Archive for the ‘Electoral Reforms’ Category
Women voters who love to have their fingernails beautifully painted with an assortment of designs should not go for manicure for the time being as polling for the 13th general election is on May 5.
The advice from state Election Commission (EC) director Datuk Takun Sunggah is: “Don’t paint your nails!”
His advice has basis for at the polling centre an indelible ink would be applied on their left index finger before ballot papers are issued to them to cast their votes.
This is in line with one of the provisions of the Election Regulations (Conduct of Elections) (Amendment) 2012 which was gazetted in February, 2012.
“All voters will be painted with the indelible ink. If they refused, no ballot paper will be issued,”
Takun told The Borneo Post yesterday.
He stressed that the indelible ink must be applied on the fi ngure nail but this could not be done on nails covered with polish.
It will take at least three days, or at most four weeks, for the ink to fade.
The practice is meant to prevent the possibility of foul play of voting twice or more.
Takun said two different colours of indelible ink would be used in the coming election and the EC was keeping the colours a `top secret’ to prevent unnecessary complications from arising.
One colour would be used for early voting, on April 30, and the other on May 5.
On the number of nomination papers sold thus far, Takun said as of Thursday, the state EC had sold 127 sets.
These forms, which need to be filled and submitted to the EC on nomination day – April 20 – by the candidates, cost RM20 each. Takun said he had no information which EC offices had sold the most number of copies.
“(There is also) no record of which party bought these forms because they (those purchasing) came as individuals.”
So at last we are going to have a general election after all. The months of waiting have taken its toll on most people, but it’s important that they continue to have energy and spirit and to work hard to make this GE a meaningful one.
This week I want to talk to the Malays. They form the biggest block of voters and to them I say, this is your chance to have a new government. A new government will enable you to make a comparison with the one we have now. You have been told time and again that no one besides Umno/BN can govern and protect you, but wouldn’t it be better for you to try to find out for yourself? How can we know if Pakatan would be worse than Umno if we do not give them a chance?
You have to be brave and not let others bully you with fear and intimidation. The opposition parties have more Malays than BN so they will not harm you. They have worked hard and deserve a chance. For all you know, you may get better schools, better teachers for your children (as they may devote more time to teaching than politicking) and better security from the police and the army. Even your household income may improve as there will be more for the government to share with less corrupt leaders at the helm.
You will not lose if you vote for the opposition. If the opposition gets stronger because of your support but BN still wins, then you will get more cash handouts than they had promised. Money and projects have only been given to you because the opposition was strong — if the opposition had been weak, you wouldn’t have gotten the BR1M 1.0 and BR1M 2.0. It makes sense to vote for the opposition if you want more from the BN. Learn to value your votes to improve your livelihood.
Umno will use all the scare tactics in its arsenal, like telling you that Islam will no longer become the official religion and that the Malay Rulers will disappear if the opposition wins. You should ask your children and grandchildren if any of these can come true. Even they will tell you that this is all nonsense, just fear mongering by those desperate to cling to power when everything else has failed.
The Malays need to change their loyalty and support PAS as their protector. PAS is a Malay party just like Umno. The difference is that PAS has never been entrusted to rule the country. If the Malays can give Umno 50 years to govern, surely it’s not too much to give PAS at least five years. The opportunity for PAS to rule (in coalition, of course, with PKR and the DAP) is an historic moment for the Malays to seize. If PAS is not able to govern well then the people can always go back to Umno. Choice is what the Malays need for their own wellbeing — they have not had it in the last 50 years.
I know it’s easy to persuade the Malays to support their leaders and not go against them. They will be reminded of the cash and all the help that’s been given to them. They will be told to be grateful. They will be told that BN and the government are one and the same so if you want more from the government, then only BN leaders can help you.
Again, I urge you to talk to your children and grandchildren. The monies/salaries that BN leaders give in exchange for votes do not belong to them, but to the people of this country. It’s wrong for leaders to bribe you for votes. They have not been sincere to you. It’s not wrong for you to vote for the leader/party of your choice and still keep the money. In fact, if you vote for the opposition then BN will have to give you more next year. Either way, you win by supporting the opposition. —
About one-third of the people election observer group Malaysian Election Observer Network (Meo-Net) has met in the interiors of Sarawak cannot register as voters because they are not documented.
