Sack Zam as “caretaker Information Minister” if he continues to misuse RTM/Information for BN propaganda and spread falsehoods against Opposition

I had commended the Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman for fixing a 13-day campaign period for the 12th general election, which is longer than the previous five general elections between 1986 to 2004, i.e. 10 days each in 1986, 1990 and 1995, nine days in 1999 and eight days in 2004.

This is however only a small step towards conducting a free,fair and clean general election and there are many areas which the Election Commission Chairman must address to ensure that the Malaysian election system can be internationally acclaimed as of world-class standard in terms of its efficiency and being fair, free and clean.

For a start, I call on Rashid to address two issues:

Firstly, make nomination for the general election a disqualification-free process. At present, preparing for nomination is as traumatic as preparing for a major legal case for lawyers or sitting for higher degree examinations in universities.

Let us have a disqualification-free nomination process whereby no proposed candidate could be disqualified for any technical mistake in filling up the nomination form. There should only be disqualification of candidates for fraudulent claims but not for technical mistakes which should be allowed to be corrected during or even after the nomination.

Let the voters decide who should be their elected representative, whether in Parliament or the State Assembly, and this power should not be usurped or denied by Returning Officers on the basis of nitpicking complaints by anyone.

Secondly, to ensure that a higher percentage of eligible voters are placed on the Electoral Roll and can exercise their constitutional right to vote in the 12th general election instead of the present low figure of 70% when it should be nearer 90% of all eligible voters!
Although the voters’ registration for the last quarter of last year was gazetted last week, a few states would not be able to use the voters’ registration for the last quarter as the Election Commission does not have the time to process and decide on the objections.

This is an unacceptable excuse. More than a decade ago, I had told Parliament that in New Zealand, a voter can register on the eve of polling and cast his vote the next day. Why is the Malaysian voter registration system so backward and retrogressive that we cannot ensure that every one who had registered in the last quarter of last year could be placed on the Electoral Roll to vote in the 12th general election on March 8, with the whole process deciding on the objections completed before the polling day?

In fact, the Election Commission should go one step further – to be able to carry out the voter registration exercise for the next two weeks to ensure that all those who had registered between 1.1.2008 and 29.2.2008 could vote in the March 8 election. Is this beyond the efficiency and capability of the Election Commission?

With Parliament’s dissolution, the entire Cabinet is a caretaker Cabinet which should confine itself to the day-to-day administration duties and not abuse its powers in the misuse of government positions, machinery, resources and public funds for party electioneering purposes.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who had launched the National Integrity Plan to demonstrate his seriousness to promote and uphold a government of accountability and integrity, cannot to keep his silence on whether he accepts or rejects the entire concept of caretaker government between Parliament and the election of a new government.

If Abdullah is serious about the National Integrity Plan, he should publicly ground all government aircrafts, vehicles and facilities to ensure that they will not be misused by any Cabinet Minister – including himself – for partisan electioneering purposes.

Is Abdullah prepared to prove that despite all his broken promises about accountability, transparency and integrity in promoting good governance in the past four years, he will at least “walk the talk” of his National Integrity Plan as a “caretaker Prime Minister” and stop caretaker Ministers from abusing government resources, facilities, manpower and funds for partisan electioneering purposes?

Is he prepared to sack caretaker Ministers who refuse to honour his National Integrity Plan and continue to abuse their positions and misuse government resources, facilities, manpower and public funds for partisan electioneering purposes in the 12th general election?

I call on Abdullah to give a 24-hour ultimatum to sack the “caretaker” Information Minister, Datuk Zainuddin Maidin unless he stops abusing and misusing his caretaker responsibilities and put an immediate stop to the abuse and misuse of the RTM and Information Department as the propaganda tool of the Barisan Nasional to spread lies and falsehoods against the opposition.

Let Abdullah prove that the Islam Hadhari he propounds stands for accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance!

All NGOs, professional bodies, community organizations, societies and citizens should play a pro-active role in 12th general election campaign to lodge police or ACA report for every instance of abuse of power by a caretaker government – as when they see a “caretaker” Minister misusing government aircraft, vehicle, public servants like drivers, public funds for partisan electioneering purpose.

