Posts Tagged ‘Black 505


Court discharges Nik Nazmi

The Sessions Court today granted Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad a discharge, not amounting to an acquittal, after he was charged for the second time with breaching the Peaceful Assembly Act.

The judge took the position that the lower court was bound by the decision of the Court of Appeal, which had earlier released Nik Nazmi, who is also Selangor Legislative Assembly deputy speaker.

Earlier today, Nik Nazmi was re-charged under Section 9 (1) of the PAA at the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court for his involvement in the Black 505 rally held at the Kelana Jaya stadium on May 8 last year.

On April 25, the Court of Appeal ruled that the charge against Nik Nazmi under Section 9(1) of the PAA for failure to give notice to the police before the rally be struck out.

The three-man Court of Appeal bench led by judge Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof had said that while the police could impose restriction on peaceful assembly, they could not penalise organisers and participants for non-compliance of the PAA.

The Court of Appeal also ruled that Section 9 (5) of the PAA – which provides for punishment for failure to give a 10-day notice to the authorities before a protest – as unconstitutional.

Today, when the charge was read out to Nik Nazmi, his counsel N. Surendran urged the court not to take a plea, as he wanted to submit that his client could not be tried again after the Court of Appeal had acquitted him, as provided for under Article 7 (2) of the Federal Constitution.

“Section 7 (2) is very clear. A person who has been convicted or acquitted shall not be tried again for the same offence except if the decision has been quashed by a superior court.

“You have no alternative but to discharge him immediately because you cannot try a person under a law that does not exist, as in the case of Section 9(5) of the PAA,” Surendran told the court.

He also said that to bring the charge against Nik Nazmi after he had been acquitted by the Cout of Appeal was tantamount to contempt of court.

He said the act by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to bring about the charge would effectively weaken the administration of justice and public confidence in the courts.

“The courts must not tolerate this kind of conduct by prosecution agencies,” Surendran said.

Court discharges Nik Nazmi
May 06, 2014 – TMI


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.

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


EC failed in duty to conduct free and fair polls

The Election Commission (EC) failed in its constitutional duty to conduct free and fair polls during the 13th general election, the Bersih People’s Tribunal heard today.

Lead counsel Gurdial Singh Nijar (pic) said Barisan Nasional resorted to all kinds of manipulation to win the election while the EC “folded its arms and did nothing”.

“Under the Federal Constitution the EC is responsible for conducting clean and fair elections but it chose to stand idle and watch the transgressions during campaigning,” he said in his submission to a five-man tribunal at a hotel in Subang Jaya.

Gurdial questioned whether the EC was listening to the people, in an apparent reference to the commission’s refusal to provide written feedback after saying it had taken note of everything that happened during the five days when witnesses testified at the tribunal.

He said the last election was keenly contested and the results pointed to the nation heading towards a two-party system.

He said the EC must be independent to inspire confidence among the people.

“It must not be influenced by the executive. There must elements of professionalism,” he said to a packed audience made up mostly of politicians and representatives of non-governmental organisations.

He also said the practice of appointing retired civil servants as EC members needs to be reviewed.

Gurdial said the current EC leadership was partisan as they had jumped into the fray to accuse opposition leaders and Bersih co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan of destroying democracy.

He took a swipe at Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail for describing the People’s Tribunal as a publicity stunt.

“It is a sad reflection of his ignorance about a people-initiated tribunal,” he said.

Gurdial , who took almost four hours to make his submissions, said the election was skewered due to manipulation of the law and voters.

He said it was tilted in favour of the BN due to gerrymandering of electoral boundaries.

“The electoral roll was also suspect as close to 30% of the 13.2 million voters were dubious,” he said.

Gurdial said things were made worse when the court refused to review applications to get the EC to clean up the roll.

He said the BN spent excessively before and during the election to buy votes and abused state resources which were offences under the Election Offences Act.

“The state-owned media and other mainstream print and electronic media were used to get excessive coverage for BN,” he added.

Election Commission failed in duty to conduct free and fair polls, lead counsel tells Bersih tribunal
September 27, 2013 – TMI


EC took orders from Putrajaya

Bersih co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said the Election Commission (EC) acted under the instructions of Putrajaya when it should have acted as an independent body.

Ambiga, who was the last witness at the Bersih People’s Tribunal in Subang Jaya, stressed that the EC had taken a partisan approach when making statements.

“EC acted like they were under Putrajaya’s control. I have problems with the commission for their failure in giving proper explanations on the issues surrounding the electoral roll and others under their purview,” she said today.

She added that the commission would not say anything when election-related issues cropped up.

“They failed to fulfil their responsibilities to investigate political violence and other serious allegations during GE13,” said Ambiga.

She told the tribunal the EC’s sole responsibility was election matters. “If they have not got it right, it just shows their lack of empowerment,” said Ambiga.

“It’s like their hands were tied.”

Among the issues brought to the tribunal’s attention was how the electoral roll did not tally with the data kept by the National Registration Department, the indelible ink, and phantom voters as well as postal voters.

Ambiga said the EC had failed Malaysians on the indelible ink issue.

“They cannot do this and give wishy-washy answers. They are just letting it fade away and hope everybody will forget all about it.

”Many questions were not answered. This is not right.

“EC should be the one advising the government, not following their orders,” said Ambiga.

She said the EC should be independent as it managed the selection process that decided which party would form the next government.

Election Commission took orders from Putrajaya, Ambiga tells Bersih tribunal
September 22, 2013 – TMI


Chemist: Indelible ink is a joke

A chemist told the Bersih Tribunal that 1% of silver nitrate used in the indelible ink can be easily washed off.

SUBANG JAYA: The percentage of silver nitrate used in the indelible ink during the recent general election is a joke, an experienced chemist told the Bersih Tribunal this morning.

Ng Eng Ju, a chemist in printing inks, paints and emulsion polymers, said the usual precentage of silver nitrate used to make the ink last longer on the fingernail was 10% to 18% but the 1% used by the Election Commission was unacceptable.

Ng said if the ink had 1% silver nitrate it could be easily removed.

“The higher the concentration of silver nitrate, the more visible and indelible it becomes. It does not make any sense to use only 1% of silver nitrate, especially during elections,” he said.

EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar had said the ink could last up to seven days and was also hazardous to health if more than 1% was used.

Ng, a Monash University graduate, said the Material Safety Data sheet of silver nitrate showed no evidence of health hazard.

“There is no possibility of the ink to cause carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic effects as well as developmental toxicity.

“So when the EC claimed if more than 1% of silver nitrate used is dangerous that is a lie,” he added.

Ng said it took about 30 seconds for the ink to dry and not two seconds as claimed by the EC.

Chemist: Indelible ink is a joke
September 20, 2013 – FMT


Umno man registered voter without consent

PETALING JAYA, Sept 18 — An Umno assistant registrar had registered a voter in Klang without his knowledge for Election 2013, the Bersih People’s Tribunal on the 13th general election heard today.

Klang MP Charles Santiago testified here today that S. K. Dinesh, who has been living in the UK for the past 15 years, said he has never signed any document or provided a photocopy of his IC to register as a voter in Malaysia.

“They said his service has been terminated because he made several mistakes,” Santiago told the People’s Tribunal here, referring to action by unnamed officials from the Election Commission (EC) on an Umno assistant registrar called Hishamuddin Kassim.

Santiago added that the EC had told him that no police report was lodged over the incident, saying that it was not their job to do so.

The DAP lawmaker also said that the EC had informed him that Hishamuddin had registered “many” voters, but was not told the exact figure.Earlier media reports said that Dinesh, a 32-year-old Malaysian engineer based in the UK, failed his bid in the High Court last April to have his name struck off from the electoral roll.

High Court judge Vernon Ong reportedly said that Section 25(5) of the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulation 2002 prohibits changes to the electoral roll starting from the day of the dissolution of Parliament.

Santiago also said today that 60 voters were registered at a particular house address in Pandamaran in his federal constituency.He added that EC officers had visited the house and acknowledged that 60 people did not reside there, but told him that they “can’t do anything about it because the law doesn’t allow to make changes.”

Santiago also said that 3,457 names were removed from the 2008 electoral roll and that 2,195 voters were mysteriously transferred out from the roll, with some to other constituencies within Selangor and others to other states like Sabah, Sarawak and Johor.

The DAP lawmaker lost his bid in the High Court last March to review the gazetted electoral roll for his constituency, with the court noting that Section 9(A) of the Elections Act 1958 prevents a court review of the roll once gazetted.

Umno man registered voter without consent, says Klang MP
By Boo Su-Lyn
September 18, 2013 – Malay Mail Online


1 house has 60 names registered for GE13 but EC “powerless” to act?

The Election Commission (EC) could not do anything about irregularities on the electoral roll, the Bersih People’s Tribunal heard today.

The first witness, Klang Member of Parliament Charles Santiago (pic), said he made complaints to the EC about dubious names on the roll.

“I highlighted to the EC in November about some 60 names registered to one house. The owner of the house had earlier told me that he had not consented to anyone using his address to register as a voter,” he said.

Santiago said the EC then conducted its own investigations and acknowledged that there was a problem.

“They admitted there were 60 names registered at the house but told me they could not do anything about it.

“They (the EC) said that the law does not allow change to the electoral roll,” he added.

The tribunal was mooted in response to the public outcry and concerns of electoral fraud and irregularities in Malaysia’s 13th general election in May.

Santiago added that the houseowner was a political campaign staff with Barisan Nasional.

The MP discovered the irregularity with the address listed in Pandamaran, Klang, after getting his volunteers to vet through the electoral roll at the end of 2012.

Other irregularities found in the Klang constituency was that 3,457 names were not removed although the people listed had either passed away or had shifted, as in the case of policemen and their families who were transferred elsewhere.

Also, 2,195 voters were transferred to other constituencies in Selangor, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak.

“Some 500 voters who had voted in Klang in previous elections were transferred out of the constituency. This is considered as a delineation exercise which must be approved by Parliament first but that never happened,” Santiago told the panel.

60 names to one house, but Election Commission “powerless” to act, People’s Tribunal told
September 18, 2013 – 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?