This is despite the fact that they are born in Malaysia, have lived in the country all their lives and are of the eligible age, Meo-Net coordinator Ong Boon Keong said today.
“We registered about a couple of thousand people as voters last year. They represent two-thirds of those we met, while the others are undocumented,” Ong said when contacted.
Ong said those that Meo-Net keeps track of have remained undocumented despite the Home Ministry’s registration drive from 2009 to 2011, through its mobile registration units.
“Nobody can say where the mobile units are located. We are in touch with the Miri units, which go to the Baram area, but they are a bit secretive about when and where they go.
“The villagers tell us they go to the Long San area to queue up to register. Those from one village, Long Naah, went to Long San twice but never made it to the head of the queue and were told to go back and to wait for the units to go to their village,” Ong said.
However, he said, no unit came to Long Naah by the Dec 31, 2011, deadline and the 30-odd villagers remained undocumented.
The National Registration Department has also not published, since 2009, the number of people it has registered through its mobile units.
“The lack of personal documentation affects the people more than voting rights,” Ong added.
Millions of ringgit allocated by NRD
According to the National Registration Department’s 2011 strategic plan, 44,115 people in Sarawak and 198,885 in Sabah were undocumented as of August 2010.
NRD director-general Alwi Ibrahim was reported to have said that the department had planned for 67 outreach programmes in 2011, including in the interiors of Baram.
Alwi was also reported by the Borneo Post as saying that NRD Sarawak allocated RM20 million in 2010 alone for these outreach programmes.
Ong said Meo-Net, which is the only NGO conducting voter registration in the interiors of Sarawak, had also faced problems getting the voter registration forms registered within deadlines.
He said some 75 percent of the forms submitted by Meo-Net’s team of less than 20 people were held up at the Election Commission for more than three months.
“They eventually got processed after we made a lot of noise in Putrajaya and in Kuching. Now, about 10 percent of forms get rejected for matters like incomplete address or ‘missing information’,” he said.
As far as he knows, Ong added, the EC does not send its registrars into the interiors of Sarawak to register eligible voters there.
Umno-dominated BN has no ethics, morality or good values. It shamelessly uses the government-controlled mainstream media, both print and electronic, to demonise its critics.
To where? She is born here! So by demanding her to be sent home, means allowing her to be deep rooted here!
Just look at how outstanding leaders have been treated by the government ? Zainah Anwar of Sisters in Islam has been demonised for standing up for the rights of Muslim women; Maria Chin Abdullah for fighting for clean and fair elections; Irene Fernandez for fighting for the fair and humane treatment of foreign workers and refugees; now Ambiga demonised and threatened with physical harm and banishment for fighting for clean and fair elections.
Ibrahim Ali of Perkasa, ex-army veterans who did a butt exercise outside her house and pro-Umno NGOs and bloggers have called upon her to leave the country or be banished. These nerds are unfit to lick her boots.
Ambiga is an outstanding woman leader who enjoys a huge following in the country. Can any leader from both sides of the political divide get 250,000 people to support a cause?
Infact should she stand for Public Office, she should beat anyone from UMNO-BN, especially her detractors hands down.
She has been honoured by America, Britain and France for her outstanding contributions to the nation. The Malaysian people consider Ambiga a gift to the nation. We love her, respect her and salute her.
When I was in London, I came across a graffiti on a wall: ?Blackie, go home!? Below it was scribbled this message: ?I was born here, you idiot.?
This is the message that Ambiga should send to the nerds who want her out of the country.
Hang Ambiga …..
Maybe Msia should consider creating a new title above “Tun”….
Electoral reforms activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said today she is willing to be jailed if Putrajaya will commit to cleaning up the election process before the country’s key polls next year.
The award-winning lawyer who has been at the forefront in pushing for meaningful electoral reforms for the past two years was responding to questions from the public in an online chat hosted by Yahoo! Malaysia this afternoon.
