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Thread: GE13: Pemerhati Report by IDEAS & CPPS

  1. #1
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    Oct 2008

    GE13: Pemerhati Report by IDEAS & CPPS

    UTUSAN: Keputusan PRU-13 berwibawa

    TMI: GE13 ‘partially free but not fair’, say think tanks

    “Although the official campaign period and electoral processes may have proceeded smoothly and without major issues, wider issues that are not within the EC’s purview have built up over the last few years,” said the think-tanks’ joint report ‘Was GE13 Free and Fair?’ today.

    “These issues conspired against non-BN parties, therefore creating a very uneven field. Due to these reasons, we conclude that GE13 was only partially free and not fair.
    While presenting their report here today, both think tanks agreed to recognise the result of the polls, saying the EC ran the polls according to the proper procedures and by the book.
    “To me, I think the result is credible the way it is now because we followed the process; it is simply just not a fair election.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2008
    Bishop: Polls anything but free and fair

    RK Anand
    | May 17, 2013

    Bishop Paul Tan explains that while he abstains from partisan politics, he supports electoral watchdog Bersih in its cause for free and fair polls.
    PETALING JAYA: An outspoken Catholic cleric has cast aspersion on the 13th general election with regard to the battle for Putrajaya being clean and fair.

    Bishop Paul Tan said this in reference to the report of the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) and Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS).

    “IDEAS and CPPS have done an interim report. In it, there is this conclusion: ‘GE13 was only partially free and not fair’. I find it difficult to believe that the report could conclude this…

    “But when it concluded ‘only partially free’ for the three reasons given that are fraught with irregularities as reported in the said report, the people involved are not objective,” he said.

    “From the multiple examples of irregularities arrived in the report, permit me to use a stronger phrase than that of IDEAS and CPPS: GE13 is anything but transparently ‘free and fair’,” he added.

    Tan, who heads the Malacca and Johor diocese, conceded that he could be wrong but stressed that he was morally obliged to speak out at this time because of the immorality practiced before and during GE13.

    “If I didn’t speak up, I would have to answer to my God and my Church,” he said.

    Tan said while he obeyed the Catholic Church’s teaching that clerics must not take sides in partisan politics, he noted that the church also taught that clerics must speak out against immoralities and against all that go against human rights.

    “As a religious person in my role as bishop, I am in a dilemma vis-a-vis to what extent should I allow a certain degree of immorality or infringement against human rights to go on unpunished before denouncing them publicly,” he added.

    For a long time, Tan said, there had not been sufficient action taken against immorality in its widest sense, especially corruption.

    “Some attempts have been made by related government departments to deal with the matter. In ‘grosso modo’, it has not been effective. Only a few small fish have been caught, the big fish was left untouched.

    “The consequence of this ‘laissez faire’ lifestyle is that it has produced massive corruption, cheating and immoral manipulation of the people to garner votes for one’s political party.

    “Unfortunately, this cuts across the boundaries of all parties. The degree lies in the extent of corruption,” he added.

    ‘Are we not ashamed?’

    The bishop also noted that the most obvious example was the lavish manner in which the Najib administration threw cash to get votes.

    “Where is our country going? Are cheating and corruption condoned as part of our Malaysian culture? Are we not ashamed of our country being an immoral society?

    “We must all reflect and examine our consciences. What sort of nation do we want our country to be, moral or immoral? Undoubtedly, all will want a ‘moral country’.

    “But what sort of morality do we want? It is here that the degree of permissiveness comes into play. To what extent can we tolerate it before stringent action is taken to punish the unscrupulous?” he added.
    Condemning money politics, Tan said even if it was considered “legalised corruption”, it does not exonerate the guilt of the ones involved.
    “Corruption is corruption, even if one was to dress it up like a queen. A toilet remains a toilet, even if one gives it the beautiful terms of ‘comfort room’ or ‘powder room’,” he added.
    The bishop explained that while he abstained from partisan politics, he supported electoral watchdog Bersih in its cause for free and fair polls.
    “Any rational and moral person will support it,” he said.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2008

    PETALING JAYA (May 16): An independent think tank has described the recently concluded general election as one with unfair conditions that guaranteed a win for BN but not one in “complete shambles”.

