Is the govt serious about electoral reforms?

Selena Tay
| April 7, 2012
It does not matter whether they get 'elected' by dubious means as long as they get 'elected'.
It is very obvious now that the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) for electoral reform is just a political gimmick by the BN federal government to deceive the Malaysian public.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s motive in setting up the PSC is to con the rakyat into thinking that he is genuine and sincere in pursuing electoral reforms in line with his much hyped-up Government Transformation Programme (GTP).

According to DAP’s Ng Suee Lim, the state assemblyman for Sekinchan, the PSC is BN’s delaying tactic to give time to the Election Commission (EC) to plan massive hanky-panky in the voter rolls in order to secure victory for BN in the upcoming 13th general election.

Said Ng, “In actual fact, the BN federal government is not interested and does not want electoral reforms because it knows if there is any reform then they will lose big-time.”

In a nutshell, this means that the GTP is a total failure and the PSC is just to confuse and hoodwink the rakyat.

“The BN government must be warned that the rakyat will not accept results of the 13th general election if there is electoral fraud,” added Ng.

The requests for a Minority Report by the Pakatan Rakyat MPs in the PSC being disallowed showed that the PSC is just for BN to bulldoze through its agenda to halt electoral reforms.

The BN government wants to be seen to be elected by the people and that is why it is hellbent on stopping political and electoral reforms.

It was the Bersih rally on July 9, 2011 that pushed Prime Minister Najib to set up the PSC for electoral reform, much against his liking. But till to-date only one of Bersih’s 8 demands have been met and that is the use of indelible ink.

Bersih’s 8 demands are:

1. Clean the electoral roll
2. Use of indelible ink
3. Reform the postal ballot
4. Minimum 21 days campaign period
5. Free and fair access to the media
6. Strengthening public institutions
7. Stop corruption
8. Stop dirty politics
Nine months after Bersih rally, only one demand has been met! This is also the reason why the Pakatan MPs refuse to participate in the PSC for Lynas – PSCs are just con shows to dupe the rakyat.

Evidence of tampering

In regards to Bersih’s 8 demands, the situation has deteriorated. Instead of cleaning up the electoral rolls, the same have been getting increasingly dirtier by the minute.

These are the following areas where there is evidence of tampering and which have been highlighted by the Pakatan MPs in the PSC but till to-date the Election Commission (EC) has done nothing about it:

1. Perfectly eligible voters who are still alive and have voted in 2008 but have had their names removed for the coming general election
2. Fast-tracked citizenship for illegals or foreign workers whose names have been added into the voter rolls
3. Unauthorised shifting of voters without their knowledge
4. Between 20 to 100 names registered under the same address (phantom voters)
5. Tremendous increase in postal votes
In addition to the above, the following is a method to create phantoms and clones:
1. Same old identity card number being used for different persons staying in the same address – the old number of 5926363 is being used for Suodah Binti Salleh and Teh Boon Keat both listed as staying in the same house;
2. Same old identity card number being used for Lakshma A/P M. Govindasamy born in 1949 and B. Leelambigay A/P S Batumalay born in 1979 – born 30 years apart although the old identity card number is no longer in use for those born in 1979 and after;
3. Same name but slightly different new Identity Card Numbers – happened in the case of Mok Sow Ying born on Sept 12, 1949, only a slight change in the last four digits of her Identity Card Number from 5732 to 5302, same thing also happened for Mathiyee A/P Raman;
4. Postal voters – policeman’s spouse being registered as postal voter when this privilege is only for armed forces personnel’s spouse;
5. Possibility of armed forces personnel being twice registered – once under his army number and another time under his ordinary identity card number;
6. Army man’s wife registered under his identity card number and then registered again under her own identity card number (this will enable her to be a male as well as a female and listed twice).
The above are just a few examples, many more abound.

Sham democracy

As responsible citizens, it is our duty to demand for free and fair elections. We certainly do not want to be cheated of our rights by the EC. This means that Malaysia’s democracy is a sham. It is a fake democracy legitimised via manipulations by the powers-that-be.

The incumbent government knows that being ‘elected’ by the people will help them in gaining respect from other world leaders and therefore they manipulate to get ‘elected’. This is the crux of the matter.
They will do anything and everything by hook or by crook to get ‘elected’ because getting ‘elected’ will prove that they are popular besides giving them an air of legitimacy. Therefore it it does not matter whether they get ‘elected’ by dubious means as long as they get ‘elected’. Period.

This means that as responsible citizens it is our right and duty to want the best for our nation and that is to stop them from stealing the seat of power but also plundering the nation’s coffers and emptying our pockets. In addition to that they are also plotting to damage our health via the setting up of the Lynas rare earth plant. A dirty government makes for a dirty environment?

Malaysia has to stem the rot of being left behind in South-east Asia. With the escalation of crime, unemployment and inflation, it will not be long before our neighbours bypass us.

Our jobless locals as well as the foreign workers who are in-between jobs here are resorting to crime activities such as arson, snatch thefts, house break-ins, car thefts, burglaries and gangsterism. Our police force too are being kept busy stemming vice and drug activities.

All despotic governments like to keep the citizens in dumb ignorance. Buying of votes, giving short-term instant gratification and electoral frauds are their methods of staying in power forever. These type of governments do not practice the ethics of good governance, transparency and accountability. The principles of democracy are alien to them.

Before Malaysia deteriorates into being a Third World nation courtesy of the votes by phantoms, clones and aliens, the citizens must come together to voice out strongly for free and fair elections. Our future and the fate of the nation depends on this.

Selena Tay is a FMT columnist.