“Are you willing to be jailed for your cause?” Yahoo! Malaysia asked.
“Yes,” Ambiga replied.
The 55-year-old has also been the target of hate groups in the last two years, with some right-wing partisan NGOs asking that the government strip her of her citizenship and some BN ministers accusing her of trying to topple the ruling government from power in the latest street rally last month.
Ambiga, together with Bersih co-chair national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said, had led a sit-in protest for electoral reforms last April 28, which the movement claims were attended by 250,000 people.
Ambiga has called for Malaysians to refocus on Bersih?s eight demands amid much finger-pointing after the April 28 rally ended in violence with the authorities accusing her of attempting to spearhead a coup, a charge she has vehemently denied.
The electoral watchdog wants the government to rid the electoral roll of dead voters and other dubious names and enforce a minimum campaign period of 21 days ahead of the 13th general elections. Bersih has also lobbied for political parties to be given free and fair media play and public institutions to be strengthened to stop a seeming rise in corruption and bring an end to dirty politics.
She had led tens of thousands of demonstrators in two public rallies for electoral reform in the national capital ? the first on July 9 last year and more recently on April 28 ? which turned violent following clashes with the authorities. However, similar rallies held elsewhere around the country, and the world, took place peacefully.
However, she refuted criticism from the public that the April 28 rally was illegal, saying that the Federal Constitution guarantees citizens the right to assemble freely.
“Anda seorang peguam,.. tetapi tindak-tanduk anda bersama BERSIH boleh disifatkan sebagai tidak menghormati undang-undang. Demonstrasi jalanan hanya menyusahkan sebahagian rakyat Malaysia.. TQ, (You are a lawyer…but your actions together with Bersih can be characterised as not respecting the law. Street demonstrations only inconvenience some Malaysians.. Thank you,) ” said an Internet user who took part in the live chat who went by the name, Awang.
“Demonstrasi jalanan merupakan antara hak asasi rakyat Malaysia di bawah Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia, (Street demonstrations are among the basic human rights of Malaysians under the Federal Constitution of Malaysia,” Ambiga replied.
Another participant, Elsie asked, “Ambiga, the law allows for a peaceful assembly, but not a rally. As a lawyer who should understand the law, who do you continually break the law [sic]?”
“I believe you have misread the Peaceful Assembly Act, but nevertheless, you should look at our Federal Constitution which enshrines the fundamental right to freedom of assembly. That is the supreme law that we uphold,” said Ambiga.
Most people know about the former Bar Council president – who has inspired and infuriated Malaysians in equal measure – is what they hear from the media.
Despite the wall-to-wall media coverage, many Malaysians still have endless questions for Ambiga and about Ambiga. Is she anti-government? Why is she so adamant on organising street protests? Doesn’t the incessant pressure on her wear her down? Does she feel persecuted in her own home?
Well, for all those of you who have a question for Ambiga, now is the time to ask it. Yahoo! Malaysia will be hosting the controversial civil rights leader on its Question Time online chat session at 3pm on Thursday, June 14th.
The concept of Question Time is simple. You, dear reader, ask the questions. We at Yahoo! Malaysia merely play the role of facilitator and moderator, ensuring that the session moves along at a brisk pace and that the questions asked are polite, on-point and brisk.
The result? An honest, direct discussion between Malaysians and one of the year’s most prominent Malaysian newsmakers. No spin, no slant.
In an SMS to Yahoo! Malaysia Ambiga said she is really looking forward to the chat session on Thursday.
“I’m taking part in this event so that the public can have direct access to me with their questions.
“I hope to be able to reach out to as many people as possible and, in particular, to respond as best I can to issues that are troubling them,” said Ambiga.
So how do you join and take part in the discussion? Simple. Go to http://my.news.yahoo.com at 3pm on Thursday and you’ll see the chat screen live on the page. No login or registration is needed. Type in your question and it joins the queue.
Those who’d like to send in their questions early can do so by sending us a message on our Facebook page. We will compile and ask those questions during the chat session, if we are able to.
More about Datuk Ambiga: