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Thread: PSC: Response From Bersih 2.0 To The Recommendations Of The Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    PSC: Response From Bersih 2.0 To The Recommendations Of The Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform

    Response From Bersih 2.0 To The Recommendations Of The Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform

    The Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform has formulated 22 recommendations to improve the electoral system in Malaysia.

    Overall, BERSIH 2.0 notes that many of the recommendations involve the Election Commission implementing the proposed reforms or undertaking further study into various matters, and reporting back to a Parliamentary Select Committee to be established to monitor the implementation of the recommendations.

    This has 2 obvious drawbacks. Firstly, it relies on the existing Election Commission carrying out these recommendations. Time and again, the existing Election Commission has shown itself to be incapable or unwilling to initiate reforms of the electoral system. We question whether the existing Election Commission has sufficient credibility to commit itself to undertaking the proposed recommendations.

    Secondly, BERSIH 2.0 is of the belief that many of the recommendations made by the Parliamentary Select Committee can be immediately implemented. We do not see the need to provide for a lengthy implementation period. We reiterate that BERSIH 2.0 has demanded that reforms should be implemented BEFORE the 13th General Elections are held.

    We note that while some recommendations do provide for a time-frame to report back, many others do not. The lack of a time-line merely prolongs the dissatisfaction and lack of confidence in the electoral system, and adds to the frustration of the rakyat.

    Specifically, BERSIH 2.0 would make their initial response to the 22 recommendations as follows:-

    The main proposal, namely to allow overseas voters to vote, should be immediately implemented. The right to vote should be unconditional, and any imposition of conditions would be unconstitutional.

    BERSIH 2.0, Tindak Malaysia and Malaysian Overseas Voter have submitted detailed proposals as to how voting for overseas Malaysians may be carried out, and we do not see the need for further study on this matter as it will only serve to delay implementation. If the Election Commission is unable to handle the voting by Malaysians living abroad, civil society organisations are prepared to do it on the Election Commission’s behalf, so long as they are adequately resourced financially.

    Provisions already exist to allow Malaysians living overseas to register as voters. Malaysian missions abroad should be immediately instructed to receive such applications, and to comply with a standardised procedure that needs to be urgently clarified.

    The current categories of permissible postal voters in respect of those living within Malaysia – police/military personnel and their spouses, staff of the Election Commission – should be re-classified as advance voters. Advance voters should only be allowed to vote in the constituencies in which they are registered by the Election Commission and gazetted.

    BERSIH 2.0 and Tindak Malaysia have suggested that the category of advance voters should be extended to election candidates, election agents, polling agents, counting agents, booth observer and candidates’ nominees on the Election Commission enforcement teams.

    Personnel on duty at polling stations should come from a mix of Election Commission staff and members of civil society/the public resident in that constituency.

    We do not agree that members of the media enjoy the right to be registered as postal or advance voters.

    It is noted that the question of the integrity of the postal vote system has not been thoroughly examined. The postal vote system has in the past created a great amount of suspicion. One would have thought that it is best for transparency that the categories of advance voters and postal voters be reduced, not increased.

    We are in favour of distance voting. The logistics relating to distance voting are not too difficult provided there exists the requisite political will.

    BERSIH 2.0 and Tindak Malaysia have already submitted proposals and logistical solutions to the issue of distance voting, via the Second Memorandum to the Parliamentary Select Committee, on 21 March 2012. We do not see the need for further study. The provisions to permit distance voting can be implemented once the relevant regulations are amended. Our Second Memorandum already contains the draft amendments to the existing regulations.

    We are of the view that this is not necessary. Focus instead should be placed on automatic registration of voters when they reach the age of 21. Attention should also be paid to our proposal to reduce the qualifying age for voting to 18 years.

    We are of the view that in a functioning democracy, provision has to be made for circumstances in which the government of the day may lose a motion of no confidence. Introducing provisions that Parliament can only be dissolved after the completion of at least 4 years of a 5-year term of office may lead to an unpopular government being allowed to cling onto power.

    We wholly support the concept of a caretaker government, but do not feel that this is within the ambit of the Election Commission. There must be political consensus on the aim of implementing the concept of a caretaker government – to achieve political neutrality during the election campaign period, with no new spending commitments, no new projects announced. There will also have to be political agreement on its composition

    All the necessary information to be provided during the registration of new voters or registration of a change of address should be based on the particular contained in the MyKad or the relevant change of address notification issued by the National Registration Department. There is no need for any additional information.

    We are more concerned about what has not been addressed by the Parliamentary Select Committee, which is more critical, namely the existence of false and duplicate identities within the database of the National Registration Department. This raises questions about the integrity of the National Registration Department’s database, upon which the Election Commission relies.

    We have called for a minimum campaign period of 21 days.

    In determining the minimum campaign period, consideration must be given to the number of days required in order to allow an overseas voter to receive his/her ballot paper, mark it, and return it by post to the Returning Officer of his/her voting constituency before 5pm on election day. Any campaign period less than the number of days required for this to be reasonably undertaken would make a mockery of the right of overseas voters to cast postal ballots. This should be one of the minimum criteria to determine the length of the campaign period.

    A decision on the campaign period, which we would remind is something that is decided by the Election Commission, should also take into consideration the provision of sufficient time for election candidates to disseminate their election messages to the electorate and for the voter to consider the issues.

    The argument of the costs associated with a prolonged election campaign period is a false one. The bulk of the labour costs of carrying out an election is not dependent on the length of the campaign period. Such costs would be incurred on polling day itself, however long or short the campaign period is. Other fixed costs would remain unchanged, and so are also not dependent on the length of the campaign period.

    In any event, elections are of sufficient importance that the cost of carrying one out should not be a primary consideration.

    The costs incurred by political parties and election candidates should not be a consideration. Where candidates are concerned, existing regulations already prescribe financial limits for election campaign-related expenditure.

    There should be fair and equitable coverage of the election campaign of candidates and political parties, and no biased reporting. This recommendation can and must be implemented immediately. There must be a public commitment by the relevant Ministry that this be done. We are pleased that the Parliamentary Select Committee has made reference to Article 115(2) of the Federal Constitution and has called upon the Election Commission to exercise their power under these provisions.

    Currently the postal voter roll is separate from the principal electoral roll. This should be unified so that duplication of electors cannot arise.

    The work done by MIMOS in electronically interrogating the electoral rolls has been too simplistic, resulting in minimal errors being identified. It appears that only a comparison of the 12-digit MyKad numbers was carried out.

    The testing of the data requires more thorough and detailed parameters. For example, testing should be done to see if there is a duplication of the old NRIC numbers. Testing should also be done to search for identical names, and a high degree of matching of the 12-digit MyKad numbers to eliminate for possible duplicate registrations.

    For police and military personnel, the 12-digit MyKad numbers and the numbers of military or police identity card should also be listed to check for possible duplicate registrations. This does not appear to have been done either.

    Postal addresses should be complete. It is the duty of the Election Commission to ensure that all data are comprehensively entered. We are disturbed that the Election Commission has cited clerical errors to explain away discrepancies in the electoral roll. Entry checking by 2 separate personnel should have been undertaken to eliminate clerical errors. Physical site verification of addresses of new voters should also have been carried out.

    Minor variations in how postal addresses are entered into the database have also led to duplicate registration of electors.

    The monitoring of the work of the Election Commission with respect to the electoral rolls should be performed by an independent audit committee.

    It is disappointing that the Parliamentary Select Committee has not addressed its mind fully to the instances of fraud that have been highlighted publicly to-date. The Election Commission ought to have been taken to task over this and immediate steps must be taken to address this vital issue. As it stands, BERSIH 2.0 is of the view that we cannot proceed to the 13th General Elections based on this electoral roll.

    We question why inspection should only begin for addresses that have more than 50 registered electors. Since this inspection is undertaken in order to identify addresses with multiple electors, inspection could just as easily start for addresses with more than 11 electors. More work would have to be done, but as the intention is to identify addresses for further investigation, a lower number would generate more addresses for which electors may be verified.

    There is no need to allow for a period of 45 days to complete such investigations. A period of 21 days would suffice.

    The Chief Registrar already has adequate discretionary power under Regulation 25 of the Registration of Electors Regulations to cause the registration of suspicious electors to be investigated even after the electoral rolls have been validated. There is no need to study the granting of additional powers.

    We have called for the automatic registration of electors upon their attaining the age of 21 years. There is no reason for any delay in implementing this. If the government is of the view that an amendment to the Federal Constitution is required in order to achieve this, this can be speedily accomplished if there is sufficient support for this proposal from all political parties represented in Parliament.

    This deals with the question of which constituency a person should vote in, in cases where a person does not reside at the address contained in his MyKad.

    BERSIH 2.0 and Tindak Malaysia have already proposed solutions to the Parliamentary Select Committee on this issue, namely the various alternatives of advance voting, distance voting and postal voting for overseas Malaysians. Instead of adopting the solutions offered, the Parliamentary Select Committee appears to be skirting the issue.

    The decision on which constituency a voter should be registered in must be based on the address shown on the MyKad or on any change of address notified to the National Registration Department.

    Apart from advance voting, distance voting and postal voting, BERSIH 2.0 and Tindak Malaysia have suggested that an elector may register with the Election Commission his or her choice of which polling station at which to vote, so long as it is a polling station within the same constituency. In cases of large geographical constituencies, this may make it easier for a person to cast his or her vote, rather than having to return to the polling station nearest the registered residential address.

    Members of the Election Commission must enjoy public confidence, and must be able to ensure that elections are carried out in a free and fair manner. In the event that they cease to enjoy public confidence, they should resign or be removed.

