Posts Tagged ‘Bersih

18
Mar
17

Bersih wants automatic voter registration, not ‘freebies’

Bersih wants automatic voter registration, not ‘freebies’

Electoral watchdog says automatic registration of voters will eliminate dubious entries from electoral roll.

PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission (EC) should implement automatic voter registration instead of offering “freebies” to entice people to register as voters, says Bersih 2.0.

The electoral watchdog was responding to the EC’s new campaign with AirAsia X Berhad and Sinar Harian, which offered newly registered voters the chance to win free flights to several destinations abroad.

AirAsia X put up 1,100 free flight tickets at the EC’s voter registration campaign held at the Kompleks Media Kumpulan Karangkraf on March 3.

In a statement today, Bersih applauded the EC’s efforts to register voters but questioned the need to offer gifts for people to exercise their basic democratic rights.

It said the commission should focus on implementing automatic voter registration, which would eradicate the need for voter registration drives to begin with.

Such a system would be linked with the National Registration Department and would eliminate the lack of addresses, duplicate entries, the appearance of deceased persons as well as other dubious entries from the electoral roll, it said.

The electoral watchdog added that it had been pushing for automatic registration of voters since the coalition’s formation but had yet to receive a reply from the EC on the matter.

Bersih also accused the EC of placing obstacles and restrictions in the way of people wanting to register as voters by allowing “baseless objections” against new voters.

The EC also revoked political parties’ assistant registrar officers (ARO) after the 13th general election and complicated the process of acquiring ARO status, Bersih said.

“The EC is playing Jekyll and Hyde in their actions,” it said.

“If the EC stays consistent in their goals, they should be supporting voter registration campaigns regardless of name or brand.”

…more
Bersih wants automatic voter registration, not ‘freebies’
March 6, 2017 – FMT

19
Dec
16

Why RM2.6b not probed under Section 124C, asks Ambiga

Why RM2.6b not probed under Section 124C, asks Ambiga

With the spotlight now on foreign funding, former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan has demanded Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed to provide an explanation on the RM2.6 billion donation issue.

Speaking to Malaysiakini, Ambiga said it was outrageous that NGOs are being hounded over their funding when there is an admission that the RM2.6 billion in Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s accounts was used for the last general election.

“If anything, this is the direct interference in our parliamentary democracy, not the work of NGOs fighting for our democratic institutions.

“The deputy minister owes the public an explanation as to why this RM2.6 billion is not being investigated as an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy under Section 124C of the Penal Code since, there is a spotlight on foreign funding,” Ambiga added.

Electoral reform group Bersih, the Bar Council and Malaysiakini are being investigated under Section 124C over reports of funding from Open Society Foundations, which is linked to American billionaire George Soros.

On Nov 18, Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah was detained for 10 days under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.

Ambiga also criticised Nur Jazlan for his comments on United Nations representative Maina Kiai (photo), whom the deputy minister accused of interfering in Malaysian affairs.

“This guy, who is not Malaysian and works for a foreign organisation, comes here and tells the people to demonstrate and criticise the government. He is interfering in Malaysia.

“His action gives reason for the police to investigate groups or NGOs that receive foreign funding to check whether there is foreign interference,” Nur Jazlan told Malaysiakini.

However, Ambiga described Nur Jazlan’s remarks as “ill advised, if not rude”.

“This ‘guy’ he refers to is a respected UN rapporteur on freedom of assembly and given that Malaysia is a member, the comment does not speak well of Malaysia.

“The deputy minister would do well to remember that we were twice members of the human rights council and we are on the UN Security Council now.

“He should also read Malaysia’s Aide Memoire seeking membership of the human rights council that reflects Malaysia’s commitment to the Federal Constitution and fundamental liberties. This comment is an embarrassment to Malaysia,” Ambiga said.

During a lecture in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Kiai called for a common standard in dealing with foreign funding, questioning among others, the dangers of receiving funds from Saudi princes and whether these donors were influencing the recipients.

The RM2.6 billion in Najib’s accounts was described as a donation from a Saudi royalty to the prime minister with no strings attached, though his critics like Dr Mahathir Mohamad insist that the sum originated from 1MDB.

…more
Why RM2.6b not probed under Section 124C, asks Ambiga
6 Dec 2016

17
Oct
16

The rise of political gangsterism within Umno

The rise of political gangsterism within Umno

Abdul Razak Hussein was well-known for roping in young Malay intellectuals into Umno. From the likes of Rais Yatim to Mahathir Mohamad. Today, we see Najib Abdul Razak courting the likes of Jamal Mohd Yunos and Mohd Ali Baharom (Ali Tinju) who are notorious for their intimidation tactics. From death threats to butt dances, they lead a new class of clowns. It’s a true shame to see how far we have digressed.

The fact that the leader of the thug red shirt movement, Jamal, is one of the division leaders of Umno while intellectuals like Shahril Hamdan does not even have a place in Umno’s division is indicative of the regressive path Umno is taking.

Just recently the Bersih convoy in Lumut was attacked by thugs led by Jamal. Not only did they chant “Bersih mati”, they also started pulling flags from convoy vehicles, kicking the cars and punching their vehicles’ side mirrors. They could have caused a traffic accident.

Imagine the flip side. Imagine if Malaysia had witnessed 40 DAP motorcyclists circling a car while intimidating them. Imagine the nationwide outcry it would have sparked. Yet with Umno, there is always an exception.

Annuar Musa, Umno’s information chief, was smart in attempting to distance the party from the red shirt supporters in his press conference, however that effort was futile when Umno’s Youth exco member, Armand Azha Abu Hanifah, was caught attempting to ram a police blockade in Johor to get to the Bersih activists.

We also saw other Umno Youth exco members with the red shirts during the protest in front of DAP’s office where ‘death money’ was burnt and some were caught chanting “Cina mati”.

This is no longer an isolated incident within Umno. Leaders openly back the political gangsters, while those who don’t only cower in silence. If this trend continues, people like Jamal will reign supreme in Umno as he magnetises media attention and is portrayed as the ‘hero’ within Umno.

If Umno fails to take action against these people, it normalises the culture of gangsterism within the party. There will be more Jamals in the future as it’s rewarding. The intellectuals will forever cocoon themselves in silence. A parallel can be drawn to the acceptance of money politics in Umno. It seeped in during the 1980s, but became a permanent feature by the millennium when leaders openly campaigned with explicit promises of cash returns.

Jamal proudly said that he’ll give RM1,000 each to his 600 division delegates. He was initially going to fly them to Dubai for free for a trip. If money politics can gain massive traction in Umno in less than a decade, imagine what political gangsterism can do in the next five years.

…more
The rise of political gangsterism within Umno
5 Oct 2016 – malaysiakini

14
Jun
14

Teacher on ministry’s radar over Facebook posts

Posting DAP’s Teluk Intan candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud’s campaign poster onto Facebook, among others, has landed a teacher in hot water with the government.

According to the teacher, who spoke on condition of anonymity, high-ranking officials in the Education Ministry has called her since last week to “advise” her to remove the postings as they are deemed “anti-government”.

She claimed that in the latest in a series of calls and text messages she has received, a special officer to the Education Ministry director-general had told her to close down her Facebook page and that she will be “watched”.

“He said: ‘We will monitor from time to time’.

“Can you understand what he is saying? That’s okay. I’ll just wait and see (what they do). For all I know, I’ll get a transfer letter next week,” she said when contacted.

“It is really silly. There are teachers involved in sex scandals, teachers who don’t go to class, schools without facilities and they want to spend time monitoring Facebook.”

The teacher, who has served for 16 years, said that she was told that there had been a complaint made against her.

Her other postings, which were deemed anti-government, include a 1980’s news clipping quoting first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman calling for the abolition of Umno.

“There are teachers who are Umno division heads, who attend Umno annual general assembly as delegates, but that is fine?” she further asked.

She added that the ministry officials had also allegedly cautioned her against taking the matter to the media.


…more
Jun 3, 2014 – Malaysiakini
Teacher on ministry’s radar over Facebook posts

13
Jun
14

Umno thinks it has the DIVINE right to rule?

DRUNK BY POWER! Umno thinks it has the DIVINE right to rule, that it OWNS the govt & country

Written by John R Malott

COMMENT In ancient days, kings claimed that they had a divine right to rule, and that they were accountable only to God. They thought that they and the country were one and the same, and that everything and everyone belonged to them.

They could confiscate your lands and wealth, or they could give you property and riches. They could lock you up in the Tower, or make your dreams come true. It was all up to them. King Louis XIV, who ruled France for 72 years, famously said, “L’etat, c’est moi” – I am the country.

And so it is with Umno. Because it has ruled Malaysia continuously since independence in 1957, Umno has come to believe that it, the government, and the nation are all one and the same.

Because it is the self-proclaimed defender of the Malay race – a people whom Umno says are still constantly under threat despite 57 years of protecting their interests – Umno thinks that all Malays should support it.

If a Malay does not, then they risk being denied business and educational opportunities, tried for sedition, or even branded as a “traitor,” as Umno Wanita leader Shahrizat Abdul Jalil brazenly suggested DAP candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud (right) was one last week.

Foreigners who criticise the authoritarian ways of the Malaysian government, such as myself, are labeled “anti-Malaysia.” Some, like Australian senator Nick Xenophon, are denied entry; others, as I discovered during my recent visit to Malaysia, just two weeks after United States President Barack Obama came, are on a “watch list.”

Because Umno has been in control of the government for nearly six decades – reportedly longer than any other political party in the world – it probably is understandable that they have come to think that party and government are one and the same, and that what belongs to the government also belongs to the party.

But in a parliamentary system, the political party or coalition that won a majority of votes is asked to “form” the government. They do not “become” the government. The word “form” has a special definition in this regard: it means “to compose” or “to serve as” the government.

There is a clear recognition, which is lost on most Umno politicians, that the party is only “the government of the day.” The party does not “own” the government, its personnel, or its resources.

Abuses of gov’t resources

The election campaign in Teluk Intan has provided a number of examples of Umno’s confused mind, and how it misuses government resources for the ruling coalition’s political benefit. It is a case study in how Malaysia’s electoral system is tilted against opposition candidates.

Here are just a few examples that I have found in the past few days; I am sure Malaysiakini’s readers will find more in the days ahead.

Umno information chief Ahmad Maslan used a school for a political gathering and said, “I do not see why I cannot hold a ceramah here. I am a BN deputy minister. This is a government school.”

Home Affairs Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi campaigned before an official gathering of government paramilitary members, Rela, and turned it into a political party rally. He said, “I promise that if (the BN candidate) Mah (Siew Keong) wins, I shall immediately buy you new uniforms.”

Zahid also said Teluk Intan would get a constituency allocation from the government of RM1 million, but only if the voters elected Mah. He bluntly informed them, “I don’t have to tell you how much you stand to lose if you choose others.”

In that same Rela gathering, Zahid said chillingly, “In the 13th general election, 2,019 Rela members did not vote. I checked one by one, and I know who did not go out to vote. We must make sure they vote this time around.”

Communications and Multimedia Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek said his ministry is prepared to improve broadband facilities in Teluk Intan, but only if it is represented by a BN representative.

Bernama, the government-owned wire service, had an article that sought to label Dyana as an outsider to Teluk Intan. Far from balanced, it had five quotes calling her a carpetbagger, one neutral quote, and no one speaking in her defence.

Separation of party and state

Malaysia is a member of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU), an organisation of 164 parliaments around the world. In 1994, the IPU adopted a Declaration on Criteria for Free and Fair Elections.

Among other points, it said that its member states, such as Malaysia, should “ensure the separation of party and state.” This, of course, is something that Umno and the Malaysian government have failed to do for years.

…more
27 May 2014 – Malaysia Chronicle
DRUNK BY POWER! Umno thinks it has the DIVINE right to rule, that it OWNS the govt & country
Written by John R Malott

30
May
14

No electoral reforms and no will to bring change, says Bersih

In our continuing series to mark the anniversary of the most heated general election in recent memory, we speak to electoral reform activists on their struggle for clean and fair elections.

Despite the repeated calls and public cries for electoral reforms following the 13th general election last year, which was marred by allegations of fraud and irregularities, electoral reform activists are convinced not much has changed.

Maria Chin Abdullah, chair of electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0, and her predecessor, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, told The Malaysian Insider that the Election Commission (EC) has not bothered to make any changes to the electoral process, which has come under heavy criticism since last year.

“In terms of our demands, there has been no change at all,” noted Maria.

Ambiga said: “The EC is incapable of improving. Their aim is not to improve or to provide clean and fair elections. Their objective is to keep the ruling party in power.”

The lawyer and former Bar Council chief was critical of the EC, saying it did not have any “genuine intention” to improve or make the changes that the people were asking for.

“We have not achieved anything of great significance,” she added.

Maria agreed, adding that the EC’s present leadership will only act for Barisan Nasional.

“I don’t see it moving in any other direction. Their non-action with regard to the violence, vote-buying and other incidents in GE13 tells us a lot. That was very disappointing,” she added.

“Of course there were reforms that were put in place but they turned out to be a disadvantage because they were implemented dishonestly,” Ambiga said.

She cited the indelible ink fiasco as an example, adding: “Yes, it was something that we wanted but we know how that turned out.”

Maria Chin Abdullah expressed disappointment over the Election Commission’s handling of the general election. – The Malaysian Insider pic, May 4, 2014.Maria said she was perplexed over the usage of the indelible ink, as it worked perfectly during the by-elections after GE13.

“There were so many complaints about the ink during GE13, but after that it worked well. Why couldn’t the EC do their job properly?”

The indelible ink, which was used for the first time in the elections last year, was adopted as a security measure to ensure that voters only voted once and to assure Malaysians that the polls were fair.

The ink was meant to stay on for a few days but voters found out that it could be washed off almost immediately, prompting widespread protest from the opposition and the public.

The Election Commission admitted last November that the indelible ink had its flaws; among others, it was washable and took longer to dry and because of that, it left stains on ballot papers.

However, the commission had insisted that the indelible ink would still be used in the next general election.

“Of course, they introduced overseas voting but that, too, had so many problems,” Ambiga said.

…more
No electoral reforms and no will to bring change, says Bersih
BY ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH
May 04, 2014 – TMI

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.

…more
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




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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?

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