Posts Tagged ‘Malaysian Elections


Problem with polls petitions is not law, but judges

COMMENT Ever since Pakatan Rakyat declared its intention to challenge the results of the 13th General Election (GE 13)- by far the dirtiest in history – there has been a deluge of pessimism by lawyers over the chances of success of such legal challenges.

The reasons for such pessimism range from the historical low rate of success of election petitions (vast majority being struck off before reaching hearing stage) to the high standard of proof demanded by our election laws.

While the former reason is true, the latter reason is not.

Contrary to popular legal opinion, it is easy to annul a dubious election under our election laws.

This is because our Election Offences Act 1954 (The Act) casts a wide dragnet over election offenders, and the provisions for punishment are easy to apply.

In other words, an election offender is unlikely to escape the arms of the law in the normal course of court proceeding where the letter and spirit of law is upheld.

There is no reason why an election petition armed with adequate evidence should be rejected.

The provision for annulling an election on election petition is spelled out in Section 32 of the Act, which states:

“The election of a candidate at any election shall be declared to be void on an election petition on any of the followings only which may be proved to the satisfaction of the Election Judge:

(a) That general bribery, general treating or general intimidation have so extensively prevailed that they may be reasonably supposed to have affected the result of the election.

(b) non-compliance with any written law relating to the conduct of any election if it appears that the election is not conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in such written law and that such non-compliance affected the result of the election.

(c) That a corrupt practice or illegal practice was committed in connection with the election by the candidate or with his knowledge or consent, or by any agent of the candidate.

(d) ……….”

(There are 5 sub-sections under Section 32).

Problem with polls petitions is not law, but judges
Kim Quek
Jun 15, 2013 – Malaysiakini


Umno Baru is not invincible

A schoolchild knows that when conducting scientific experiments, a definite conclusion cannot be made if the analyses and observations are based on flawed data. In a post-mortem of GE13, it is a fallacy for experts or analysts to report on trends, when their assumptions are based on a set of doctored evidence.

Anyone who is foolish enough to believe that BN won 47 percent of the votes in GE13 is seriously deluded. If allegations of cheating have been recorded in one constituency, then doubt is cast on the entire voting process.

The rakyat has long been aware of wholesale fraud and blatant gerrymandering in previous elections, but they allowed Umno Baru’s intransigence to browbeat them into submission. Under pressure, Malaysians capitulated easily to Umno Baru’s weapons of apathy and fear.

Successive years of apparent electoral successes, won by blatant fraud and cheating, have given rise to the perception that Umno Baru is invincible. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Umno Baru cheats the rakyat before, during and after every election. The groundwork is laid to thwart the opposition with gerrymandering, the registration of foreigners as citizens, violent mob attacks on ceramahs and the denial of access to national media.

On polling day, vote-buying, intimidation, blackouts and low-quality indelible ink clinch the deal. Some voters discovered that their votes had already been cast, by an imposter.

After GE13, the Election Commission (EC) has continued to deny the allegations of cheating and refused to take responsibility for the mass electoral fraud.

The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister, Abdul Rahman Dahlan (left), claimed that “divine intervention” helped BN to win.

“… Pakatan has won the popular vote, statistically speaking, but BN has the support of ‘takdir’ (fate) that helped it won the recent 13th general election. In short, fate and God’s will determines everything…” (sic).

Who is Rahman Dahlan to express God’s will? Is he a self-proclaimed prophet?

Umno Baru is not invincible
Mariam Mokhtar
Jun 17, 2013 – malaysiakini


The Opposition’s new mandate

JUNE 18 — Thousands of Malaysians voted abroad during the 13th general election. Many more returned from Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, London and Taiwan, traditionally places with large numbers of Malaysians, to exercise their right to suffrage on May 5th.

This is a peculiar phenomenon.

Why do Malaysians who have found greener pastures abroad feel compelled to return to the country to cast their ballot? This certainly goes against the thesis of Albert O. Hirshman — who argued in a famous treatise in 1970 that when people have the chance to leave, they will, especially if they have found the entity to be increasingly dysfunctional and inefficient.