    The Election Commission supervises the election of members of Parliament and state legislative assemblies. As such, the Election Commission should be independent of Parliament. The Election Commission should have and manage its own budget, which should not be scrutinised by Parliament, but audited by the Auditor-General.

    There should be a committee comprising non-politicians charged with the responsibility of receiving nominations for membership of the Election Commission and which would make recommendations to the Yang DiPertuan Agong. Past and present members of political parties and serving or retired civil servants should not be eligible to be nominated as members of the Election Commission. The non-involvement of the Prime Minister in the appointment process should be emphasized in order to ensure that the Election Commission is independent.

    A detailed study of the human resource capacity and performance of the Election Commission is needed before any recommendation of an increase in its staff numbers can be accepted.

    In any event, if the recommendation to separate the 3 main functions of the Election Commission is accepted (see item 18 below), then the number of Election Commission staff could actually be reduced, rather than increased. We are deeply alarmed by reports that there has been an increase in the number of staff of the Election Commission by 100,000 people, to 240,000. This in itself is a sizeable block of postal voters that gives cause for grave concern.

    The staffing of the Election Commission should be independent of government. The Election Commission should have its own funding, staff and salary scheme.

    Although the Election Academy has been in existence since 2007, there is no evidence of active voter education programmes carried out by the Election Commission. On the other hand, civil society organizations have been active and have taken the lead in voter education.

    It would be preferable if the government provides funding for civil society to continue with their voter education programmes, instead of continuing with the Elections Academy.

    We concur with the recommendation that the 3 main functions of the Election Commission be separated and distributed to 3 separate bodies.

    This issue should be deferred until the Royal Commission of Inquiry has completed its investigations and delivered its findings into the systematic abuse of the granting of citizenship to foreigners, otherwise known as “Project IC”, in Sabah.

    Each electoral constituency should consist of approximately the same number of population. There should no longer be any need for any rural weightage in this day and age. The principle of “one person one vote” should be upheld without exception.

    Election funding to political parties should be provided based on the proportion of the popular vote obtained by each political party in the previous general election. Political parties should not be allowed to utilize any other funding for an election campaign.

    We agree that studies should be carried out on alternative electoral systems.


    BERSIH 2.0 is disappointed that the following key issues were not with dealt with at all or were not dealt with in sufficient depth:-

    (a) The instances of manipulation of the electroral roll by removing names, changing polling station boundaries, and other such obvious discrepancies. A thorough study ought to have been conducted into the processes of the Election Commission and the National Registration Department.

    (b) No reference whatsoever is made in the report about foreigners being given citizenship for their vote in Semenanjung Malaysia. Whilst the problem is acknowledged to exist in Sabah, there is no reference to Semenanjung Malaysia, where the issue is also of relevance.

    (c) Nothing is said in the Parliamentary Select Committee’s report about election offences and the enforcement of the Election Offences Act 1954 as it now stands. There ought to also have been a study into the types of such offences being committed, and recommendations on how to prevent them. Although there is a suggestion that the Election Commission be given more powers to deal with such issues, the Parliamentary Select Committee does not seek to identify the problems and the clear infringements of the Act.

    (d) There is no mention of how to stop dirty politics save for a reference to a Code to be drawn up in relation to a Caretaker Government. In fact there ought to be a code of conduct in relation to all candidates and political parties. An example of such a code of conduct, from India, was given by BERSIH 2.0 to the Parliamentary Select Committee.

    (e) There is no reference to the inviting of International Observers. Malaysia was recently invited to send election observers to observe the recenty-concluded by-elections in Myanmar. On a previous occasion Malaysian observers were invited to observe the general elections in Thailand. If we subscribe to and endorse the principle of having international observers by our participation in such missions, then Malaysia’s reticence in inviting international observers is wholly inexplicable.

    (f) We are shocked at the manner in which the Parliamentary Select Committee’s report was received and adopted by the Dewan Rakyat on 3 April 2012, without any debate. Further, we deplore the decision by the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat not to permit the inclusion of a Minority Report together with the Parliamentary Select Committee’s report. The continued lack of respect of contrary views bodes ill for the development of a strong and vibrant Parliamentary democracy in Malaysia. The fact that there was no debate on the Parliamentary Select Committee’s report suggests that the majority in Parliament are none too concerned about the nature and extent of fraud and other irregularities in connection with the electoral rolls and the conduct of elections in Malaysia. The majority in Parliament do not appear to appreciate the need to strengthen the electoral process in Malaysia.

    (g) Given thus, BERSIH 2.0 is of the view that it is highly likely that the electoral fraud and other irregularities that are currently being perpetrated in Malaysia, and which have been and continue to be the concern of decent, fair-minded and peace-loving Malaysians, will continue unabated. A golden opportunity to right the wrongs and do something good for the benefit of Malaysians now and in the future has sadly been missed.

