Thursday, July 7, 2011

Questioning BERSIH

Excerpts from, "Sorry, You Don’t Convince Me Ambiga" by Abdul Rahman Dahlan - the Member of Parliament for P169 Kota Belud.
  • I met JPN officers yesterday. They confessed that the number of people, especially in the rural areas, who fail to report death in their family is a lot. With this kind of lackadaiscal attitude, I wonder why BERSIH blames SPR instead of the lazy and indifferent Malaysians.
  • Another BERSIH’s contentious issue is the postal votes... The popular belief, spun by the opposition, that their superiors will be looking over their shoulders to check who they vote for is a fallacy.  The representatives of the candidates will be there to ensure that does not happen....It is true that most of the time postal votes tend to be in favour of the BN. But this is not surprising at all and can be easily explained. Why would they vote for a party that has been constantly demonising, humiliating, cursing and crticising them? They are also humans with feelings and dignity.
  • So for BERSIH to suggest that the military and police personnel abandon their posts.... is nothing short of being irresponsible! .... I rather have our men in uniform to quickly scramble the Sukhois, the MiGs, the F18s and sail out the Frigates, Corvettes and the Subs to intercept enemies. It can only be done if they are at their bases not when they spend time queing in line to vote in Grik, Batang Berjuntai, Lubok Antu or Long Pasia!
  • Bersih also demand the postal votes to be extended to Malaysians who live away (domestically) from their voting constituency.....In my opinion, a person registered as a voter in Kota Belud but chooses to live and work in Kuala Lumpur has no business to determine who should be the local Wakil Rakyat for the people of Kota Belud! He should be voting for a Wakil Rakyat in Kuala Lumpur who is in a better postion to address issues affecting his life there!... By the way, isn’t asking more people to be under postal vote system somehow contradicts BERSIH’s earlier allegation that postal vote system is riddled with procedural problems which lead to suspicion of fraud?
  • Does SPR have the power, under the current Elections Act 1958, to deny a person whose finger has been inked from voting, but who now claims his finger was inked forcibly? What happens if that person insists to vote by citing his rights under the constitution, finger inked or not? Will we see chaotic scenes at the polling centres?

  • The same goes to automatic registration of voters. It is no better than the current all year round open-registration excercise. It also requires the Election Act to be amended to incorporate the provision. Anyway, when a person decides not to register as voter, isn’t he merely exercising his democratic right? Why is BERSIH denying him of his right not to register when BERSIH is coming to town to champion the people’s democratic rights?
  • I have no problem with BERSIH’s demand that campaign period to be atleast 21 days. But what I find odd is BERSIH failure to see that the opposition is enjoying a 365 days, 24/7, nation-wide-non-stop campaign blitz since 2008.

  • As for the claim of vote buying during election,  I hope Ambiga realizes that the  guys marching next to her on the 9th of July are quite experts in it. Everyone knows that in the midst of the Hulu Selangor by election in April last year, Anwar Ibrahim promised 100,000 land titles to poor homeowners in the constituency (Source: The Malaysian Insider, 13 April 2010). This was followed quickly by Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s announcement to abolish quit-rents for shop houses in Hulu Selangor (Source: New Straits Times, 20 April 2010) as well as presenting bonuses amounting to RM6116,000 to all village chiefs and Jawatankuasa Keselamatan dan Kemajuan Kampung (JKKK) in Hulu Selangor (Source: SelangorKini Online, 21 April 2010).
And I hope Ambiga will not forget the ultimate mother of all vote buying act: Nik Aziz’s campaign promise of heaven if you vote for PAS!

  • Two interesting points can be deduced from the above stories. Firstly, statistically speaking, just like any massive databases, electoral rolls will not be 100% error free even when Anwar Ibrahim is the Prime Minister. It is not statistically possible. There is always what statisticians refer to as allowable sampling error which in no way affects the integrity of the whole list. Secondly, in instances above, the complainants lodge reports to their respective election authorities and allow investigations to be conducted. They do not resort to massive street demonstrations.

  • My last point in this article is a question that I would like to pose to the KLites. Are you ready for frequent street demonstrations in the heart of Kuala Lumpur? Are you ready for the inconveniences? I am afraid that will be the norm if BERSIH is allowed to start. You cannot allow BERSIH and deny others from marching down the Bukit Bintang road every weekend for a cause they believe in. You risk being called hypocrites.
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