Let the police and ACA be flooded by public citizen reports of abuses and misuses of power up and down the country – which tantamount to electoral corruption – during the election campaign if caretaker Ministers flout their caretaker responsibilities.

Let Malaysian voters send a clear and loud message to the Caretaker Prime Minister that they take the National Integrity Plan (NIP) seriously – regardless of whether Abdullah and the Barisan Nasional leadership take the NIP seriously – and the first real step to implement the NIP is for an end to all abuses and misuses of power and public funds and resources by the “caretaker” government and “caretaker Ministers” in the 12th general election between dissolution of Parliament till Polling Day on 8th March 2008.

The Police, and ACA should demonstrate their impartiality, efficiency and professionalism by setting up special units all over the country to receive and act on such reports – including the arrest of caretaker Ministers who abuse their “caretaker” responsibilities.

The Attorney-General, Tan Sri Gani Patail should also show his commitment to the National Integrity Plan by acting efficiently and promptly on Police and ACA reports and investigations on abuses by the “caretaker government” to bring every case to court for prosecution.

I have filed action to ask the Kuala Lumpur High Court for an urgent hearing of my case asking for a declaration that the government is bound by the ethics and principles of a caretaker government between Parliament’s dissolution and the election of a new government – and my counsel and DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh has asked the court for an urgent hearing of the case before nomination on 24th February as otherwise, the question would be academic and the court prove again to be a failure to be the last bulwark of Malaysian citizens in the defence of their constitutional rights and liberties.

(Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the launching of the DAP Menglembu election operations centre in Batu Gajah parliamentary constituency on Saturday 16th February 2008 at 9 am)

  1. #1 by k1980 on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 10:45 am

    There has never been, and there is no free, fair, clean and transparent GEs in this sham democracy

  2. #2 by zack on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 10:45 am

    if one can’t fill up a simple form correctly… how is he/she going to be an effective peoples’ representative !!!

  3. #3 by cheng on soo on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 11:22 am

    In this IT age, there is no excuse, if EC take more than 9 days to allow new registered voters to be in official list of voters (ie eligible to vote)

  4. #4 by Godson on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 11:33 am

    Last nite saw NUTjib on RTM doing his bullsh-t as usual before election. Got so mad and switch it off. Dont want to waste my time and electricity on listening to rubbish talk.

    Down to BN. Down to BN. Down to BN.


  5. #5 by mindamerdeka on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 11:54 am

    congrats lks.
    we support you….

  6. #6 by ChinNA on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 11:54 am

    We need to leverage the media streaming and create buzz on the Internet to counter this.

    At the same thing pointing this out to the greater public needs to be continued.

  7. #7 by smeagroo on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 12:03 pm

    The reason why EC decided to annul the registration of those who registered in the last quarter of 2007 is becos majority of them are pro-opposition and they know it.


    You are asking too much from the most corrupted ppl in Msia. Dont expect them to even lift a finger to do one single thing u hv proposed.

    United we stand, together we fall. That’s the motto of the crooks as they hold on tight to each other before the dominoes fall.

  8. #8 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 12:06 pm

    BN 30 seats up!! Yess!!!

    If we add up all the proposed number of seats DAP (55) PKR (75) and PAS (60) will contest, we get only 190.

    Which means on Nominations day BN could be 30 seats up already!!!

    Why is the Opposition giving the BN this 30 seat advantage? Where are the uncontested seats? Could the Opposition not find a candidate who might want to stand there?

    Sponsor a candidate. Maybe the BN candidate might be disqualified. Who knows?

  9. #9 by k1980 on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 12:08 pm

  10. #10 by justiciary on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 12:09 pm

    The Election Commission is another very big hypocrite.Being a stooge of BN,it can never emulate New Zealand.It is scared of registering more voters and it is indirectly trying to make the registration procedure difficult and discouraging to eligible voters.It is real humbug.

