Posts Tagged ‘GE13

07
Apr
14

RMAF pilot’s court martial charges over indelible ink likely to be challenged in High Court

A legal team assembled to represent a Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) pilot in a military court charged with providing statements to the media regarding the indelible ink is mulling challenging the charges in a civil court.

PAS lawyer Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, who is leading the team, said he was considering filing a judicial review in the High Court as the charges framed against Major Zaidi Ahmad (pic) had violated his constitutional right.

“He is entitled to lodge a police report when a wrong has been done and framing charges against him runs contrary to Zaidi’s freedom of speech and expression,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Hanipa, who is also Sepang MP, said Zaidi was also being harassed.

“He should not be penalised. The Armed Forces Council has the option to withdraw the charges and bring the matter to an end.”

He said even the Election Commission had conceded that there was a fiasco over the use of the indelible ink in last year’s general election.

Hanipa said Zaidi’s case did not come under the purview of the attorney general, who was also a public prosecutor.

“Usually we will write to the AG to drop the charges or file an application in court to strike out the charges. Since Zaidi is court martialled, we can only resort to a judicial review,” he said.

Hanipa said he had spoken to the council authorities to drop the charges but there had not been any indication of a positive outcome.

“We are running out of time as the military court will begin the three-day proceeding next Tuesday,” he said.

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RMAF pilot’s court martial charges over indelible ink likely to be challenged in High Court
BY V. ANBALAGAN AND LOOI SUE-CHERN
April 04, 2014 – TMI

29
Mar
14

Election 2013 broke every rule in the book

Election 2013 broke every rule in the book, Bersih panel finds

SUBANG JAYA, MARCH 25 — Every single principle governing the running of a free and fair election was breached during last year’s May 5 federal polls, Bersih’s People’s Tribunal concluded in its findings released today.

Panel member former United Nations Special Representative and constitutional law expert Yash Pal Ghai said Election 2013 had fallen short of every aspect of democracy and violated the standard of free and fair elections.

He agreed that the election had been free to some extent because those who were registered voters were not blocked from casting their ballots but said this freedom was more in a “narrow sense” of the word.

During Election 2013, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) retained federal power with 133 seats to Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) 89 seats despite losing the popular vote contest to the federal opposition, garnering just 49 per cent of the total votes cast.

“We have found ourselves compelled to reach a conclusion that there were multiple failings in the way GE13 was conducted and that virtually every tenet of free election was violated at some place and at some time,” said Yash Pal, who headed the tribunal.

“There were so many breaches of law, disregard of procedures that we have to conclude that elections were not free and fair,” he said, reading out the verdict and recommendation of the five-person panel.

The recommendations, which included proposed amendments to the constitutions on electoral reforms, were concluded after the panel considered sworn statements from 75 witnesses.

Of the 75, 49 appeared personally during public hearings from September 18 to 21 last year.

The panel also proposed reduce the voting eligibility age from 21 to 18 years, and called for equal voting access for Malaysians living abroad.

Yash Pal said the various complaints from individuals who never registered as voters and those who were transferred out of their voting districts, indicate a “deliberate act of fraud”.

“Registering one or two people in the wrong constituency might be carelessness; registering those who have not sought registration is suspicious,” said Yash Pal, adding that it is hard to exonerate the Election Commission (EC) of collusion as identification cards are required upon registration.

Noting the difficulty in ensuring an electoral roll is completely void of discrepancies, another panel member, lawyer Datuk Azzat Kamaluddin, said political parties should establish a specific unit to check the voter registry.

This, he pointed out, is to prevent from a complainant running into legal constraints when it comes to challenging discrepancies in the roll. The Election Act 1958 provides no legal avenue to those who want to challenge a gazetted electoral roll.

On the first-past-the-post electoral system practiced by Malaysia, Yash Pal labelled it questionable as it relies heavily on the fairness of delineated electoral boundaries, which has been repeatedly questioned by federal opposition lawmakers and activists here.

“Individual voters will not be equally represented if they are in constituencies with significantly different number of voters and the actual outcome of overall results can severely be affected by moving boundaries.

“A witness gave evidence that, on average, a vote for BN was worth 1.6 times a vote for PR, because PR-leaning constituencies are on average larger,” he said, adding that it does not reflect “the principle of one person, one vote, one value”.

In order to reduce the glaring ratio, the panel proposed amendments to laws defining the criteria on the size of urban and rural constituencies, crucial to the delimitation process.

The Electoral Integrity Project (EIP), a study by University of Sydney and Harvard University, recently showed Malaysia’s electoral demarcations as the worst of 66 countries in terms of fairness and integrity of its electoral boundaries.

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Election 2013 broke every rule in the book, Bersih panel finds
By Pathma Subramaniam
March 25, 2014 – Malay Mail Online

04
Mar
14

Why go after RMAF pilot and let big sharks get away

Why go after RMAF pilot and let big sharks get away, asks DAP

DAP leader Lim Kit Siang (pic) today questioned Putrajaya’s move to charge air force pilot Major Zaidi Ahmad for complaining about GE13′s indelible ink when it let “big sharks of corruption, who steal hundreds of millions of ringgit worth of properties and wealth, act with impunity as they enjoyed immunity”.

He said the government should be ashamed for behaving in “a mean and petty manner” against the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) pilot who had lodged a police report against the indelible ink used in the May 5 general election.

“Why is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration so perverse that they prefer to charge Zaidi using a 40-year-old military law?” the Gelang Patah MP said in a statement today.

“Zaidi did what every Malaysian is expected to do, he spoke the truth about the indelible ink which was used in the last general election as it was quickly washable and removable.”

“The use of the Armed Forces Act 1972 on Zaidi shows that military leaders have no standing and took their cue from political leaders,” Lim said.

He also urged Najib and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to intervene and drop all charges against Zaidi, who faces two years in jail if found guilty.

“If Zaidi is sent to prison, both Najib and Hishammuddin should be ashamed and embarrassed in the eyes of the world. But they appear to be numb and insensitive,” he said.

Lim said when Zaidi lodged a police report over the indelible ink fiasco, he was acting in his capacity as a Malaysian voter and citizen.

“He was not lodging a police report in his capacity as a RMAF pilot,” Lim said.

“Which has the higher calling, loyalty to the Federal Constitution or to the bureaucratic rules and regulations of the military services?”

He added that if Putrajaya was not prepared to drop all charges against Zaidi, then he would raise the issue when Parliament reconvenes on March 10.

Zaidi lodged a police report after the indelible ink on his finger washed off only hours after voting in the 13th general election in May last year.

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Why go after RMAF pilot and let big sharks get away, asks DAP
February 15, 2014 – TMI

02
Mar
14

A case of broken promises – again – to minorities, say analysts

Caution to Malaysia’s minority groups: beware of a government bearing promises and agreements before an election.

Several analysts interviewed by The Malaysian Insider said that this was one of the lessons to take away from P. Waytha Moorthy’s resignation from the Najib administration and Putrajaya’s inability to make good a 10-point solution with Christians over Malay Bibles and the use of the word “Allah”.

While they agreed that the Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) leader was equally to blame for his hasty move to sign a pact with Putrajaya days before the May 5 elections and for accepting a deputy minister’s post after Barisan Nasional’s (BN) victory, it was an obvious case of broken promises by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“Should Hindraf decide to engage in a public campaign to denounce the PM and government agencies for their cynical disregard of the Indian electorate after making use of them during the recent elections, the damage to Najib personally and BN as a whole could be considerable and long lasting,” said political analyst Dr Lim Teck Ghee.

He said that apart from Indians, other minority groups, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, had also been monitoring the progress of the Hindraf agreement with Najib.