Malaysia, or rather its government, over the last few decades, has certainly manifested such features.

Concurrently, those who decided to ‘stay back’ would attempt to improve the country by voicing out. Be that as it may, those who have left the country are not expected to express their voices anymore let alone to vote. Yet, vote they did.

The quick and short answer to the above phenomenon is that they care. Indeed, not only do they care about the future of their immediate and extended families still in Malaysia, but they care about Malaysia, period.

And that is where Malaysia draws its greatest pride from — Malaysians and their sense of belonging, of camaraderie.

Beyond caring, they also know, through their collective exposure in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, if not as far away as United Kingdom, Japan and Australia, that Malaysia has been back-pedaling, especially on issues like corruption and crime let alone in building a vibrant democracy.

Take corruption, for example. The national debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio at 54 per cent, it is one per cent shy of the constitutional limit; and this figure is a conservative estimate. When one lumps in the debt of the government linked companies (GLCS), often with the element of corruption still at work, the ratio is easily in the range of the mid-70s.

While many do not like to use the B word (i.e. bankcruptcy), the next generation is expected to foot the financial profligacy of the present one. Malaysians abroad share the same concern and anxieties with those at home.

Not surprisingly, up 75 to 85 per cent of the voters abroad, almost without fail, voted for the opposition according to exit polls.

Like the 51 per cent of the people in Malaysia, they chose to throw their lot with Pakatan Rakyat, this despite the fact that Pakatan Rakyat did not have any offices or representatives outside the country.

In fact, one may even wonder if they did so purely to register their disgust with Barisan National, rather than due to any objective attachment to Pakatan Rakyat; a trend that was discernible across all racial groups in urban areas from 2008 onwards.

Even in rural places ostensibly ‘won’ by the government, the establishment is not out of the woods, if ever they can be, due to their indulgent attitude to corruption and sheer exploitation of the natural resources that impacts rural communities directly.

My PAS colleague, Dr Dzukefly Ahmad, noted in a Malay op-ed that of the 11 constituencies with Dayak majority in Sarawak, all of them had experienced a dip of 10 per cent or more in the votes for the government.

This is unprecedented in areas that are customarily the vote banks of the state government. Thus, if Sabah and Sarawak are the ‘fixed deposit’ of the government, the yield is only decreasing, not enlarging.

Yet, this election, has allowed a minority government to be in Putrajaya, the seat of the Malaysian government. Like many in the country and abroad, the opposition is not so much shocked as it is outraged by the ‘enforced limitations’ of the electoral system; some of which are now being legally challenged by Pakatan Rakyat.

The limitations were ‘enforced’ because the Electoral Commission, which was under the Prime Minister’s Office, failed to reform the electoral system in the more than four years available ahead of the recent 13th general election, the ‘disappearing’ indelible ink fiasco included.

The Opposition’s new mandate — Nurul Izzah Anwar
June 18, 2013 – TMI


EC has admitted wrongdoing so Aziz should go

The Election Commission (EC) chairman’s regret over the failure of indelible ink used in Election 2013 shows they are guilty of wrongdoing and should resign, Bersih co-chair Datuk A. Samad Said said today.

He said the admission by Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf confirmed the May 5 general election did not proceed in a clean and fair way.

“Respectfully, once he knew that there was a mistake, it was only appropriate that he resign,” Samad told The Malaysian Insider today.

“That’s why he should do it. To me, his admission is an acceptance that what happened was his fault,” said the national laureate popularly known as Pak Samad.

Opposition parties and civil society groups have asked Abdul Aziz to step down after the fiasco over the ink, which many voters managed to wash off despite claims it would remain for at least five days.

The EC chairman expressed his disappointment that it failed to work in an interview with a Malay daily.

“If people were to ask me now, what’s the saddest thing in my life, I’d answer ‘indelible ink’,” he responded in the paper, Sinar Harian.

Pak Samad questioned why the EC didn’t first test the effectiveness of the indelible ink before allowing it to be used during the recent elections. “Didn’t the EC first test it out? He (Abdul Aziz) just went on to believe in the ink’s usability. An election is to elect a governing party and give them power.

“I hope he’s honest, because this is his admission that the election wasn’t done fairly,” Said said.

The co-chair for Bersih 2.0 also urged the coalition’s supporters that they should attend en masse the Black505 rally that’s organised by Pakatan Rakyat at Padang Merbok this Saturday.

EC has admitted wrongdoing so Aziz should go — Bersih chief
By Amin Iskandar
June 18, 2013 – TMI



Deadline for submitting election petition to challenge election results in the recent polls ended yesterday, with a record 60 petitions filed by both sides of the political divide.

While election petitions have traditionally been filed by the opposition, this time 21 of these petitions came from Barisan Nasional, protesting the results announced by the Election Commission.

Pakatan Rakyat’s 39 petitions involved 25 parliamentary constituencies and 14 state seats, while BN is disputing six parliamentary seats and 15 state seats.

In Kedah, the Merbok and Kulim Bandar Baru parliamentary seats are part of the petitions filed by PKR, while in Kelantan, the parliamentary seats and parties involved are Ketereh (PAS), Machang (PKR) and Bachok (BN). Three state seats are Kok Lanas (PAS), Selinsing (PAS), Ayer Lanas (PAS), Jelawat (BN), Mengkebang (BN), Gaal (BN) and Manek Urai (BN).

No petition was filed over parliamentary seats in Terengganu, but both BN and PAS are each disputing two state seats. Similarly in Pahang, only DAP filed election petition over the Cameron Highlands state seat.

Penang saw one election result – in the Balik Pulau parliament seat – which was wrested back by BN, being disputed by PKR.

In Perak, the parliamentary seats involved are Tapah and Bagan Datok, while state seats are Selama, Rungkup, Manong, Pasir Panjang, Manjoi and Lubok Merbau.

In Selangor, only parliamentary constituencies saw petitions filed: Sabak Bernam, Sungai Besar and Kuala Selangor.

In the Federal Territory, the seats and petitioners involved are Setiawangsa (PKR), Titiwangsa (PAS), Lembah Pantai (BN) and Batu (BN).

In Melaka, election results in two state seats are disputed by BN.

In Johor, election petitions have been filed for Pulai (PAS), Segamat (PKR), Ledang (PKR), Muar (PKR), Tebrau (PKR), Pasir Gudang (PKR), Labis (DAP) and Batu Pahat (BN) parliamentary seats. State seats involved are Gambir (PAS), Mahkota (PAS), Nusajaya (PAS), Penggaram (BN), Parit Yani (BN), Stulang (BN) and Puteri Wangsa (BN).

In Sabah, PKR filed petitions for the parliamentary seats of Kota Marudu, Beaufort and Pensiangan, while in Sarawak, PKR and BN filed in Baram and Sarikei respectively.

Bribery, washable ‘indelible’ ink on voters, ballot counting errors and allegations of foreigners being allowed to vote are among complaints which are at the heart of the election petitions. Hundreds of thousands of people have attended rallies to protest what they called the ‘stolen election’, with a major rally planned on June 22 in Kuala Lumpur to press for removal of EC office-holders.

– Harakah Daily

RESIGN? THEY SHOULD BE SACKED! EC challenged in record 60 seats
14 June 2013 – Malaysia Chronicle


A new Malaysia – post GE13

Politicians should realise from GE 13 that real power now lies in the hands of the Rakyat, says Henry Loh.

GE 13 has produced some very interesting statistics.

The voter turnout saw a new record: 84.61 per cent of voters cast their ballots votes out of 13.2m registered voters. Of the valid votes cast (i.e. excluding spoilt votes), the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) received 5.6m (50.87 per cent) compared to Barisan Nasional’s (BN) 5.2m (47.38 per cent).