    The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) was among the five organisations invited by the Election Commission to act as domestic election observers between nomination and polling day.

    IDEAS last week released its post-GE joint report with the Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS), which comprised their observations on how the general election was conducted and recommendations for improvement.

    According to IDEAS chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan, the report surprised many people for not saying that the general election was in “complete shambles” and also for not levelling heavy criticism at the EC.

    By taking into account the wider context, he said one would immediately see that the election would never be fair as the field is already tipped in favour of BN.

    But he added that a closer look at the actual processes between nomination day and the announcement of results would reveal that there was little to complain about.

    “There were many glitches here and there,” Wan Saiful acknowledged during an exclusive interview on's Face to Face. “But the vast majority of them were sorted out by EC officials quite quickly.”

    “This is why we concluded that while the election is partially free in the sense that people can vote, it is complete unfair because the field has been set up for a BN victory.”

    He however said that while the EC deserved many of the criticisms thrown its way, there were certainly those that were unjustified as they involved matters outside the EC’s control like the electoral roll.

    Wan Saiful pointed out that if the EC had received a name list from the National Registration Department’s (NRD) database, there was no reason for the EC to reject any of the names on that list.

    “So the problem here is not the EC but the NRD and the process of issuing identity cards,” he stated. “My thinking is simply that there are things that the EC needs to fix and there are things that other agencies need to do.”

    Wan Saiful however emphasised that the manner in which the EC responded to public complaints was unacceptable and deserving of criticism.

    When concerns arose on polling day over the indelible ink washing off from voters’ fingers, EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, had blithely said that he wasn’t worried because “tomorrow you cannot vote”.

    “We see the EC issuing statements that can so obviously be treated as biased,” Wan Saiful. “This is bad and this is wrong.”

    The IDEAS-CPPS report has already recommended that the EC draw up a stakeholder engagement and communication strategies to better handle similar situations in the future.

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  4. #4
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    Oct 2008

    PETALING JAYA (May 17): The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) has proposed that the Election Commission (EC) initiate a cross-partisan approach in its next constituency redelineation exercise to address the unhappiness over the current division of constituencies.

    IDEAS chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan told during a Face2Face interview that it was time the EC went with "common sense" and worked with both sides instead of with just the government.

    "The EC needs to propose the new constituencies to the government," he said.

    "If the number of parliamentary seats are increased then a two-third majority is required to pass that amendment."

    "If there is no increase in the number of constituencies, then the resizing can be done based on the EC's recommendations. But the whole process must have cross-partisan agreement."

    EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said last week that the redelineation exercise will start at the end of the year after the six-month process of hearing election petitions is over.

    According to the Federal Constitution, the interval between each redelineation exercise must not be less than eight years and completed within two years. The last exercise was carried out in 2002 and adopted by Parliament in 2003.

    The upcoming redelineation exercise will come under close scrutiny by Pakatan Rakyat and various civil society movements that have equated it to gerrymandering by Barisan Nasional (BN).

    Wan Saiful pointed out that the existing redelineation defies logic in terms of the division and sizes of the constituencies.

    "Putrajaya has 15,791 voters compared with Kapar, which has 144,159 voters," he stated. "It doesn't make sense."

    "And then you have a state seat like Sri Serdang with 72,769 voters which is higher than the Putrajaya parliamentary seat."

    In his analysis, DAP election strategist Ong Kian Ming predicted that the results of GE13 pointed to a likelihood of BN losing power in the next general election unless it is saved by a "grossly skewed and unfair" redelineation exercise.

    The newly-elected Serdang MP noted that the 2002 exercise had increased the number of mixed seats, which BN wrongly assumed it would easily sweep.

    Ong has since called on the EC to work with Pakatan in coming up with a redelineation exercise that is agreeable to both parties especially since a two-third majority is needed to increase the seat count.

    Wan Saiful added, however, that for the exercise to proceed smoothly, BN would also have to be willingly involved in a cross-partisan approach.

    "The government has to be open-hearted (and) gentlemanly enough to say it realises that Malaysians have spoken," he stated.