Hindraf had said Putrajaya had been “dragging its feet” in delivering its promises to aid the poor Indian Malaysians in return for their support in the elections.

Waytha himself has been silent on his resignation and has not answered calls from the media. Najib, however, yesterday said he was disheartened by Waytha’s resignation, adding that the Hindraf leader should have tried to work with the administration and with colleagues to implement Putrajaya’s projects that would fulfil his cause.

In a statement, Najib had said: “I would like to stress that in line with my dream to form a more approachable government that always gives help to those who need it, we will implement socio-economic development programmes for the Indian community, as well as the other races”.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak political analyst Dr Jeniri Amir agreed with Dr Lim, saying Putrajaya was bound to face challenges when making promises in future elections.

He said this was also applicable to the 10-point solution reached just before the Sarawak elections in April 2011 with the Christians over the import and distribution of Malay Bibles.

“Sometimes, perception is more real than reality, so it does not reflect well on PM Najib and BN that they did not deliver on their promises,” he said.

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A case of broken promises – again – to minorities, say analysts
BY JENNIFER GOMEZ
February 15, 2014 – TMI

02
Mar
14

How low can MCA go?

I am sure many Malaysians, especially the Chinese, will have shared my acute discomfort and embarrassment after hearing the news that the MCA central delegates has approved a resolution for the party to accept government posts at all levels. According to reports, a total of 1,973 out of the 1,982, or 99.5% present, at the extraordinary general meeting at Wisma MCA on Sunday voted for the resolution by a show of hands. This means that only 9 of those present voted either to abstain or against the resolution.

It is important to note that the party had passed a resolution in 2011 and 2012 not to accept any government post if the party’s performance in the 13th general election was worse than that of the 12th general election. According to the election results, the MCA won a total of 18 seats in the 13th general election against 46 in the 12th general election.

Presumably the great majority of those voting for this resolution were the same people who had passed the earlier resolution. Have these people, especially the President and his deputies, no sense of shame, honour or dignity at all? After making the solemn promise not to accept any government post, they are not only doing a complete flip-flop but apparently will be asking for at least three ministerial positions and several deputy minister-ships as well as various other federal and state-high positions.

Why the change in party position

Now what has happened during these past few months which makes this extraordinary volte-face justifiable? If we examine the events of the past few months, we can see that racial and religious conflict and tension is reaching a peak with the Prime Minister and Umno leaders doing little about it. Not only has the MCA remained largely mum and when the party comes out with a press statement, it tries to put the blame on the opposition, instead of pointing the fingers at the extremist groups which have Umno supporters at their core.

So weak, unresponsive and dishonest has been the top leadership that even Waytha Moorthy of Hindraf who joined the cabinet recently has given up and resigned. I suppose his resignation means that there is one more minor position that the MCA can begin grovelling for!

A party resolution should not be like a decision arrived at in a kopitiam or during a teh tarik session. It is the highest level of decision making. Any resolution put forward and adopted should be binding as it carries with it short and long term ramifications and significance. But apparently, resolutions in the MCA’s coffee shop are different as they can be made and unmade with no consequence or sense of culpability.

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How low can MCA go? – Koon Yew Yin
February 23, 2014 – TMI

08
Jan
14

Marina Mahathir raps Putrajaya for keeping mum on serious issues

Social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir hit out at Putrajaya today for keeping silent on simmering contentious issues affecting the country.

In her “Musings” column in English daily The Star, Marina said that the country’s leadership may preach about unity, but remained silent over sensitive statements made by certain parties.

“What sort of leadership do we have which only mouths platitudes about moderation and unity, yet has absolutely nothing to say about the type of extreme pronouncements made not only by so-called NGOs, but also by some parts of government?” she said.

“Are they oblivious or scared? And if they are scared, why?”

Her article struck a chord with Malaysians, with many sharing it on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Without mentioning names, Marina said that the country’s leaders would rather spend time defending family foibles than speak up for the most vulnerable and defenceless in society.