  11. #11 by peace on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 12:17 pm

    Am glad I registered many moons back. Yes, I agree, the following basic citizen “infrastructure” should be immediately address:

    -Make it easy for people to change their MyKad address and it’s so stupid to tie my voting area to my MyKad address, since I might have moved many times in a single election period.

    -Implement automatic voting eligibility into MyKad, that means upon reaching the age of 21, all MyKad holders (which translates to all Malaysian citizens) will be automatically eligible to vote. How hard is this?

    – Even if you are not registered, all citizens with valid NRIC and is above 21 should be given rights to vote, whereby they just need to fill up an application form which will be processed later after the voting is completed. This will encourage more people to vote AND register at the same time!

    I don’t see how our EC is doing a good job at all in their mission to uphold a democracy in this country. In fact, these EC workers are holding power that they don’t even understand its importance in the future of this nation.

  12. #12 by ihavesomethingtosay on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 12:37 pm

    Do You know?

    13 in Christianity represents Judas? the very deciple that betrays Jesus? and is forever known as a TRAITOR?

    The 13th tarot card is DEATH?

    Friday the 13th was the day that the all powerful Christian Crusader goup – the Knights of the Templer was SLAUGHTER.

    So the interpretation for the famous number 13 is, we have a TRAITOR, treacherous gomen, that will lead us to DEATH and they and their gang of thieves will be SLAUGHTER in this comming GE.

    The power of 13, doom to the thieves.

  13. #13 by smeagroo on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 1:03 pm

    BUt he is no christian, tarot card reader nor he a crusader. He is just a hahahadharian and yes a numeroloigst at best who believes in numbers.

    I am still waiting for him to give us the next 4D result so that all of us can get rich and not worry abt the next toll, petrol, tariff, tax hike!

  14. #14 by KanNinNeh on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 1:39 pm

    Don’t worry, SMS is proven to be more powerful than RTM now !

    Make full use of SMS !

  15. #15 by Joshua Tan Kok Hauw on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 2:20 pm

    Down with Zam!RTM should be boycotted by all Malaysian.
    When Abdullah appointed Zam as information minister, I knew that Abdullah tried to restrain the freedom of speech and the people’s right to know.

    Zam knew nothing except spouting rubbish.

    If I were to become PM, the first minister I will sack is Zam.

  16. #16 by ihavesomethingtosay on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 2:34 pm

    ahhhhhh smeagroo my friend.

    That’s just it, by loving this awkard number he is telling us that he’s the traitor (traitor to evey Malaysian, see the rose parade today, it’s roses against guns) he will lead us to an economy death, (rising cost and drop in FDI).

    and the direct response will come this March 8th, when we slaughter them and their goons in this election.

  17. #17 by hiro on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 2:39 pm

    Perhaps the opposition parties could come together and file a class action suit against the EC and the Barisan Nasional caretaker government for continued abuse of the media to their advantage, with an injunction prohibiting polling until and unless this matter is rectified.
    The cause of action should be defamation.

  18. #18 by ChinNA on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 3:44 pm

    KanNinNeh – you are right on. SMS can even reach most rural voters. Internet might not, but SMS definitely can. Can we do mass SMS-ing thru the Internet?

    A few years ago, I thought this was possible. Updates on this capability, does anyone know the latest?

  19. #19 by dranony on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 4:42 pm

    Sorry for jumping in off topic, but I thought this was pretty important, wrt elections and use of indelible ink:

    I wonder if the election staff had been taught properly on how to use it.
    If you look at the publicity photo which accompanied The Star’s news report on Friday February 1, 2008, you’d notice that the staff had applied it on the surface of the index fingernail.
    I was wondering if it would be possible to have someone apply a layer of transparent nail varnish over the nail first, and then remove the “indelible ink” mark together with the nail varnish after they had cast their votes?
    Would the nail lacquer/varnish form an impervious layer such that the indelible ink would not actually come into contact with the nail surface? Although nail varnish might seem obvious because it is shiny, but might there be ways to sand it down (say if a few layers had been applied) to lose its lustre?
    this picture.
    Fingers up Election Commission employees (from left) Fahiza Baharuddin, 28, Norazliza Yaacob, 25, and Nor Fazilah Mohd Rasip, 26, showing how the indelible ink will be applied. The special black ink will be used for the first time this coming general election. — ROHAIZAT MD DARUS / The Star

    If I am not mistaken, in other countries, the indelible ink is applied in a straight line from the dorsum of the index finger distal interphalangeal joint, distally across the back of the index fingernail, right until the distal edge of the nail.
    this picture.
    Indelible mark: On Oct. 8, the fourth and final day of the Kashmiri polls, two men in Darpora show the ink stains on their fingers indicating that they have voted (Photo: AFP).

