We should all, as citizens, press for clean, free, fair and independent elections. Election watchdog NGO Tindak Malaysia has provided irrefutable evidence of the Election Commission's (EC) bias towards BN by gerrymandering and manipulating electoral boundaries until one rural voter is effectively worth an average of six urban voters, for BN is stronger in the rural areas.
According to Tindak Malayisa, BN won 112 out of the smallest 139 federal seats in the 2008 general election, giving it simple majority in Parliament with just 18.9 percent of the popular vote.
The seats have not been changed for the next general election. Where is the democratic principle of not just "one person, one vote" but also majority rule when BN can win 50.4 percent of Parliament with just 18.9 percent of the votes?
In effect, BN won 62 of the smallest seats with just 6.2 percent of the popular vote, with the smallest federal seat being Putrajaya, which BN won with 6,008 voters, while Kapar, won by PKR, had more than 112,000 voters.
Instead of majority rules, we have a case of minority rules, which is a gross violation of representative democracy.
There is no point for the EC to waste money printing 5,000 copies of a special Malay information booklet to counter all allegations against the its faulty election process when falsehoods cannot prevail over facts.
How can EC dismiss the issue of the over 42,000 ‘doubtful voters' in the current electoral roll where they are not citizens as confirmed by the National Registration Department (NRD) and the alleged over-registration of voters at one single address? The problem may be even worse than the 42,000 doubtful cases admitted by both the EC and NRD.
A pool of problematic registrations
Ong cited four critical issues:
- Approximately 3.1 million voters were identified as potential non-resident voters by the NRD in 2002. This data was given by NRD to the EC, but it took no action to assess the magnitude of this problem and to identify ways to rectify it.
- Using the EC's own data, which lists the nationality or ‘bangsa' of each voter, approximately 65,000 voters were identified as having foreign nationalities. Of these, close to 90 percent or 58,000 had IC numbers indicating that they were born in Malaysia. In addition, approximately 49,000 of these voters came from one state alone - Sabah - which has a well-documented history where ICs were given to illegal immigrants in order to allow them to register as voters.
- By comparing the electoral rolls of Quarter 4 (Q4) 2010 and Quarter 3 (Q3) 2011 and by cross-checking them with the quarterly updates in the first to third quarters of 2011, it was found that 106,743 voters were removed from the electoral roll, without public display, and another 6,762 voters added to the electoral roll during the same period, also without public display.
- Important information provided by the EC in the Q1 to Q3 2011 quarterly roll updates such as the reasons for the deletion of names from the electoral roll, were omitted in the Q4 2011 quarterly roll. This omission immediately raises concerns about the possibility of concealing important information by the EC in order to prevent detailed analysis from being conducted.
Even Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim was a victim when he found his voting locality shifted from Selangor to the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.
Other complaints from critics include the allegedly unnatural spike in voter numbers in certain constituencies, the existence of more than 100 voters registered at a single address, claims that foreigners have been given voting rights, the moving of voters from one locality to another, the registration of the spouses of Armed Forces personnel as postal voters, the sudden spike in voters in certain constituencies and the unusual number of voters who are more than 100 years old.
For these abuses by a politically-inclined EC that has allowed itself to be used as a tool by BN, DAP fully supports and will mobilise its members for the Bersih sit-in protest for clean elections, nationwide.
DAP urges all Malaysians to join the Bersih rallies nationwide, especially at Dataran Merdeka.
DAP strongly condemns the actions and warnings by the government, especially the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), to ban this peaceful sit-in protest by instilling fears of untoward incidents among the public.
The use of fear tactics only betrays the real character of the BN government as dictatorial and tyrannical. And, as US President Thomas Jefferson said, "When a government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."
The time has come to ensure a bright and clean future for our children, free from fear. Only a clean election process untainted by abuses committed by the EC can give birth to clean leaders who can give hope to all Malaysians.
LIM GUAN ENG is the MP for Bagan and also the chief minister of Penang.
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