“How embarrassing is that?”

Malaysians, she said, were being led by people who were ignorant, unschooled and yet proud to be so.

“We have celebrated the Gregorian new year for ages. So how did it suddenly become a Jewish celebration?

“We have wished our fellow Malaysians the best during all our festivities. So how did it suddenly become a threat to our faith? Or is our faith so fragile that it can hardly withstand anything?”

She said on a daily basis, there are more and more things Malaysians are told they cannot touch on, so much so that the country’s slogan of “Malaysia Boleh” might as well be turned to “Malaysia Tak Boleh”.

“We are told we cannot be nice to each other because it might endanger the faith of some of us.

“We are told that we cannot talk frankly because some people, obviously with weaker constitutions than the rest of us, might get offended.

“We cannot do anything without treading on eggshells because some people have paper-thin skins.

“So basically, the Malaysians we are supposed to be proud of are those with weak faith, who need constant government help and have such inferiority complexes, that anything and everything that anyone else does better is offensive to them.

“These are the people who think the fastest way to heaven is to oppress other people. Lovely!” she said.

She said the country now has a government in power which is disliked by the people and yet, they were unable to understand why that is so.

“And it is responding by thinking that all that the people want is more religion and to be bought.”

Even that is “failing miserably”, she said.

“There is a simple premise behind election promises and pledges: They need to be kept. Either that or rely on people’s short-term memory. Which isn’t reliable by any measure.

“It’s astounding to me that simple logic doesn’t apply to the way our politicians think.”

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Marina Mahathir raps Putrajaya for keeping mum on serious issues
January 02, 2014 – TMI

22
Dec
13

General Elections and badminton

Najib’s General Election laundering aka match fixing – Ravinder Singh

Money laundering or processing black (or illegally obtained) money into white is illegal, but according to Najib GE laundering, or turning illegally obtained victory into legal victory is not.

Hence Najib’s intellectual discourse on the “first past the post” system of general elections, wherein he likened BN’s win of a majority of seats despite getting a lower number of votes than the opposition, to a badminton match, was amusing.

What a pity that Najib was never chosen to play the Thomas Cup. Had he done so, on a court designed by the Malaysian Elections Commission, the Thomas Cup (which was initiated in 1949) would never have left the shores of Malaysia after it was first brought home to Malaya in 1949, then in 1952 and again in 1955.

As philosophically argued by Najib, the elections BN has been winning for the past half century were like badminton matches. “Let me put it in an analogy. Najib versus Anwar (Ibrahim) in a badminton match. In the first set Najib wins 21-15 and loses in the second set, 5-21. However Najib wins in the decider set 21-16.

“Going by the rules, Najib wins but Anwar objects because his total score is 52 to Najib’s 47. That is not right. We decide the winner based on the number of sets,” he said. He went on to lament “they (the opposition) don’t want to accept the first past-the-post system that has been in practice since 1959”.

What Najib pretended not to know was that the BN was playing on courts prepared by the Elections Commission that is under the control and direction of the Prime Minister and charged with the duty to ensure BN victory election after election, at any cost, honest or dishonest, fair or devious, etc. You see, the Election Commission, till today, has to prepare the plan of the court, show it to and get the PM’s approval, before any match is played on it.

This, when seen another way, or put in other terms, is match fixing. When football matches are fixed, there is such hullabaloo. In fact, match fixing is illegal. So why is General election fixing not illegal?


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Najib’s General Election laundering aka match fixing – Ravinder Singh
December 08, 2013 – TMI

29
Nov
13

Former EC chief admits to gerrymandering?

EC Resign!

Abdul Rashid admits to gerrymandering?

Former Election Commission chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s speech at a Perkasa event yesterday appeared to be an admission of engaging in gerrymandering during his eight-year tenure as commission head.

Outgoing Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan said Abdul Rashid had, in a series of tweets, brazenly admitted to this when he said that three re-delineation exercises which he oversaw had ensured that Malays remain in power.