    "The majority of Malaysians have voted for Pakatan in terms of the popular vote. I think it's time for the government to accept and respect that decision, and say we want to work together."

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  5. #5
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    Oct 2008

    PETALING JAYA (May 20): Post-general election gatherings organised by Pakatan Rakyat, dubbed the 505 Black rallies, have witnessed a turnout in the tens of thousands as a show of protest against alleged electoral fraud.

    The rallies have however drawn mixed reactions with some quarters supporting continued public protest against the election results and others questioning the end result of the rallies.

    The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) falls into the second group. Its chief executive officer, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, said that while he fully understood the unhappiness over the system, the rallies' vague end point worried him.

    "What is it that Pakatan wants to achieve after all these rallies?" he asked during a recent Face to Face interview with

    "Yes, expressing anger is one thing but this can easily catapult into a call for a revolution of some sort. I hope it won't get to that extent. I think Pakatan doesn't want to go that way and should ensure that it doesn't."

    When asked if there was a tipping point between a rally and a revolution, he said that he trusted rally participants to not engage in violence.

    "After all, I was one of them," he laughed. "But it takes just a few people to start a clash or to initiate or incite something and then things can get out of hand."

    Wan Saiful further urged opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to clarify the intended outcome of the rallies to give Pakatan supporters a clear direction where they were headed.

    Pakatan leaders have previously admitted that the rallies were unlikely to change the polls outcome and were only meant to keep up the momentum as well as remind Malaysians that BN retained power despite losing the popular vote.

    But during the Perak rally, Anwar has vowed that he would not surrender until the election results are validated and Pakatan claims its right over Putrajaya.

    Wan Saiful meanwhile also warned that BN needed to respond positively to the protests or risk public anger which will then influence voting decisions in the next general election.

    He referred to a proposal by IDEAS that all allegations of irregularities to be investigated by a body that is trusted by the public.

    IDEAS was among five organisations invited by the Election Commission (EC) to be a domestic election observer and this proposal was one of many in a report jointly produced with the Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS).

    Wan Saiful however stressed that such a committee should comprised of people who command widespread public trust like Bersih 2.0 co-chair, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.

    "That rules out the EC. That rules out government agencies. In fact, I'll go as far as saying that rules out the police even and the Attorney-General's office," he said.

    "This is where the government's seriousness in wanting to reconcile differences will be tested. If the prime minister is serious, then create an entity that will command public trust and let them do their job."

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  6. #6
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    Oct 2008

    PETALING JAYA (May 21): The Election Commission (EC) has been urged to take into account the reports and work by other parties in its post-mortem on the recently concluded general elections.

    Among the work recommended by the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) are the Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Report (Merap), the people's tribunal and findings from ongoing investigations into electoral fraud.

    The Merap project, spearheaded by DAP election strategist and Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming, uncovered irregularities in the electoral roll as well as proposed solutions to rectify them.

    The report's findings, which were published last year, identified 25 types of problems in the electoral roll with 15 involving non-postal voters and 10 involving postal voters.

    While the EC was initially offered to hold closed-door dialogue sessions with Ong over the Merap report, it retracted the offer when Ong joined DAP last September.

    In a recent Face to Face interview at's studio, IDEAS chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan expressed his admiration for the Merap project but also acknowledged the EC's hesitance following Ong's subsequent DAP membership.

    "(The Merap report) is brilliant work and I really hope the EC will take more notice of it," Wan Saiful said.

    "But the EC (became) a bit sceptical when Ong joined DAP. Then (the report) became partisan. So I understand the EC's difficulty in dealing with this."

    The people's tribunal meanwhile is an initiative by Bersih to investigate the extent of electoral fraud and irregularity while Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli has set up a separate team to do the same and present the findings in an election petition.

    Wan Saiful added however that the EC had been making efforts to clean up the electoral roll despite the limitations it faced where the National Registration Department's (NRD) database was concerned.

    "So unless (the database) is fixed, the electoral roll will never be clean," he pointed out. "Many people try to box (the EC) into right or wrong with no grey areas but the reality is that the EC has been trying to fix the electoral roll."

    "It has been very good in trying to engage with other parties and we have been talking to them too. So I only have praise for the work it has done."

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