of main sponsors of the annual festival for the past 29 years.

We urge all citizens who attain the age of 21 to register as voters and remember to vote for DAP. They can go to the nearest post offices to do it during office hours. Transfer of voting venue could also be done at the post offices. 

Ijok: Lessons for the opposition parties

May 1, 2007

LATEST: Tan Sri Khalid will be going back to Ijok to thank the people for supporting PKR at 3.30pm today. The team will be led by PKR advisor  Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, party chief Datin Seri Wan Azizah, information chief Tian Chua and others. I have accepted their invitation to join the walkabout in Pekan Ijok and Batang Berjuntai.

The writings is on the wall. BN had won 92% of the Parliamentary seats in the 2004 GE and defeated the opposition in all the five by-elections (except for Batu Talam which was contested by an Independent). We need to find a winning formula to defeat BN.

BN has been able to win big because there was no true unity among the opposition parties. There’s no true opposition unity to face the the might of BN coalition. There’s no way to beat BN if the opposition parties could not work together effectively to face their common enemy-the Umno-led BN coalition.

Yes, the people of Malaysia suffer much under the current BN administration. They hope the opposition parties could work together to pose a real challenge to the mighty Umno-led BN coalition.

The people do know that BN is corrupt to the core. They know that BN leaders abuse their power to amass wealth for themselves. They were fed up with empty promises and very disappointed with the Prime Minister who could not walk the talk. But where is the alternative? 

Please bear in mind that only the well-informed voters and hardcore supporters vote for the opposition. Voters with pro-winner mentality (commonly called lalang, fence-sitters, the silent majority etc) would only vote for the winners (or potential winners).  They would never vote for the opposition if the opposition looked set to remain as opposition. But these voters with pro-winner mentality is not a small group. And we would not be able to win their votes without presenting them a winning formula.

 Please vote for Khalid !

It’s the duty and responsibility of the opposition parties to offer a winning formula for all to see. Politics of hope is an essential ingredient that we must provide for the voters. The opposition parties must project a winning position and work towards a winning agenda. We owe it to ourselves to do it. 

Yes, the opposition parties are having opposing views on the issue of religion. But that does not mean that we could not resolve or put aside our differences.

Malaysia is rotting slowly day by day. We are facing all kinds of problems and crises. We are also losing our pace to our neighbouring countries. The answer lies in a change of government. Only a change of government could get rid of these greedy and corrupt BN politicians. What could be more important than serving the larger intertest of the people by affecting a change of government?

Ijok is a good beginning for opposition unity. Top opposition party leaders and members in general have put in serious efforts to campaign for PKR. But we were facing various problems due to a poor uncohesive campaign machinery. I personally feel that Khalid could have done better or even made it if there were greater cooperation among the opposition parties. Only true opposition unity and cohesive machinery could destroy the BTF tactics (bribes, threats and frauds) launched by the corrupt BN coalition.

I strongly suggest DAP to openly team up with PKR, and PKR to team up with Pas. And DAP and Pas must at the same time declare that their common enemy is the Umno-led BN coalition. DAP and Pas may not be allies but we are certainly friends in the opposition. It’s only natural that friends in the opposition must put aside our differences for the benefit of the rakyat. We need to help each other to challenge our common enemy.

We will never be able to convince everyone to agree with the strategic partnership among the opposition parties. But politics is about taking risks. The fear of losing seats is something we need to overcome. The ruling class and those with vested interest will be all out to discourage the opposition from achieving true unity and full cooperation. In short, they fear  opposition unity. They know if the opposition really works together, they will eventually lose their grip on power.

Dear fellow Malaysians, there’s no point crying over spilled milk. Ijok is just a temporary setback. We must not lose sight and we certainly must not lose hope. Ijok is nothing compared to the real war-general elections.

The defeat in Ijok actually gives me hope. What about you?

Source: Malaysiakini

HAPPY Labour Day! Highest tribute to all workers who contribute towards nation-building and a peaceful and prosperous society.

Ijok: A moral victory for PKR

April 29, 2007
 The Ijok official result by Malaysiakini

 PKR canvassers and Siva, Latifah, Aloysius and I @ SJKC Ijok @Pekan Ijok

Dirtiest “buy-election” in Malaysian history

Yes, it’s certainly a moral victory for PKR. I urge leaders, members and supporters of PKR and other opposition parties do not feel too sad over the defeat. Let us focus on the real battles – the impending general elections (25 Nov 2007 could be the big day. Mark my words.)Khalid managed to swing some 20 percent Chinese votes with the help of DAP. The swing would be higher if the local Chinese school was not given RM1 million as allocation by the BN camp as a blatant vote-buying effort. The number of Malay votes they lost to BN were insignificant in view of the fact that Ijok was under “maximum/total attack” by Umno. It appears to me that the Umno campaign was much more aggressive than than the MIC. Many have said that Indian voters in the estates were traditionally blind supporters of Barisan Nasional; It has not been easy to even campaign in the estates. I do not agree that PKR or Anwar have lost their ability to pull in the Malay votes. In this Ijok by-election, the party has gotten some 45% Malay support. I believe PKR has a hardcore Malay support of around 30% of the overall Malay population.