    However, even in the case of the Kashmiri voters who proudly display their indelible ink stains,
    I note that they are not BOTH displaying the same hand!
    One is showing his Right index finger, while the other is showing his Left index finger!
    Would this mean that with some illusionist’s distraction of attention of the polling clerks, it might still be possible to vote twice?

  20. #20 by kanthanboy on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 5:04 pm

    “Why is the Opposition giving the BN this 30 seat advantage? Where are the uncontested seats? Could the Opposition not find a candidate who might want to stand there?”
    The Opposition has limited resources and has to use them wisely. If a candidate receives less than certain percentage of the total votes cast, his/her deposit will be forfeited.

  21. #21 by k1980 on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 5:06 pm

    Give yourself an honest answer: Would you want yourself , your loved ones and your country to be led by this imbecile and his goons for the next 5 years?

  22. #22 by dranony on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 5:29 pm

    “Why is the Opposition giving the BN this 30 seat advantage? Where are the uncontested seats? Could the Opposition not find a candidate who might want to stand there?”

    By giving the BN this walkover, in some of the “unwinnable seats” not only is the Opposition conserving resources and election candidate deposits, as well as be able to focus and concentrate canvassing in the remaining seats, BUT, more importantly, it would give the “fence-sitting” electorate a sense of comfort that any change of leadership is NOT severe, and will not result in turmoil.
    Previously, a large part of the electorate had been frightened by score-mongering BN leaders that a “May 13 may result if BN loses.
    With this walkover, there would be amelioration of that fear, and thus they may be more persuaded to vote Opposition.

    Do realise that in 2004, BN took only 62% of the popular vote, but they ended up with 92% of all seats.
    In 1969, the BN (Alliance then) had 52% of votes, but ended up with 60% of seats.
    However in 2008, if the BN also gets 52% of the votes, they might still end up with 65%-70% of seats (due to gerrymandering).
    Is a 10% swing possible?
    All it needs is one chap in 10 to vote opposite from what he had been voting for previously, to swing a 60%-40% margin to a 50%-50% margin.
    When the margin gets closer to 50-50%, the outcome of percentage of seats will be much more unpredictable.

    I think the Opposition is doing the right thing by the strategy of giving walkovers.

  23. #23 by valt76 on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 6:58 pm

    My wife went to register today and she has been told that she will be able to cast her vote only the next GE. In my country as soon as we turn 18yo and we are eligible to vote we are enrolled into our national electoral list. This way of conduct not only is keeping away a huge number of potential voters but shows once again which kind of mockery are the GE in this country….

  24. #24 by justiciary on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 9:36 pm

    Beware of a BN agent in this blog.His name begins with a ‘Z’.This is my suspicion and it is based on what he writes here.

  25. #25 by justiciary on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 9:50 pm

    In another thread lately the same fellow even ridiculed our Saudara Lim not to run away again.Get lost u BN anjing lari.

  26. #26 by jfl on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 9:52 pm

    The Election Commission should also ensure that our votes are secret.
    There should not be the case where BN candidates who won claim they have won x% of the chinese votes like in Kelantan by elections.
    How can they know? Well the ballot sheets have serial numbers, these serial numbers can be traced. Therefore there is no secrecy in our votes.
    This is not democratic. How else would the BN government realign opposition voters to other constituencies?
    This must change! VOTE DAP! VOTE PKR! VOTE PAS!
    Down with BN!

  27. #27 by ktteokt on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 10:51 pm

    They will still use the TV stations for propaganda despite the fact they are no longer in power!!!!