    Salam BERSIH 2.0

    Steering Committee, Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0)
    The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0 comprises:

    Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan (Co-Chairperson), Datuk A. Samad Said (Co-Chairperson), Ahmad Shukri Abdul Razab, Andrew Khoo, Arul Prakkash, Arumugam K., Dr Farouk Musa, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Subramaniam Pillay, Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Dato’ Yeo Yang Poh and Zaid Kamaruddin.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Bersih 3.0 – Duduk Bantah! 28/4/12, 2-4pm, Dataran Merdeka

    Kelmarin BERSIH 2.0 telah mengeluarkan jawapan terhadap Laporan Jawatan Kuasa Pilihan Khas (JKPK) tentang penambahbaik pilihan raya.

    Kenyatan ini dikeluarkan sebagai lanjutan terhadap laporan JKPK dan juga bersangkutan kes kes penipuan yang sedang berlaku.

    Pada hemat BERSIH 2.0, ada beberapa perkara dalam laporan JKKP yang dianggap baik dan sesuai. Tetapi, banyak juga yang kami anggap tidak mencapai ke tahap yang kami harapkan. Kami berharap JKPK akan menjadi satu badan yang tegas untuk memastikan pilihan raya yang akan datang ini bebas dan adil. Banyak cadangan-cadangan yang telah diajukan JKPK dan juga lapan tuntutan BERSIH 2.0 boleh digunapakai sebelum PRU 13. Kesemua cadangan ini wajib ditunaikan. Sikap berdiam diri kerajaan dan tanpa janji serta komitmen kerajaan untuk menunaikan semua tuntutan ini sebelum PRU 13 cukup membingarkan telinga.

    Jawatan Kuasa Pilihan Khas dan juga kerajaan telah tidak mengambil serius terhadap tuduhan-tuduhan penipuan. Warga Malaysia yang tinggal di luar negera juga telah dinafikan hak mengundi. Dan termasuk pelbagai hal penyelewengan yang telah ditimbulkan oleh warga negara kepada JKPK.

    Kes-kes penipuan yang terus berlaku, seperti yang telah kami jelaskan membuktikan pada kami bahawa kerajaan hari ini tidak bercita-cita untuk mengadakan pilihan raya ini dengan bersih dan adil.

    Semua ini meyakinkan kami bahawa pilihan raya kali ini akan menjadi yang paling kotor. Suruhanjaya Pilihan raya telah gagal mendapat keyakinan rakyat. Dengan ini, BERSIH 2.0 menuntut ahli-ahli suruhanjaya meletakkan jawatan.

    Rakyat akan terus menyuarakan ketidakpuasan hati mereka terhadap SPR. Rakyat juga akan terus meyuarakan bantahan mereka terhadap penipuan yang berterusan. Rakyat juga membantah kerana tidak ada komitmen untuk menambah baik sistem pilihan raya sebelum PRU 13.

    Justeru, BERSIH 2.0 akan berkumpul – DUDUK BANTAH – secara aman di seluruh Negara dan di seluruh dunia. Ini bertujuan untuk menyatakan ketidakpuasan hati kami terhadap kerajaan yang terus menerus memanipulasi sistem pilihan raya untuk memastikan kemenangan parti yang memerintah.

    Di Kuala Lumpur, kami akan DUDUK BANTAH di Dataran Merdeka pada Sabtu 28 April 2012 jam dua petang hingga empat petang.

    BERSIH 2.0 menjemput semua warga negara yang cintakan negara ini untuk bersama-sama DUDUK BANTAH. Ahli-ahli parti politik dijemput untuk bersama sebagai warga negara.

    Justeru, DUDUK BANTAH adalah saat dan masa untuk semua warga terutama yang berkuasa memikirkan apakah legasi dan masa depan yang akan kita tinggalkan kepada anak cucu cicit kita.

    Ini adalah BERSIH 3.0. Terima Kasih.

    Yesterday, BERSIH 2.0 released a statement responding to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform’s report which was tabled in Parliament.
    This statement is being issued as a follow-up to the Parliamentary Select Committee’s report and relates to the fraud that is currently taking place with respect to the electoral roll and other aspects of elections in Malaysia.

    The Parliamentary Select Committee report in our view contains some sound recommendations. However the Parliamentary Select Committee has fallen far short in many areas. What was hoped for was that a tough, no-nonsense approach would have been taken by the Parliamentary Select Committee to ensure that the next elections would be clean and fair. Many of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Select Committee, and indeed the 8 demands of BERSIH 2.0, can be implemented before the 13th General Elections. In fact they MUST be implemented NOW. But the silence of the government as to its commitment to implementing reforms before the 13th General Election is deafening.

    Neither the Parliamentary Select Committee nor the government appears to have taken a serious view of the many allegations of fraud. Both have glossed over the disenfranchisement of so many citizens both overseas and within Malaysia. Many of the other matters that so many citizens have painstakingly and diligently presented to the Parliamentary Select Committee have not been comprehensively considered.