If you asked me, I would say that PKR loses Ijok with a slightly bigger majority because of the BTF tactics (Bribes, Threats and Frauds) employed by the shameless and ruthless BN camp.

Bribes

The BN started with a RM36 million development fund right before the nomination day through Selangor MB Khir Toyo. Another RM3.5 million was announced by DPM Najib to build 16 mosques and suraus. And then RM1 million for a Chinese school in Batang Berjuntai.

Voters were paid hard cash (RM200 a vote) and election workers and campaigners were rewarded generously. ( In Pekan Ijok where I spent my whole day canvassing together with other DAP leaders and supporters alongside with PKR members, one young Malay youth wearing a Pemuda BN T-shirt showed me a bundle of RM100 notes he gotten from his master as a “show-off”). Free dinners and concerts were conducted every night throughout the campaign period. Listen to this if you havew timehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJSJM2ndbSo

If you are still wondering why some 142 votes issued to voters were not returned from one of the polling streams, let me share with you what could have possibly taken place…

Voter A was asked to take out a blank voting ballot paper and pass it to a BN operator (usually undercover, not wearing the BN uniform or badges). Voter A will be paid RM200 or more for the blank ballot paper. The operator will then cross it as a vote for BN before pass it on to Voter B. Voter B will be asked to cast the ballot and at the same time retain the blank ballot paper and bring it out to the operator. This exercise went on until the entire polling is over. Trust me, these ‘missing’ 143 ballot papers were not retained by voters as souvenirs (as claimed by the Secretary of Election Commission).

Threats

Voters in general were threatenedthat there would be no development if Khalid is voted in as the ADUN for Ijok. Indian voters working for the estates were warned that they will lose their job(plus their homes) if they were found voting/ supporting the opposition. Election campaigners for Khalid were intimidated or even beaten up by thugs. Even the candidtae himself was threatened and prevented from campaigning in estates and kampungs. Several ceramahs were stopped by the police/FRU for some lame excuses when BN found out that these ceramahs were popular among the electorates.

We were threatened by the deputy Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin at the Pondok Polis Simpang Tiga Ijok when he was barred from entering the compound when two bus loads of alleged “phantom voters” from Perlis were being detained by the police . I heard Khairy repeatedly saying  “you will pay for this” over the gate. He could not ‘tahan’ the fact that we were inside the police station but he was outside. But I was not sure whether he was directing his anger to me or the police.

PKR Youth acting chief Shamsul Iskandar in front of the two “phantom buses” from Perlis  @ Pondok Polis Simpang Tiga Ijok

 Frauds

The opposition was again given the final electoral rolls late. This has denied the opposition the opportunity to check the list of voters thoroughly. We believe that the final list is full of phantom voters apart from the 37 voters who were said to be as old as 104 to 107 year-old. For no reasons, the SPR has objected the proposal of using indelible ink for the prevention of phantom voters and multiple voting. And many voters only found out that their names were missing from the electoral rolls on the day of polling.At least three voters complained that they were barred from voting because the record showed that they have voted earlier. In other words, some ‘phantoms” have taken their ballot papers. Unlike the Lunas by-election, PKR only managed to stopped two buses of phantom voters. No one knows how many phantom voters have slipped through quietly.

Believe me, the police would not dare to get to the bottom. All 80 of these so-called cooks from Perlis were Malay ladies except for two Chinese ladies. Several of them told me that they have arrived on the polling day for “jalan-jalan”. Who would believe that Umno would charter two buses to ferry their supporters  all the way from Perlis (some 7 hours of journey) just to “look see” in Ijok? What is there to “look see” in Ijok?

 

I was speaking to members of the press over the gate. They too do not believe that these makciks would travel 7 hours all the way from Perlis to Ijok just for the purpose of “jalan-jalan”.

These ladies from Perlis were giving us answers very different from Khairy and Datuk Hashim ( an UMNO division chief from Perlis) . One of the Malay ladies told me that she was in Ijok to “tengok polling”. One Chinese lady was very concerned about her mykad. Their mykads were taken by the police for investigation. She asked me whether there was anything wrong with her mykad. Before I could answer, she was told by the other Chinese lady to shut up. Anyway, none of them said that they were in Ijok as cooks for the BN campaigners. Both Khairy and Datuk Hashim were lying through their teeths. I suggest National Front should be renamed as National Fraud.

PKR has reasons to suspect that these makciks from Perlis were phantom voters. We were not allowed to check their mykads or conduct our own investigations. It’s now up to the police and SPR to prove otherwise.