  28. #28 by pwcheng on Sunday, 17 February 2008 - 12:55 am

    Report to the Police or th ACA. I think they will laugh at us as we are expected to know where is their inclination. People who are corrupted will only answer to their corrupted boss.

  29. #29 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 17 February 2008 - 1:26 am

    Limited resources? Unwinnable seats?

    DAP I can understand but PAS and PKR have been making so much noise about how they have spread their wings everywhere but now they give 30 seats away. And some of them want the same seats and 3 corner fights!!

    So we might as well give up “unwinnable” seats like Kepala Batas and other seats that the Opposition lost by more than 10,000 votes last time.

    Where are these “unwinnable” seats, BN strongholds? Name them. Let us know. Maybe I would like to “tanding”.

    All these talk about 1 on 1 fights are just hogwash if you don’t fight all the way.

    So a BN landslide looks likely again.

  30. #30 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 17 February 2008 - 1:50 am

    Don’t be like Air Asia – giving away free seats. But AA is smart. It still charges an administration fee and covers their fuel costs.

    I say again. Where are the “free” uncontested seats? The three parties might have missed something. Maybe somebody, “Independents”, might be interested if they find that others are not interested.

    Hey, I know. Give it to PSM, or even better, Wee Choo Keong.

  31. #31 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 17 February 2008 - 8:39 am

    They certainlty are turning up a notch a bit on propaganda in the last few days. Its unbelievable how they twist the words of even the man on the street.

    1984 Orwell is well and alive in Malaysia.

  32. #32 by dranony on Sunday, 17 February 2008 - 12:40 pm

    why don’t you look it up yourself?
    in 2004, there was a seat where BN took 87% of the votes,
    and the Opposition only 13%.

  33. #33 by Wisdom above on Sunday, 17 February 2008 - 1:32 pm

    Vote for ‘United Front’ to speak up for you in Parliament.

    Remember ,the ‘United Front’ has worked very hard for you for the past 39 years.

    …”Ruling BN MPs behaviour uncalled for.”

    Time to kick out all the BN MPs.

    …In parliament, we can see how the opposition is called … jeered at by the Government MPs. Sometimes I wonder if these people are our elected Honorable MPs of the ruling party or monkeys from the zoo. When I see Theresa Kok asking some intelligent questions, the government MPs would jeer and belittle her.


  34. #34 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 17 February 2008 - 5:16 pm

    Thats the problem with defeatist people. They always accept defeat and won’t try.

    PAS won Terengganu by a landslide in 1999. BN almost won Kelantan in 2004 shocking everyone.

    But if you always accept past statistics as always true, then you will surely fail. And deserve to fail. You can’t win if you are not there.

  35. #35 by mauriyaII on Sunday, 17 February 2008 - 6:56 pm

    The British practised ‘divide and rule’. The UMNO has perfected it. It has even divided ethnic political component parties so as to prevent solidarity among the ethnic population.

    Just as Justiciary says, there are fifth columns planted in the blogs to discredit the Opposition. Beware of these scums and their treachery!

    All Opposition parties should set aside their differences and make a concerted effort not to field candidates against one another. Internal feuds among the Opposition would only benefit the Barisan rogues.

    If possible DO NOT GIVE 30 FREE SEATS.

    You would be surprised what dissatisfied citizens fed up of government lies, rising prices, corruption (even in the Judiciary), increasing crimes, body snatching, Syariah courts superceding the power of Civil courts and the arrogance of UMNO might do. Even in those so-called Free Seats the people might decide: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. TIME FOR A CHANGE.

  36. #36 by Danniel on Sunday, 17 February 2008 - 11:35 pm

    Information is very powerful.

    If Zam abuses and misuses RTM and Information Department for Barisan Nasional to spread lies and falsehoods against the opposition, then why not we also come out a complete chronology and history of all Barisan national scandals and the damages done to the country over the 4 years under the leadership of Ah-bodoh-lah Amat Bodowi. And we should publish these facts and figures before and during the election so that people can have a recap and recall of what dirty sins conducted by Barisan National all these years, with the hope that history will not repeat itself.