    The continuing fraud, as has been explained, continues unabated, thus leaving us with the feeling that nothing will be done by this government to ensure that the upcoming elections will be clean and fair.

    In fact, it promises to be the dirtiest yet. The Election Commission has failed in its responsibility, and has lost the confidence of the public. They must resign.
    The rakyat must voice their dissatisfaction with the government and the Election Commission and protest the continuing fraud and obvious lack of commitment to election reform before the 13th General Election.

    In order to express our deep disappointment with a government that continues to manipulate the electoral system to their advantage, we will stage a nationwide and worldwide sit-in, to be known as DUDUK BANTAH!

    In Kuala Lumpur, we will meet at Dataran Merdeka on 28 April 2012 from 2pm to 4pm. Sit-ins will also take place in other parts of Malaysia and throughout the world.

    BERSIH 2.0 comprising 84 non-governmental organisations, call upon Malaysian citizens wherever they are who love this country to participate in the sit-in. Members of political parties are also invited to participate as citizens. This will be BERSIH 3.0!

    BERSIH 3.0 will be a time for reflection by all Malaysians, particularly those in power, as to the kind of legacy and future we intend to leave to the next generation.

    Salam BERSIH!

    Steering Committee, Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0)
    The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0 comprises:

    Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan (Co-Chairperson), Datuk A. Samad Said (Co-Chairperson), Ahmad Shukri Abdul Razab, Andrew Khoo, Arul Prakkash, Arumugam K., Dr Farouk Musa, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Subramaniam Pillay, Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Dato’ Yeo Yang Poh and Zaid Kamaruddin.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Bersih shows how a voter can be 'cloned'
    Koh Jun Lin 4:38PM Apr 4, 2012

    In the run-up to the announcement of Bersih 3.0, steering committee member and political scientist Wong Chin Huat revealed more instances of “cloned” voters, which he alleged were phantom voters.

    Using the 2011 fourth quarter electoral roll, Wong (left) explained four methods voters could be registered multiple times, so that they could cast votes several times.

    “You can find that we have achieved so much in cloning technologies that we would beat the Koreans and all others in the world,” the Monash University lecturer sarcastically remarked.

    The four methods are:

    • Voters having the same old Identity Card (IC) number and address, but different new IC numbers;

    • Voters having the same name, but slightly different new IC numbers;

    • Same name, with slightly different dates of birth, and new IC numbers; and

    • Postal voters with the same name but slightly different IC numbers.

    Wong gave 10 examples of possible “cloned” voters and said there were at least 560 instances of “clones” of the first type.

    However, he said, he did not know how many “clones” there were in the other three categories, pointing out that the research he had done was “just the tip of the iceberg”.

    In one example of voters having the same old IC number and same address, he showed the capture of a screenshot from the Election Commission’s (EC) electoral roll verification website
    It shows one Suodah Salleh and Teh Boon Keat having the same old IC number and the same address in Subang Jaya, Selangor (as seen above).

    Wong also showed four instances of voters having the same name but different IC numbers, including two persons named Mok Sow Ying. Their ICs indicated that they have the same birth date, but their IC numbers differed in two digits, while the other details were also different.

    One Mok is registered to vote in Petaling Jaya Utara, Selangor, and the other is in Pandan, Selangor.

    “Can someone tell me how much coincidence you need for two persons to be born on the same day, with the same name, but the IC numbers are different by 400?” Wong asked, referring to the third last digit of the two ICs numbers that was different.

    In the third type, he showed two screenshots of two persons named Liew Siew Lee who had different years of birth, but the rest of the IC numbers were the same, and the other details such as voting places were different.

    In the last method, Wong showed examples of two soldiers with the same name, Azhar bin Ahmad (above), but with their military identity card numbers differing only in the last digit, by one. They were assigned to different army camps – one in Bandar Tun Razak, and the other in Wangsa Maju.

    “We need to know if this is not fraud, someone should step forward and show us the registration forms,” he said.

    After Wong’s presentation, UCSI University lecturer and political scientist Ong Kian Ming presented some of the preliminary findings of his Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project, which showed additional discrepancies in postal voters.

    Ong (left) said there were more than 200,000 postal voters distributed in a “selected number” of constituencies, some of which are considered “marginal seats” where the election results could swing either way.

    He listed five problems affecting postal voters, with these examples:

    • Postal voters registered with regular ICs in addition to their military identity cards;

    • Spouses of police officers who are registered as postal voters, even though only spouses of military personnel are eligible;

    • Spouses of military and police voters of the same gender;

    • Military and police voters above the retirement age, including one Wan Rasidy Roni who is 112 years old; and

    • New military and police voters above the recruitment age.

    “I’m not saying that all the flaws I’m showing are necessarily phantom voters, but I think they are serious enough for the EC, as well as the National Registration Department, to explain these very serious discrepancies,” Ong said.