Many have asked me why I was detained by the police. Here’s my side of the story…

When I was canvassing outside the polling centre at SJKC Ijok in Pekan Ijok, I was alerted by some canvassers that 3 buses carrying phantom voters were blocked in Bukit Badong and Sunger Darah and detained at the Pondok Polis at Simpang Tiga Ijok, which is just a stone’s throw from the school.

Whe I arrived with other DAP and PKR supporters, I saw two buses bearing Penang registration plates were parked in the compound and the gate was locked. I saw Ezam, Shamsul Iskandar  and Ghani and few others PKR leaders were already in the balai polis. I waited until the OCPD Ibrahim arrived and I was then allowed to enter the police station. Khairy who arrived a few minutes later was not allowed to come in. I’m sure the police was doing this him because they know him too well :-).

After making reports to DAP SG and the Parliamentary Oppostion Leader, I decided to leave the police station to join other members who came to Ijok with me from Petaling Jaya, Serdang and Klang. They were waiting fro me outside the fence. I was  then told not to leave before a statement was taken from me and other PKR leaders.

The makciks from Perlis were not detained and confined in the buses as claimed by Khairy and others. All of them were allowed to come down from the buses to use the toilet  attached with the Pondok Polis. That’s when I gotten the opportunity to ask some questions “casually”. They were allowed to leave one hour earlier than the 15 of us. We were only allowed to leave after the statements and bails (we were allowed to bail each other). We have to report to the police in Ijok on 28 May 2007. What a joke!

The children of these makciks should advise them not to become phantom voters or get involved with BN operators. It is not worth it because such action is unlawful,immoral and unethical. What if they were hurt by the angry protestors? Who should be blamed if things get out of control? 

Both Merdekareview and Malaysiakini have the stories…

BN wins with bigger majority

Apr 28, 07 7:04pm Malaysiakini 
The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition has won the crucial Ijok by-election with a bigger majority of 1,850.Election Commission returning officer Haris Kasim announced that BN’s MIC candidate K Parthiban bagged 5,884 votes while PKR’s Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, 4,034.The majority is 1,850, which is higher than the 2004 general election result, where BN won with a majority of 1,649. It has added 201 votes to its previous majority.Interestingly, both parties have increased their vote tally by around 500 votes, partly due to the higher turnout of voters and the absence of independents.The ruling coalition took 58.6% of the voters while PKR, 40.1%.BN won in seven polling districts while PKR took Malay-majority Kampung Ijok and Chinese-majority Pekan Ijok* [see correction below].Click here for the official results

According to the official EC tally, Bestari Utara, one of the polling centres, registered an unusually high number of ballot papers issued but not returned – a total of 142.It appeared that these ballot papers were given out to voters but somehow they have taken them away instead of putting them into the ballot box. The number of unaccounted ballot papers represent almost 30% of the 500 ballot papers issued in one of Bestari Utara’s voting stream.All the ballot papers which had been issued in other polling districts were duly returned apart from Jaya Setia, which has only one unaccounted ballot paper.Malay, Chinese change votes

The defeated Khalid said after the results were known that PKR intends to contests the results and reveal the incidences of bribery and phantom voters.”This is the dirtiest by-election in the country’s history,” he said.Khalid added that he was unprepared for the “viciousness of the political methods” by the other side to win.”I appreciate the dilemma of the people in Ijok to have been threatened by the fact that if you choose the opposition, you will not be given any development grants. This threatening feature is a very undemocratic way of managing the people’s resources.”PKR lost three of the four Malay-majority districts – Jaya Setia, Bukit Badong and Simpang Ijok – but retained Kampung Ijok.This translates in a swing of Malay voters to BN, but the opposition appeared to obtain a slight swing of Chinese voters in its favour.

Najib: No phantom voters

MCA leader Ong Ka Ting refused to comment on the swing among Chinese voters against the government. He said that the party has yet to analyse the results.

“Nevertheless, we should look at the big picture that BN has won,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said that the result is a “good precursor” to the upcoming general elections as this could be the last by-election.

When asked about the allegations by the opposition on the present of phantom voters, Najib said tersely: “There are no phantom voters. Full stop.”

He added that BN never used “underhand tactics” in its election campaigns.

When asked about the fate of PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is former deputy premier, Najib said that he preferred not to “say too much”.

“I’d rather you draw your own conclusion.” 

Highest turnout in history

The voter turnout in this hotly contested by-election is an unprecedented 83.08 percent – the highest in by-election history.

In the 2004 general election, the turnout was 76.17 percent, or 9,411 voters.

When the polling closed at 5pm today, a total of 10,195 voters had cast their votes.

Of the nine polling districts, Malay-majority Bukit Badong scored the highest with 90.10%. Another five saw over 80% turnout.

The lowest turnout is in Indian-majority Tuan Mee, 79.9%, Chinese-majority Pekan Ijok, 75.1% and Chinese-majority Batang Bestari Selatan 68.6%.



