Kelana Jaya polls: Election committee denies foul play

Tue, 05 Oct 2010 16:56

By G Vinod

PETALING JAYA: The PKR election steering committee has denied allegations that the party's Kelana Jaya division election last Saturday was marred by irregularities.

Several local leaders, including Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne, had cried foul over the conduct of the election.

However, committee chairman Dr Molly Cheah said the election process was well-organised and manned by strict officers from the election committee.

“I was there from 10am till they finished counting for the deputy chief's position, supervising the vote tallying process. I noticed that the election officers were strict and professional. They never went near the polling booth. Even I was denied entry in the beginning until I produced my identification,” she told FMT.

Yesterday, the losing team led by Abd Razak Mohamed Jalil said they would submit a memorandum to the party headquarters in a move to nullify the election result.

They claimed that the election was marred by irregularities such as the disappearance of about 250 names from the voters' list.

They also claimed that the division's incumbent office bearers were appointed as election officers.

Don't be a sore loser

Cheah said she could not understand why the losers were making an issue out of the election, and asked them to emulate the candidates in a PKR division in Johor.

“The division in Johor held its election and after the counting, the winning team and the losing team congratulated one another and went for dinner together. This is how things should be,” she said, not wanting to disclose the name of the division.

"Besides, if they had noticed a problem, they should have made a complaint earlier, even before the polls,” she added.

Cheah also dismissed the allegation that Kelana Jaya division secretary Zakaria Yusoff was in the polling centre.

“Besides, what can one person do? It was actually certain individuals outside the hall who were creating problems.

“Some people think just because they are a MP or state assemblyman, they can enter the polling area but they were denied entry,” she said in an obvious referrence to Loh.

The bigger picture

Cheah said PKR members should look at the bigger picture where the party had empowered all its members to pick not only grassroots leaders but also national office bearers.

“It shows democracy is alive in the party. I would like to emphasise on what party vice-president Jeffrey Kitingan had said which was that PKR is on its way to maturity," she added.

Jeffrey, a veteran politician from Sabah, had praised the intense campaigning in the party polls, calling it a step towards political maturity.

He also said PKR was popular among the masses and that everyone wanted to be part of it.

Cheah said since this was the party's first direct election, there was bound to be problems and this would be rectified over time.

“Just because of minor problems, we cannot tarnish the entire election process. So it is a start for us but it is unfortunate that some of the losing candidates are making an issue of this,” she added.

On the four recounts held to decide the winner for the Kelana Jaya division chief post, Cheah said that it followed procedure as the party election rules stated that if the result margin differs by five percent, then the candidates were entitled to a recount. FreeMalaysiaToday....