Hence PR had beaten BN in terms of the popular votes received. However, due to the malapportionment of voters in the constituencies, the BN was able to win 133 seats in Parliament compared to the PR’s 89 seats, thereby earning the right to form the Federal government.

The major impact of malapportionment is that the single vote has a very different value depending on the number of voters in a particular constituency. To elaborate, P125 the Putrajaya constituency has 15798 constituents , whilst P62 – Sungei Siput Parliament seat has 51709 constituents and P122 – Seputeh has 86114 constituents.

In each of the three parliamentary seats quoted above (under the first-past-the-post system) the eventual winning Member of Parliament (MP) is required to obtain significantly different quantitative majorities in order to secure victory. Some analysis must be done to see how many constituents were involved in PR’s 89 seats won versus the number of constituents in BN’s 133 seats won.

The series of Blackout 505 rallies held throughout the country post GE-13 was essentially the PR’s way of staging protests to highlight that the elections was filled with irregularities and allegations of electoral fraud. The pet peeves of PR were vote buying, phantom voters and “indelible ink” that was easily washed off.

There was also much concern about the lack of “neutrality”/“non-partisanship” displayed by the Electoral Commission (EC). In relation to malapportionment, for instance, the complaint was that in the numerous delineation exercises carried out by the EC over the years, the end result was to favour the ruling BN.

The first Blackout 505 rally held on 9 May 2013 was at the Kelana Jaya stadium and the attendance was estimated at about 120000 people. The next rally was held at the Batu Kawan stadium in Penang where the turnout was estimated to be over 60000 people.

Indeed, the post-election mood was strong and the 505 rallies drew large crowds in every town/city where they were held. In organising these rallies, Pakatan leaders insist that they are not sore losers but that they believe that they had been cheated of outright victory due to electoral fraud and other irregularities.

The strong support that the PR received at its numerous 505 rallies is a significant development, reflective of how politically charged the general population has become. The rakyat made special effort to attend these rallies with some having to walk for kilometres to get to the venues. They displayed the determination and commitment of a people who believed that they were fighting for a worthwhile cause.

What is most interesting is that the large multi-ethnic crowds that attended the rallies were predominantly young people, those within the 21-35 age group. The record voter turnout at GE13 followed by the strong interest to participate in the post-election rallies is indicative of a new wave of political awakening amongst our 29.7m strong population.

A new Malaysia – post GE13
Henry Loh
11 June 2013- Aliran


Health Ministry: No indelible ink safety report provided

The Health Ministry has apparently not provided any safety report on the indelible ink, nor has the Election Commission (EC) asked for such a report, according to Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam.

He said this when asked if it is true that the active ingredient in the ink – silver nitrate – had to be watered down to one percent to reduce cancer risk.

“I’m not sure (if there is cancer risk), you have to ask the EC on this. If you are asking whether they have asked us for any report on that, I don’t think so,” he said at a press conference today.

He then turned to another Health Ministry official to ask if the EC had approached the ministry to make “any presentation”, and the reply was in the negative.

“If they have asked us and we have given a report, it is very different, but I am not sure, we can check it,” he continued.

EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof (left) had, during an interview with the Straits Times of Singapore on May 12, said that the EC was unable to add more silver nitrate to the ink mixture after being informed by the Health Ministry of the chemical compound’s adverse health effects on users.

“We got a letter from the Health Ministry telling us that if we put more than one percent of silver nitrate in the ink, it could damage the kidney and cause cancer,” Aziz had said in the interview.

However, this was disputed by a voter, who pointed out that there is no mention of carcinogenic, teratonic or mutating effects in the material safety data sheet (MSDS) for silver nitrate.

When the contradicting facts in Ahmad’s statement and MSDS sheets were pointed out, Subramaniam said he needed to get more information on the matter.

“(This is) the first time I am hearing of this,” he said.

Health Ministry: No indelible ink safety report provided
Koh Jun Lin
Jun 6, 2013 – Malaysiakini

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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?