*Correction:
Earlier this evening, malaysiakinireported the unofficial results for Pekan Ijok as BN – 605, PKR – 624. However, the official results are BN – 605, PKR – 584. PRK did not take this Chinese-majority polling district as reported, but it has done significantly better compared to the 2004 general election (BN – 761, Keadilan – 306). We regret the error.It is expected that unofficial results are sometimes inaccurate. In any case, based on the unofficial results which came from our sources from various counting centres – all but one had been correct – malaysiakiniannounced that BN had won handsomely at 7.05pm, more than one-and-a-half hour before the results were declared by the Election Commission.

拦截可疑巴士者反被调查
警方盘问15名在野党党员
■日期/Apr 28, 2007   ■时间/09:18:31 pm
■新闻/家国风云   ■作者/merdekareview陈子莹
           
【本刊陈子莹撰述】朝野政党就今日下午“拦截两辆可疑巴士”事件,向警方报案。人民公正党怀疑,这两辆巴士载着“幽灵选民”,而国阵领袖则指责在野党在没有确实证据下,阻拦国阵支持者。

警方正在盘问15名阻拦两辆“可疑巴士”的在野党领袖与党员,惟未确定如何处理15名人民公正党党员以及两辆巴士乘客。

在野党员已经就这起怀疑是“幽灵选民”的事件,向警方报案。与此同时,国阵党成员也因为在野党党员在没有确实根据的情况下,阻拦他们支持者的巴士而报案。

在野党15名党员今天下午在依约的武吉巴东,阻拦了两辆怀疑是幽灵选民的巴士后,目前已在依约警局准备接受盘问,惟未确定警方是否会扣留他们。

国阵以及在野党之间各说其词,巫统加央区部主席哈欣(Hashim)声称,这些车上的人是厨师,在整个竞选期间,就已经逗留在依约;不过,人民公正党青年团代团长三苏依斯干达(Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin)却说,他已问过巴士上的其中一位女子,对方告诉他,他们是今天早上才抵达依约的。

15名在野党党员于下午4时左右,在武吉巴东(Bukit Badong)的投票站,发现两辆可疑的巴士,所以前往阻止他们离开。国阵成员也在当时出现,坚持让这两辆巴士以及车上的乘客离开。双方争持不下,最后在警方以及镇暴队的介入下,把所有的人都带到依约警局。

截自晚上8时,根据人民公正党青年团宣传主任拉蒂法(Latheefa Koya),这15名在野党党员目前还逗留在警局,警方正准备向他们录口供,不过还未确定是否会扣留他们;而巴士上的乘客也还在警局内,警方已要求他们出示身份证。

15名在警局内录口供的在野党党员:

1.Mohd. Ezam(依占)

2. 刘天球

3. Shamsul Iskandar(三苏依斯干达)

4. Shaharuddin Shahabuddin

5. Hassim bin Abdul Aziz

6. Sharifah Shahidah

7. Wan Anis

8. Ghani Harun

9. Nazmi Rosli

10. SP Johari

11. Halimey

12. Azmi

13. Razak Khalidi Roslan

14. Hashima Adbul Aziz

  1. Wan Khairul Ehsan

【点击:将两辆可疑巴士拦截在警局 公正党激动高呼“烈火莫熄”】

Anwar: I’m sad for Malaysia
Apr 28, 07 1:40pm Malaysiakini 
“I am sad for Malaysia.”So said former deputy premier and PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim in response to his party’s defeat in the Ijok by-election.“I have been talking about the fraudulent process all the while but I did not think it was going to be so bad … intimidation and blatant bribery … the whole conduct of the election today,” he said.Top Keadilan leaders were absent when the results were announced. Anwar said the by-election was ridden with phantom voters and police harassment against the opposition.”We will launch an official protest on a charge of fraudulent conduct of the election,” he said.However Election Commission secretary Kamaruzaman Mohamad Nor had earlier dismissed the oppositions allegations.”There are no phantom voters,” he said. “You have to follow our (electoral) list,” he said.”The confusion arised because they used another electoral list,” he added, referring to the commission’s official list of voters.The ruling coalition has fended off a spirited opposition campaign led by Anwar to retain the semi-rural Ijok seat in Selangor with an increased majority.K Parthiban, from BN’s MIC polled 5,884 votes while PKR’s candidate Abdul Khalid Ibrahim secured 4,034.The BN increased its majority by 210 from the last 2004 general elections in the state. A total of 10,049 voters or 81.9 percent of the electorate cast ballots, a record turnout for the constituency.Only BN can help with development 

Although not contesting, Anwar has thrown his weight behind the opposition candidate in a bitter and gruelling campaign against the powerful ruling national front coalition led by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The weekend poll was widely touted as a litmus test of popularity for both sides ahead of a general election expected before 2009.