    He also pointed out that the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on Electoral Reform had looked for duplicate entries of new IC numbers, but not old IC numbers and not among postal voters.

    Bersih 2.0 steering committee co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan said that the academicians were invited to speak to reveal the problems in the electoral roll.

    “We wanted to establish that one of the main reasons Bersih 3.0 is happening is that while the PSC was busily working on its report, the fraud was going on,” she said, expressing disappointment that the PSC had not adequately addressed the issue of electoral fraud.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    'Let people decide make-up of Election Commission'

    The people should be allowed to play a role in determining who should be board members of the Election Commission, as well as those who hold senior posts in the body that registers voters and conducts the country's elections so that it will be more independent.

    In making the call, PKR deputy secretary-general Steven Choong said the existing set-up of EC was questionable.

    "The existing EC and the team of EC officers are seen as non-independent and subservient to the ruling regime because of to their past positions as civil or public servants," Choong said.

    "If our call is adopted, the EC board members, the chief registrar and the deputy, state election officers and their deputies, enforcement officers, adjudicating officers and the returning and presiding officers should be appointed either wholly or partially from among members of the public."

    For this reason, Choong said, if the PSC adopts the proposals made by Pakatan Rakyat, Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) and non-governmental organisations Tindak Malaysia and Ideas and revises the laws and implements new ones, the people would have a role in determining who works in the EC to make sure that it is truly independent.

    This, he added, was among the key recommendations presented by all the parties in the nationwide public hearings of the parliamentary select committee on electoral reform. However, the recommendation was not adopted.

    Efforts ignored

    Choong said Bersih and Tindak Malaysia had drafted two new laws - Election (Advance Voting) Regulations and Election (Distance Voting) Regulations - and drafted amendments to five existing laws - Election Act, Election Offences Act, Election (Conduct of Elections) Regulations, Election (Registration of Electors) Regulations) and Election (Postal Voting) Regulations.

    These draft laws were presented to the PSC at its nationwide hearings.

    Choong argued that the proposed amendments to the Election (Registration of Electors) Regulations would be able to ensure that the electoral roll was “as clean as it could be”.

    It would require collaboration from the voters to come forward to verify the data in the electoral roll.

    “The issue of phantom voters, double voting, impersonation and others would be significantly if not at all eliminated,” he said.

    Choong said that the efforts of Bersih and Tindak Malaysia had been ignored by the BN-majority PSC, which led him to conclude that the committee was not established to address Bersih’s eight demands which fuelled the coalition’s July 9 rally last year.

    “Since it is now clear that a fair and clean election will not be in place for the 13th general election, it is understandable the Bersih 2.0 steering committee is left with no alternative but to call for another peaceful demonstration on April 28 at Dataran Merdeka,” he said.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Bersih: No compromise on rally venue

    By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
    April 05, 2012

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — Election watchdog Bersih 2.0 said today it will carry on with its planned April 28 rally at Dataran Merdeka here despite the government insisting the “sit-in” is illegal.

    Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said yesterday the historic square, where the Malayan flag was hoisted for the first time after independence, was not a lawful gathering point under the recently passed Peaceful Assembly Act.

    But Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan (picture) stressed that the group would not change the venue for its third rally, and that “many events have been held there before.”
    “That is the plan. We have not considered any other place,” she told The Malaysian Insider.

    Ambiga has predicted a massive voter backlash for the Najib administration if it cracks down on the April 28 rally.

    Pointing to international condemnation of the crackdown against Bersih’s rally last year, she said yesterday a similar outcome was likely if the government again used a high-handed approach to stop the planned gathering.

    Today, Ambiga also claimed that despite it being passed in Parliament recently, the Peaceful Assembly Act has not been given an “effective” enforcement date as of yet.

    “It has not been given an effective date, not that it has not been enforced although I appreciate the police have been abiding by the spirit of it. Therefore the exclusion of Dataran is not in effect yet,” she said.

    “In any event we oppose the Peaceful Assembly Bill as it violates the Federal Constitution,” added the former Bar Council president.

    She warned the government against giving the Act an enforcement date just to stop Bersih from having its April 28 rally, saying that it would then be in “bad faith.”

    Ambiga however said Bersih would wait for the government’s response on the matter before taking any further action.

    Election reform movement Bersih confirmed yesterday it will hold its third rally for free and fair elections on April 28.

    Co-chairman Datuk A. Samad Said said “Bersih 3.0” was necessary to warn Malaysians that the country was about to face its “dirtiest” polls to date.

    The 84-member coalition said it was disappointed with the Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms that was formed following the July 9, 2011 rally for free and fair elections which saw tens of thousands flood into the streets of the capital.

    Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration was widely condemned for a clampdown on the demonstration where police fired water cannons and tear gas into crowds in chaotic scenes which resulted in over 1,500 arrested, scores injured and the death of an ex-soldier.

    The prime minister then announced a raft of reforms to give Malaysians more freedom including allowing public gatherings based on international norms while taking a firm stand against street demonstrations.

    But the Peaceful Assembly Bill that was tabled in Parliament drew condemnation from the opposition and civil society for being more repressive than existing regulations.

    Ambiga had said it was “shameful that Burma can propose a more democratic law,” referring to Myanmar’s military-dominated Parliament which passed a law last year allowing citizens to protest peacefully with five days’ notice instead of the 10 required here.

    The Peaceful Assembly Act states that the home minister may gazette “designated places of assembly” where organisers need not notify authorities in advance of a planned rally.

    But gatherings can be held anywhere outside a 50m radius of a prohibited place as long as police are given 10 days’ advance notice.
    The list of prohibited places includes dams, reservoirs, water catchment areas, water treatment plants, electricity generating stations, petrol stations, hospitals, fire stations, airports, railways, land public transport terminals, ports, canals, docks, wharves, piers, bridges, marinas, places of worship and kindergartens and schools.
    St Mary’s Cathedral is just under 50m from Dataran Merdeka.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Pak Samad ready for Bersih 3.0, ‘disturbed’ by lagging reforms

    By Clara Chooi April 05, 2012

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — National literary icon Datuk A. Samad Said made headlines last year when it was his slightly-hunched, barefooted frame that was seen leading a group of Bersih 2.0 marchers to deliver a memorandum on electoral reforms to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

    Today, he is “disturbed” that no real electoral reforms have taken place since the chaotic July 9 event.

    Samad makes a point at the Bersih press conference in Kuala Lumpur on April 4, 2012. On his left is Ambiga. — Picture by Jack Ooi

    The soft-spoken septuagenarian told The Malaysian Insider repeatedly that he was “not happy” with the 22 recommendations put forward by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on polls reform in its report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.The government’s and PSC’s failure to suggest total reform, he said, was “good reason” why Bersih 3.0 “should” be held.

    “I’m not happy with what has happened. I’m not happy. Not happy,” the bearded poet said yesterday, shaking his shock of white hair.

    “So that’s why I think, because of what’s happening, it is very disturbing as far as I’m concerned.

    “That’s a good reason why we should have this (Bersih 3.0),” he said.
    Samad or “Pak Samad” as he is fondly known, was speaking to The Malaysian Insider after co-chairing a press conference earlier yesterday afternoon with Bersih 2.0 chief Datuk Ambiga Sreenavasan and the election watchdog’s other steering committee members.

    The group had just announced “Bersih 3.0”, its third rally for free and fair elections, which is scheduled for April 28 from 2pm to 4pm at Dataran Merdeka here.

    Making the case for “Bersih 3.0”, Samad continued that any reforms to the election process, whether put forward by the PSC or others, “must” be done before the coming 13th general election.

    He complained that the PSC’s report, passed in the House without debate, had not expressly indicated a timeline for all its 22 reform recommendations.

    The panel, he said, should have done better.

    “They should do better, actually. Because they did not even say when they will have these things (recommendations) [implemented].
    “Because, what we care about [is that] all these things must be done (implemented) before the election,” he said.

    Failing which, Samad added, the PSC’s six months of meetings and investigation would be rendered “meaningless”.

    He expressed the hope that more Malaysians would take up Bersih’s cause and join the group this April 28 for its “sit-in protest”.

    “I hope, I hope (that more will join). Because it is not only in KL but also in other states and around the world,” he said.

    Despite his advanced years, the 76-year-old Samad appears unfazed at the thought of another massive march that could turn out as chaotic as last year’s event.

    Instead, he is ready again to lead thousands for “Bersih 3.0”, which he predicts will be attended by at least 500,000 people worldwide.
    During Bersih 2.0 last July 9, Samad had to traverse barefooted for a long distance amid the heavy bombardment of tear gas canisters and water cannons fired at protestors.

    He had lost his shoes in the confusion but was later offered a pair of slippers by an unknown individual to protect his feet.

    After the event, political analysts called Samad an “icon” for Bersih, saying that despite him not being a politician, his involvement had helped the group shed any element of partisan politics within it.

    The award-winning literary giant, they said, had instead sparked a spirit of nationalism and unity among Malaysians across races.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Where was this fellow for the past 55 years? He thinks this happened yesterday! He wants more time to think about it. Check his cv.

    He has spent virtually his whole working life hanging out in the PM'S department! Do you think he can function impartially?

    Not only that! He's an expert in international cultural affairs and international election laws! He has been an international election observer in 13 countries and the SPR has listed a requirement for an election observer as:

    Understand the culture of the country,
    Understand the election laws of the country.

    Bersih 3.0 rally a hasty decision, says EC deputy

    By Syed Mu’az Syed Putra
    April 05, 2012

    Wan Ahmad said the call for the rally was premature given that the EC has yet to respond to the PSC’s recommendations. — File pic

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — Bersih’s decision to hold a third rally for free and fair elections on April 28 is hasty and rash, Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar has said.The Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman said Bersih should have instead accepted the 22-point recommendations presented by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reforms and allow the commission to study the recommendations first. He questioned Bersih’s rationale in having a third rally, and pointed out that the EC itself has yet to issue a response to the PSC’s findings.

    “They should be patient... they say they are smart but they are close-minded... what they are doing is rushed, hasty and troublesome to people,” Wan Ahmad told The Malaysian Insider.

    “The EC has not even come out with any statement, we will study the proposal and come out with an official reply later,” he added.

    The EC no. 2 said it was only fair to allow some time for the commission to “carefully” study the PSC’s recommendations, as it involved matters concerning the Federal Constitution.

    “The PSC has worked hard on this for six months... the EC will meet soon to study the proposal carefully.”

    Bersih yesterday confirmed April 28 as the date for “Bersih 3.0”, its third rally for free and fair elections, which will go on from 2pm to 4pm at Dataran Merdeka.

    But this time, the gathering will also be joined by simultaneous events across the country, likely adding pressure to the government to accede to the group’s demand for a total reform to the country’s election processes.

    Bersih’s previous rally on July 9, 2011 turned chaotic when the authorities employed huge teams of riot police, armed with water cannons and tear gas launchers, to disperse the crowd of thousands.
    The crowd had converged on the streets of the capital from the early hours of July 9, defying earlier warnings that their participation could result in arrests.

    Over 1,600 people were detained as a result, including Bersih chief Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and scores of opposition lawmakers, but Bersih 2.0 later declared the event a success based on the number of participants and the publicity it had earned in both local and international media.

    The government moved quickly to enact the Peaceful Assembly Act after the event and formed the PSC for electoral reforms, but Bersih 2.0 maintains that these moves were insufficient.

    Ambiga yesterday pointed out that the PSC’s 22 recommendations had failed to deal with specific discrepancies in the electoral roll.
    These include duplicate voters, overly large numbers of voters registered to a single address, the existence of deceased voters, and a suspicious spike in the number of civilian and postal voters, among many other similar irregularities.

    The former Bar Council chairman also noted that the PSC had not only failed to address issues surrounding election offences and dirty politics, but also did not expressly direct the EC to implement all 22 reform recommendations in time for the 13th general election.
    She said it was Bersih’s hope that national polls are not called anytime soon, in order to give the government enough time to implement the reforms.

    Bersih’s first rally in 2007, also for free and fair elections, has been widely credited for the 2008 political tsunami that saw Barisan Nasional (BN) lose its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority.
    The ruling coalition faced a stunning defeat in five states, and the historic event led to the formation of Pakatan Rakyat (PR), a loose pact comprising the DAP, PKR and PAS.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    | April 9, 2012
    RCI on aliens gets BERSIH boost

    Bersih's national steering committee has stressed the need to train members of the public to gather evidence of electoral fraud.
    KOTA KINABALU: Election watchdog Bersih will add the Sabah-driven demand for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants and ‘dubious citizens’, to its call for electoral reforms.

    Berish chairperson S Ambiga said that the illegal immigrants and ‘dubious citizens’ were not just a Sabah issue anymore but was now a national issue as it also affected Peninsular Malaysia.

    “We will certainly be talking about it because it is not just a Sabah problem. It is also happening in West Malaysia and we shouldn’t allow it to happen in any part of Malaysia. We cannot treat it as solely a Sabah problem,” she said.

    She advised the organizers of the “Jom 100” campaign to focus on a complete solution to the problem of the burgeoning population of illegal immigrants in Sabah and related issues by pushing for a RCI to investigate the scandal while at the same time campaigning for a 100% voter turn out in the coming general election.

    Meanwhile, the Bersih national steering committee member Anne Lasimbang stressed the need to train members of the public to gather evidence of electoral fraud as well as registration of phantom voters.

    She agreed with Ambiga that allegations must be substantiated for it to be taken to court later.

    She was referring to a series of past reports by opposition leaders alleging concerted efforts by the Barisan Nasional coalition operatives recruiting foreign workers as voters in Selangor after it fell to the opposition in the last general election.

    Another committee member, Andrew Ambrose Mudi, better known as Atama, said the evasive moves by the government to calls to set up the RCI had prompted Sabah Bersih to focus its energy to push for its establishment.

    He called on concerned Sabahans to join the peaceful protest rally on April 28 at the Padang Merdeka from 2pm to 4pm to force the government to listen to their worries.

    He said they had nothing to be afraid of as they were entitled to gather under the recently passed Public Assembly Bill.

    He said Sabah Bersih was also considering organising another peaceful rally possibly during the Kaamatan celebrations in late May to further drive home the message.

    Also in attendance were the youth leaders and members of the opposition parties here namely PKR, DAP and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).

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