  37. #37 by cemerlang on Monday, 18 February 2008 - 12:20 am

    I agree with you. Most of Malaysia’s mass media is controlled by the dominant ruling party. Now they are also taking it to the internet as reported by their own newspaper. The cybertroopers are not just active in reading blogs but giving comments and their leader is calling up whoever is concerned to maneuver the government’s works according to what is expressed in the internet to the advantage of the dominant ruling party. So what we all expressed here is being used by the dominant ruling party. If the people do not think any further, they would think that the dominant ruling party is working for them. However on the other hand, following people, stalking people, making use of people’s ideas mean that they do not have any ideas on their own and it is illegal to stalk anyone. No wonder we have first class infrastructure but third class mentality owing to this no ideas phenomenon for the past 50 years. There is a difference between an original idea and a copied idea. So what is so great about showing yourself to be a copier of ideas ? They will continue to copy our ideas because this blog appears in the RTM’s website. Shame on you RTM !

  38. #38 by BoDo Singh on Monday, 18 February 2008 - 3:25 am

    “if one can’t fill up a simple form correctly… how is he/she going to be an effective peoples’ representative !!!” zack

    It’s worse if you read but cannot understand!

  39. #39 by stevelow on Monday, 18 February 2008 - 10:22 am

    Here’s is one of the proof of how BN government misuse RTM..

  40. #40 by limkamput on Monday, 18 February 2008 - 12:17 pm

    BoDo Singh Says: It’s worse if you read but cannot understand!

    Yes like a few here who despite constant reminders have remained unmoved.

  41. #41 by mysn1st on Monday, 18 February 2008 - 12:26 pm

    The Internet will be the next era of media tools to spread informations widely. You should advice & encourage your employer’s to make use of it.

  42. #42 by Loh on Monday, 18 February 2008 - 6:19 pm

    ///”Nobody is happy to see prices rising but this is out of our control. The question is not how to bring down prices but how to help the rakyat (people) cope.

    “Every country in the world is faced with rising oil prices except maybe Brunei but you cannot compare. The RM40bil (S$17.5bil) oil subsidy we give out can be used to build better schools, roads, hospitals and infrastructure but we don’t want to burden the people,” he said, adding that education and medical treatment was also heavily subsidised by the Government.///– PM AAB–

    It is not how to help the people cope with high prices, but how to provide an environment where the people income would take care of price increase which is a sure thing. That is the basic function of the governments all over the world. except Malaysia.

    The fifty years BN had been in power has been working on how to remain in power, and in the process it had destroyed all government institutions, including the most important Judiciary, and the attorney general’s functions. The law enforcing agencies, the police are no threat to perpetrators, rather there are a threat to ordinary citizens. The worst of all was the racial polarisation as a result of BN uninterrupted rule. The NEP had sent people capable of making this place a knowledge based economy to one that are connected to exploit the oil resources which are coming to an end. Eventually, the poor illegal and legal immigrants are giving Malaysian a run for the job at the salary level which ought to be classififed as below minimum wage. The goverment is still talking about helping the people to cope, and no doubt through the actions of price control, subsidies and cash award.

    The forty billion ringgit subsidies which the government talks about did not come out of taxation from economic activities generated as would most countries which had no oil like Thailand and Singapore. The subsidies given on oil was a matter of accounting convenient. Yes those money could be used to build road and all kinds of buildings if not given as ‘subsidies’. But then oil revenue are much more than the subsidies given. Countries like Singapore and Thailand did not have oil, and could not have excess of oil export to finance roads and other buildings and the people there are doing well facing the similar increase of prices. The government there have done the right thing to provide the environment for the people to grow in partnership with social and economic development, and price increase is part and parcel of economic development, in the process of non-ending adjustment of economic entities.

    ///Do not compare Singapore’s economy with that of Malaysia’s.

    It is like comparing “first-class grapes (Singapore) with first-class apples (Malaysia),” Prime Minster Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ///

    Do not compare Singapore government with tht of Malaysia. It is like comparing the government for the people (Singapore) with the government for the families of Government leaders (Malaysia).

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