Polls opened amid tight security at 8am as voters lined up at nine polling stations in the tiny constituency.

An ethnic Indian construction worker, E Elango, 52, said he backed the ruling coalition as it could bring development to the sleepy town.

“It (the BN) can help the people with infrastructure development. The opposition cannot bring any development,” he said.

Annuar Musa, BN chief in Kelantan said the Malay-majority areas of Ijok traditionally supported the opposition.

“The previous Barisan Nasional candidate did not meet the expectations of the voters,” Annuar said, referring to former state lawmaker K Sivalingam, whose death earlier this month precipitated the by-election.

“Anwar is not a factor in this election. He can be in politics but it’s not a threat to the government,” Annuar said.

Reflecting on the party’s loss, Anwar said he remained optimistic of the people’s support for PKR.

“It is a very good turning point as I was able to articulate our views but we are dealing with a dirty process here,” Anwar said.

– AFP

Ijok: BN “kiasu” (scared to lose)

April 24, 2007

 

Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang called the BN camp “kiasu”. He made his first appearance in Ijok last night. The gentleman sitting on my left is Thomas Soo Kheng Seong. He’s a DAP state assemblyman from Ipoh. T Kannan, the deputy campaign director of Selangor DAO Campaign support Team, is standing on his right.

Many have predicted a victory for Khalid. Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang describes the attempt to stop PKR’s ceramahs as “kiasu” (takut kalah) . He persuades the Ijok people to create history, sending Khalid to the Selangor state assembly to bring hope to Malaysian democracy. More tha 1,000 people turned up for the ceramah. The police have tried to stop the ceramahs earlier, claiming that there were no permits for these gatherings. The OCPD of Kuala Selangor tried to snatch Kit Siang’s microphone. But the election rules stated clearly that the candidate or his agent needs only to inform the police about the time and venue of the ceramah. The question of permit does not arise at all. Police must stay out of party politics. They must not take side with the ruling parties. But can they understand simple rules and regulations?

Kit Siang, Chong Eng and  Po Kuan spoke for the first time in Ijok last night. Others who spoke were Anwar, Azmin and Khalid. I have opted not to speak in order to spend some time talking to some local voters.

Khalid has slimmed down quite a fair bit after several days of intensive campaigning. We are banking on him to win Ijok for the opposition. Go, Khalid Go! Whack the BN fellows in the state assembly for all of us.

It appears to me that Khalid has an upperhand over Partiban in the Chinese areas at the moment. He himself is confident about getting the majority of the Malay votes. He even believes that he could win quite a good percentage of the Indian votes.

A reliable source says that Samy Vellu has not resolved the internal problem of his own party. His open statement about good chances of winning even without the Chinese votes (he said it in Taman Suria, Batang Berjuntai) has upset a lot of Chinese voters here.

Another source says that the local Umno MP was not in good terms with the Menteri Besar of Selangor. And the local MCA Youth members were still unhappy with the top BN leadership (incl their own President Ong “kata nothing”) over the rubbish landfill issue (the dump site has been making the whole town stink like nobody. It was only ordered to be closed one day after the death of K Sivalingam. Before that, BN has promised to shut it down after the last general election but it has broken its promises on several occasions.) Many are now saying that the landfill will be reopened as soon as the by-election on 28 April 2007 was over.

Admirers of the opposition giant in Ijok

Pls read http://wengsan.blogspot.com/2007/04/ijok-by-election-dramatic-night-at.html

Battle for Malay votes: Umno turns to fear
Fauwaz Abdul Aziz
Apr 24, 07 4:49pm
Malaysiakini 
Malay votes in the upcoming Ijok by-election in Selangor is crucial and Umno has launched an all-out campaign to bag support in the Malay-dominated areas.One of the targeted areas is Bukit Badong, a district of 1,900 voters which Keadilan won in the 2004 general election.However, some villagers warned that the strategy employed by the ruling coalition could backfire.According to them, the tactic of combining fear, nostalgia and the lure of a more comfortable life, could only yield short-term results.

Another stumbling block for Umno and its counterparts is that many of those aged 40 and below in Bukit Badong are hardcore opposition supporters.

Eighty-five percent of Bukit Badong residents are Malays, with Indian and Chinese villagers making up about 13 and two percent respectively.

In the 2004 general elections, the late incumbent K Sivalingam of Barisan Nasional won in the non-Malay areas of Berjuntai Bestari, Tuan Mee, Pekan Ijok and Sungai Darah.

Whereas, the opposition candidate from Parti Keadilan Rakyat Abdul Rahman Muharam won in the Malay areas of Bukit Badong and Kampung Ijuk and took half the votes in Sempang Ijok and Jaya Setia (see chart below). 

The April 28 by-election will see another duel between the two parties. BN is represented by K Parthiban while PKR, Khalid Ibrahim.