“(The) former EC chair joining Perkasa is one thing. More important is his admission of (as I see it,) gerrymandering.

“Some of the re-delineation worked against PAS. How is this for the Malays? Seems it was more to favour party in power. What an admission!” wrote Ambiga.

Abdul Rashid, who was the EC chief from 2000 to 2008 and the EC deputy chief before that, had made the admission when he addressed the Federal Territories Perkasa meeting in Kampung Baru.

“We did it in a proper way. Not illegally. The people who lost in the past general elections claimed that we did it wrong.

“But if we did, how did (the BN) lose to the opposition in Kelantan, Penang and Selangor?” he is reported as saying by The Malaysian Insider.

Was it legal?

However, Ambiga, who was the Bar Council president before leading Bersih, said that this admission meant that the re-delineation exercises Abdul Rashid had conducted in the past were illegal.

“(It) also means redelineation did not follow the Federal Constitution. Will this EC do the same? They should respond!” she said.

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Abdul Rashid admits to gerrymandering?
Nov 25, 2013 – Malaysiakini

22
Nov
13

Transformation…into spoiled brat throwing tantrum

Transformation Agenda: ‘Cakap Tak Serupa Bikin’
fz.com

Opinion
by Azril Annuar

WHEN he first took the helm of the country, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak embarked on a noble journey. He wanted to lead the nation on a journey to “transform” Malaysia and put us on the right track to Developed-High Income Nation status by 2020.

Then the 13th General Election happened. An election where Najib expected to reverse the results of the 12th General Election but Barisan Nasional (BN) ended up in a worse position than before, despite all the “politically correct” things that he did.

That’s when Najib’s Umno, started acting like the proverbial spoiled brat who was denied a new toy, began throwing a tantrum; a massive, drawn-out tantrum.

Suddenly Malaysia has an overzealous, ultra-Malay, fundamentalist home minister in the form of Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. The Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) was passed, resurrecting the ghosts of ISA and the EO.

And now, the media freedom that Najib boldly claim to have “greatly assisted Malaysia in achieving” during the launch of Malaysia’s Foreign Correspondence Club in 2011 and the safety-net granted under the Whistleblower Act is in question with amendments to the Penal Code and Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) which calls for punishing whistle blowing civil servants and phone tapping respectively.

Out of all the policy reversals, one can say that the abolishing of sugar subsidy tabled during the 2014 Budget at Parliament last week is the worse.

How can Najib say he is concerned for the bottom 60% of the Malaysian population (consisting mostly of the Malays that Umno “seemed” to be “championing”) when he takes away a 34 sen subsidy for a necessary item?

Add the six per cent (Goods and Services Tax) GST by April’s Fools Day on 2015, the poor; particularly the urban poor will suffer the most. One can’t help but wonder if Najib’s playing a prank on the entire nation, especially with the date that he has chosen to implement the GST.

It seemed that after he won the mandate with a less than stellar result (without the popular vote), his policies and ideals from the time before he gained the mandate of the voters are being reversed one by one.

What happened to the moderate leader that promised a better, moderate Malaysia?

Did he fail to rein in the ultra-Malay faction in Umno? Did he fail in his quest to “transform” Umno? Did he fall to the pressure of his ultra-Malay colleagues? Did he realise he cannot have a “united” Malaysia where the rakyat will vote BN and only BN?

Or perhaps, more realistically he just gave up trying to win the hearts of all Malaysians and finally decided to pander to the needs of his party members, and through Umno’s self-proclaimed point of view, the needs of the Malays?

…more
Transformation Agenda: ‘Cakap Tak Serupa Bikin’
Nov 03, 2013 – fz.com

02
Nov
13

Election Courts worse than Election Commission

COMMENT Yes, the Election Courts are worse than the Election Commission (EC). The recent disappointing decisions of the Election Courts have proven that there is no hope for parliamentary democracy even in the judiciary.

If the BN is a great letdown for democracy, the EC is an even greater letdown for the electoral process. But shockingly, the Election Courts comparatively are far worse in that they cannot dispense justice to the aggrieved party even if there is a glaring injustice.

It is clear as daylight that the BN had abused the electoral process by openly bribing voters through its many projects launched especially during the period leading up to the GE13 (including the campaign period itself) by dishing out goodies and cash inducements to win over the voters.

Billions of ringgit in cash or projects were dispensed freely giving an unfair disadvantage to the opposition who are cash-strapped.

Electoral process perverted

Voters were given bonus slips with the promise of cash payments if their respective BN candidates were elected. In this manner, those aligned with the BN perverted the electoral process.

And there is evidence that this was so, because the Aliran team has such evidence to prove that this had happened. From May 10 to 12, people who queued up for payments at a shop lot off Jalan Sungai Dua in Penang told Aliran that cash was given out to those who came with the bonus slips.

Payments ranged from RM120 to RM200. What was surprising was that this took place barely 100 metres from a police beat station. Conveniently, the police personnel were out on their ‘ronda’ (rounds) at that time.

By all accounts, the 13th general election was the dirtiest election ever. The state apparatus was fully utilised to promote the BN cause. Money from the national coffers was lavishly used to influence voting patterns in favour of the BN.

The EC, tasked with the duty to conduct free and fair elections, did not live up to that responsibility. It failed to maintain a clean and honest electoral roll to ensure fairness in the voting process. The indelible ink that was meant to be used to prevent fraudulent voting turned out to be a farce and a fiasco, thanks to the EC.

The EC never commented on the one-sided media coverage or the twisted lies and false propaganda trotted out by the electronic media. It maintained its incredible silence over the BN’s excessive expenditure, sumptuous feasts with free-flowing beer, and cash handouts.

Corruption during the election was so rampant that it was not possible to overlook or entirely ignore such electoral offences. It is a fact that this kind of inducement must have swung votes in favour of the BN, especially in rural and remote constituencies where poverty-stricken residents gratefully cast their votes for the BN (after receiving the goodies).

It is because of these many wrongs that the losing Pakatan Rakyat candidates and supporters filed petitions in the specially set up Election Courts seeking the courts’ assistance for justice.

In an environment where everything is stacked against the ordinary citizens, courts are looked upon as dispensers of justice, the only hope for some remedy.

However, this hope was so cruelly dashed.

These litigants went to court fully believing that there were triable issues involved for the courts to take a serious look into the matter. But their petitions were dismissed – by what the lay person may perceive to be on flimsy procedural grounds.

Dismissed on technical grounds

Various petitions were dismissed because they had failed to comply with several regulations in accordance with Rule 9 of the Election Petition Rules 1954 and for failing to satisfy regulation 15 of the Election Petition Rules 1954. In one instance, it the reason quoted was that the petitioner had failed to serve the documents personally.

Justice is not served when the petitions are dismissed on technical grounds. It is preposterous that a litigant’s right to justice should be dismissed because of the failings of his or her counsel. The lawyer concerned ought to know how to file a petition, but if for some reason that petition is defective, why deprive the litigant from having the case heard?

Is it too difficult – and isn’t it in the inherent power of the court? – to order the petition to be put right so that the substantive issues in the petition could be addressed by the court? Justice is not hinged on technicalities, but on the question of right and wrong.

Forfeiting the litigant’s right to be heard is a grave injustice. In doing so, isn’t the court perpetuating a wrong and upholding an injustice? This is morally repulsive!

It is incredulous that the petitions for Machang and Selising constituencies were struck off apparently on grounds that could not be sustained. It is patently wrong to observe that the petitions were not personally served on the respondents by the petitioner himself. It is without merit.

…more
Election Courts worse than Election Commission
P Ramakrishnan
Oct 12, 2013 – Malaysiakini




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