Doom and disorder

For this election, Umno is said to be concentrating its campaign on Bukit Badong’s older generation, painting a dismal picture of doom and disorder should the opposition party win.

“My peers have been told that things will revert to the days of old if we vote in the Keadilan (PKR) candidate,” Suraji Puniran, 65, told malaysiakini when met today.

“It may or may not work with the older people. Many of them remember the huru-hara (chaos) of the Japanese occupation and communist insurgency,” said Suraji, who heads the PAS Bukit Badong branch.

Another villager claimed that Umno workers told elderly villagers that if PKR wins, the ensuing social and economic unrest would deprive their children and grandchildren of education and stability.

But is this fear tactic successful?

“No!” said villager Ansor Abdullah Kamari (left). “This goes against proper Malay conduct and manners.”

According to him, even the older generation of Umno members in the village are being turned off by the aggressiveness of the young campaigners.
Recounting an incident that occurred last night, Ansor said elderly villagers who gathered near the PAS Bukit Badong branch for a chat were interrupted by loud young Umno workers passing in a truck.

Gempur!’ (attack!) they shouted as they passed us. It was very rude of them. Some of us sitting there were PAS (members), and some were not, but their behavior was just plain kurang ajar (rude) to all of us!” he said.

Election banners

Disgruntled BN supporter Azmi Atan, 52, (photo, below) said the fear tactic was also visible in some of the election banners put up in parts of the village.

“Patah tak tumbuh, hilang tak berganti’ (What’s broken cannot grow back, what’s gone cannot come back’). What else is that supposed to mean?” he asked.

He said the villagers could see past the carrot-and-stick approach and would not be fooled by the cosmetic display of development projects and cash payout.

“The repairs to houses, roads, streetlights, and drains have all been done very quickly over the past several weeks since the by-election was announced.

“But these works are already showing signs of being shoddy and low quality. Holes are already appearing in some of the roads that have recently been tarred,” he noted.

Another villager, Mohd Daim Safuan said some elderly villagers were even told they would be arrested if found to have voted for PKR.

“It took me a long time to convince one particular elderly couple, who are also disabled, that they need not be scared of voting for PKR,” he said.

BERSIH: Shame on you, Rashid.

March 28, 2007

In the press conference this morning held at the PKR’s headquarters, I described the Election Commission under Tan Sri Rashid as the “additional component party of the Barisan Nasional”.

I also commented that Rashid has been talking nonsense all the times and the Malaysian public must not take his words seriously.

The examples I gave today were:

1. Rashid was the one who convinced the opposition to do away with the “pondok panas” (electoral rolls checking and canvassing booth) ,but he allows the BN parties to set up pondok panas at the eleventh hour without informing the opposition earlier;

2. Rashid was the one who extended the voting hours by two hours in Selangor at the eleventh hour in GE 2004;

3. Rashid was notified that there were more than 90 phantom voters registered under a same address(a double-storey link house in PJ Selatan) and yet he has the cheeks to say that the claim made by us was totally untrue;

4.Rashid was the one who allowed the lopsided delineation exercise that killed off many opposition (esp PAS) candidates in GE 2004;

5. Rashid was the one who refused to use indelible ink for the prevention of multiple voting by phantom/ BN voters;

6. Rashid has said and done nothing about the abuse of government machinery in the Batu Talam by-election despite of hard evidence and proofs such as video clips, photos and police reports were submitted to his office.

I have forgotten to mention that Rashid again sabotage the opposition in the impending Machap by-election by fixing Tuesday and Thursday as the day of nomination and polling day respectively in order to cause inconvenience to DAP supporters and workers.

Arul of PSM and K Shan of Suaram both commented that Rashid has been very evasive on questions and criticisms aired by the opposition.

Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad of Pas reiterates the three-point demands made by Bersih in November last year. There are 1. adoption of indelible ink 2. removal of the postal vote system except for diplomats and citizens residing overseas and 3. clean up the electoral rolls before the next general elections.

R. Sivarasa of PKR read out the official statement on behalf of Bersih.

Here’s the statement…

Integrity of EC and Tan Sri Abdul Rashid in question

————————————————————————–

The Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman has once again misled the public with his latest statement on 21 March 2007.  The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) is extremely disappointed that he has avoided answering the serious concerns and issues raised by BERSIH on 13 March 2007. As a public servant, Tan Sri Rashid is, by the powers bestowed on him by the  Federal Constitution, responsible for the conduct of elections and has  a duty to address the concerns of the Malaysian public.

BERSIH is of the opinion that Tan Sri Abdul Rashid’s statement 

intentionally ignored certain recent developments where the Courts 

have addressed the role of the Election Commission, and the process 

and conduct of elections as a whole. In 2001, Justice Datuk Muhammad Kamil Awang nullified the election result of Likas, Sabah on the ground that the 1998 electoral roll for the state seat was illegal as phantom voters, including non-citizens, had cast their votes on  polling day. In his judgement, Justice Muhammad Kamil took the EC to task for its role in certifying and gazetting a questionable electoral roll, in spite of the numerous complaints made to the EC and the Government to carry out investigations into the existence of  non-citizens in the electoral roll. He then went on to say that “it was unthinkable that the Election Commission should shut off the objections without inquiry” and “a constitutional wrong for SPR to have rejected the objections outright”.

According to the Election (Registration of Electors) Regulations 

(Sabah) 1971, if a voter files an official objection against the 

inclusion of a particular person, the EC has to hold a Public Inquiry 

to which both the objectors as well as the ‘objectee’ are invited.

However, after the Likas judgment, the Government with the consent of  the EC made an  amendment to the Election Act 1954 in June 2002 whereby the electoral roll — once certified or recertified — shall  be “deemed to be final and binding” and not “be questioned or

appealed against in, or reviewed, quashed or set aside by, any court.” This amendment has effectively removed all legal avenues to challenge the credibility of the electoral roll. When he was in part responsible for immunizing the electoral roll from any challenge in a election petition, why is Tan Sri Abdul Rashid asking his critics to take him to court?

Tan Sri Rashid is also aware of the judicial review case initiated by 

Parti Keadilan Rakyat against the EC in April 2004 in respect of some  of the irregularities that occurred during the 11th General Elections. Parti Keadilan Rakyat applied for rulings from the court with regard to several issues — the use of several versions of electoral rolls by the EC, allowing “pondok panas” at the last minute in contravention of the law, the extension of voting time in Selangor up to 7 pm, the practice of writing the voter’s serial number on the counterfoil of  the ballot paper and whether candidates could still run for elections if convicted but had an appeal pending.

What did the EC do? Through the Attorney-General who appeared for the EC in court, it objected to PKR’s application on the grounds that it was a back-door way to challenge the election and said that any  challenge regarding the conduct of an election had to be by way of an  election petition. PKR had expressly said in its affidavit that it was  not seeking to nullify the result of the general election in the way that a election petition would nullify the outcome in a particular  constituency but was seeking rulings from the court to clarify the law for the future guidance of the EC and for the benefit of the Malaysian electorate. Tan Sri Abdul Rashid’s call for his critics to take him to court is therefore completely hypocritical when he had then instructed the Attorney-General to object to PKR’s challenge in that way.

We would also like to challenge him to answer the following queries.

1.    10,254 missing ballot papers in P36 Kuala Terengganu

According to the provisional results announced by the EC and covered by the mainstream press immediately after the 2004 elections, 71,322 voters or 98.39% of the registered electorate turned out at the polling stations and collected their ballots. However, 10,254 ballots were not returned, in another words, they went missing somewhere between the issuing desk and the ballot box. Interestingly, the provisional result also showed that 10,130 voters turned out to collect only their parliamentary ballot papers and not their state papers.

Tan Sri Abdul Rashid’s explanation then was that the ballot papers 

were taken home by ‘collectors’. It is simply beyond our

comprehension that there were more than 10,000 ‘ballot paper collectors’ in Kuala Terengganu, when ‘normal’ people usually collect coins, stamps and so on.

Then in an even more bizarre twist to the whole episode, the final 

result gazetted on 12 April 2004 showed that the parliamentary ballot papers collected were reduced by 10,237 and the missing ones by 10,004 to only 240. So, what caused the original discrepancy? There was no recount in Kuala Terengganu, according to EC’s own report.

Now, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid has righteously claimed, “What is it that we are not transparent about… when we count, display results, announce results? Everything is seen and done in the open…” We want him to explain what the EC did to make 10,114 ‘ballot collectors’ disappear in Kuala Terengganu. How can the EC convince the public that there was  no possibility of ballot stuffing or number tampering in the electoral  process?

2.    5,486 missing ballots in P74 Lumut

In a similar fashion, 5,486 ballot papers were collected but not  

returned in Lumut (P74). Tan Sri Abdul Rashid’s explanation for that on 13 April 2004 was that “… many navy personnel [there] were out patrolling at sea, so they could not make it (in time for the postal balloting exercise)”. According to his own book, The Conduct of  Elections in Malaysia (1994), postal votes were normally delivered three to four days in advance. The public is still interested to know about the patrolling operation that involved over 5,000 personnel for three to four days during the election period.

In addition to that, Tan Sri Rashid further revealed that 67,000postal ballot papers or one-third of the 200,712 issued were not returned nationwide. Technically, if these ballots were systematically transferred to marginal constituencies for ballot-stuffing purposes, the number would be sufficient to overturn the results of 38 constituencies.

Is this not a concern for the Election Commission chairperson whose top priority is by right the probity of elections? Should he not 

support BERSIH’s proposition to abolish domestic postal voting?

3.    The misinformation that “EC do not make laws”

While parliamentary laws have to be made and amended by Parliament, the proposals for any electoral law amendment come from the EC in practice. In fact, Section 16 of the Elections Act 1958 authorizes the EC to make by-laws called regulations and under Section 17, these regulations need only to be laid before Parliament, which may choose to annul them. In practice, the Election Commission has made amended three regulations on the Conduct of Election, Registration of Electors and Postal voting. All three regulations, available at http://www.spr.gov.my/index/legislation.htm , begin with this line: 

“IN exercise of the powers conferred by Section 16 of the Elections 

Act 1958 [Act 19], the Election Commission, with the approval of the 

Yang di-Pertuan Agong, makes the following regulations:”

Is the EC chairman not ashamed that he has misinformed the public?

The only way for Tan Sri Abdul Rashid is out

——————————————————

As one of the institutions that governs the functioning of our 

democracy, the Election Commission and its officials are as important  as the judiciary and must therefore possess the highest level of integrity and credibility. In his desperate move to defend his and the EC’s reputation, it is most unfortunate that Tan Sri Abdul Rashid has  only further demonstrated the EC’s weakness and inability to conduct elections freely and fairly, and his own dishonesty.

In the interest of the nation and democracy, we urge Tan Sri Abdul 

Rashid to resign now, honourably.

Bersih to EC: Here’s the proof!
Andrew Ong
Mar 28, 07 4:40pm Adjust font size:

While Election Commission chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman claims that his detractors have ‘no proof’ of the commission’s faults, election reform movement Bersih said he had ignored the obvious.

Bersih, comprising 26 NGOs and five opposition political parties, today listed several recent glaring election irregularities:

Releasing electoral rolls to candidates three days before polling

Releasing electoral rolls to candidates that are starkly different from the ones held by EC officials at polling centres

Not publishing electoral rolls for public scrutiny prior to the general elections

Missing ballot papers in the Kuala Terengganu and Lumut parliamentary seats

Existence of non-citizens in the electoral roll during the 2001 Likas by-election
Judicial review

Furthermore, Bersih pointed out that several allegations pertaining to the 2004 general elections brought up in a judicial review case initiated by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), also remains unanswered.

Among the issues raised in the case were:

Use of several versions of electoral rolls by the EC

Allowing pondok panas (campaign booths at polling centres) at the last minute in contravention of the law

The extension of voting time in Selangor up to 7pm

The practice of writing the voter’s serial number on the counterfoil of the ballot paper

Whether candidates could still run for elections if convicted but had an appeal pending
(The application for judicial review was struck out after the attorney-general, representing the EC, argued that all challenges pertaining to elections had to be made in form of an election petition according to Article 118 of the Federal Constitution)

Insincere challenge

On March 21, Abdul Rashid claimed that his critics did not furnish proof that the EC was not transparent in its actions and challenged them to take him and the commission to court.

At a press conference in Kuala Lumpur this morning, Bersih committee member and PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah said the challenge was not sincere as Abdul Rashid was well aware that the public could not take the EC to court.

Sivarasa said the government with the consent of the EC had on June 2002, amended the Election Act 1954 making the electoral roll “final and binding” – effectively removing all legal avenues to challenge the credibility of the roll.

“When he was in part responsible for immunising the electoral roll from any challenge in an election petition, why is Abdul Rashid asking his critics to take him to court?” asked Sivarasa, a practising lawyer.

Quoting the judgement in the Likas by-election petition in 2001, Sivarasa said the Election Court then had found the electoral roll to be tainted but the EC-initiated legal amendments in 2002 no longer allowed proper public scrutiny of the roll.

See-through ballot boxes

On claims by Abdul Rashid that the EC’s hands were tied because it merely functions within the confines of the law, Sivarasa said the EC was still capable of formulating election regulations.

“If he wants to, he can make new regulations next week. The rules doesn’t even need to be passed by Parliament. So please don’t confuse the public by claiming that the EC cannot make election rules,” he said.

Among the regulations which the EC have produced thus far include the Elections (Conduct of Elections) regulations 1981, Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations and Elections (Postal Voting) Regulations 2003.

Among Bersih’s core demands are the abolishment of postal voting, the use of indelible ink to mark voters who have cast their ballots and ensuring a ‘clean’ electoral rolls.

Bersih would be conducting its inaugural workshop on clean and fair elections on April 2 at Ceruk To’ Kun and Skudai. The second leg of the workshop would be in Kota Bharu on April 7.

Other Bersih members who attended the press conference were PAS strategist Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad, Suaram secretariat member K Shan, PSM pro-tem secretary general S Arutchelvan and DAP NGO liaison chief Ronnie Liu.

Meanwhile, the EC today announced that see-through ballot boxes will be introduced at the next general elections.

These new boxes are one of the demands made by poll watchdog groups to ensure transparency and avoid possible cheating.