Pakatan decries selective assistance to voters


Kuek Ser Kuang Keng | Jan 30, 11 4:50pm
Malaysiakini

The day-long downpour in Tenang had caused flooding in many areas across this rural constituency in Johor, rendering several of the 12 polling stations inaccessible to voters.

Pakatan Rakyat complained that this had significantly reduced the turnout of Chinese voters, considered the ‘vote bank’ for the opposition.

Although police, army, the Civil Defence Department and various government agencies had been deployed to assist the voters to get to the polling stations, Pakatan leaders are upset that the assistance were not provided equally to all.

According to them, more transportation facilities were deployed in Felda areas, which are BN strongholds.

“Why are there no boats to ferry the voters in Labis town, which is also flooded, but Felda gets all the police and fire department boats?” asked DAP publicity chief Tony Pua in a tweet message.

BN secured 80 percent of votes in the three Felda settlements in Tenang in the 2008 general election.

“The failure to provide sufficient boats and trucks, and distribute them evenly across all polling districts will severely tilt the outcome of this by-election.

“The police and army should not just provide their assistance to selective areas because the flood is everywhere in the constituency.” he added when contacted by Malaysiakini.

‘Opposition voters discriminated’

At least two polling stations – SMK Kamarul Ariffin and Kampung Paya Merah multi-purpose hall in Labis town – were inaccessible due to high water level.

The former is the polling station for Bandar Labis Tengah polling district while the other is polling station for Bandar Labis Timur polling district – both predominantly Chinese areas which were won by PAS in the last general election.

Out of 12 polling districts, PAS won in three – all of which are Chinese-majority areas – in the last general election.

In addition, Johor DAP Youth chief Tan Hong Pin claimed that the army trucks that went into Chinese residential areas had refused to fetch voters whom they suspect were opposition supporters.

“It happened at Kampung Paya Merah,” claimed Tan when contacted.

Johor DAP Wanita chief Chew Peck Choo also alleged that army trucks had selectively picked up voters based on their ethnicity.

“PAS supporters complained to me that the army trucks refused to pick up opposition supporters or were slow in picking them up,” she told Malaysiakini.

According to Selangor DAP Youth publicity chief Lim Swee Kuan, as of 3pm, the voters turnout at Tenang Station polling district was 47.72 percent and 54.69 percent for Bandar Labis Timur – way below the average turnout rate of 65.19 percent.

Tenang Station is another Chinese-majority polling station, but this area was won by BN in 2004.

DAP Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching had openly decried that the turnout rate in Chinese areas reached only 20 percent at 1pm compared with 50 percent in the Malay-majority Felda settlements. The overall turnout rate at 1pm was 55.36 percent.

In her micro-blogging website Twitter, Teo posted several mobile numbers of DAP helpers and called on Chinese voters to contact them for transportation to get to their polling station.

“Urgent! Chinese voters turnout rate is very low. Pakatan candidate needs your vote, please called on your friends, relatives and neighbours to go and vote as soon as possible,” she posted.

No suspension of polls, says EC

According to reports, Election Commission (EC) chairperson Abdul Aziz Yusof said there will be extension of the polling period.

Although some roads leading to the polling stations had been cut off by floods, government agencies are helping to fetch the voters with their heavy vehicles and boats, said Abdul Aziz.

He said that no polling stations will be closed.

Extension of polling time is not allowed under the current election law, added EC deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.

Meanwhile, Johor PAS deputy commissioner and Tenang election director Dzulkefly Ahmad told Malaysiakini that PAS is trying their best to mobilise their supporters to vote before polling comes to a close at 5pm.

“I have contacted EC and they said they will stick to their original plan.”

PAS has yet to decide whether the polling should be called off, he said.

Asked whether the low turnout would jeopardise PAS’ support, Dzulkefly said a low turnout of Chinese voters would benefit BN, but if Malay voters were affected than it would be an advantage to PAS.

“However, the Chinese voters turnout so far has been low. We are mobilising our machinery to get them to vote.”

“We are also working hand-in-hand with the EC to help get the voters to the polling stations.”

Johor DAP chief Dr Boo Cheng Hau too was worried.

“We are worry about the low turnout of Chinese voters because they are our vote bank. We are doing our best to send four-wheel drive vehicles to fetch them.

“We also asked EC to inform the marine police and Civil Defence Department to send their boats and heavy trucks to fetch the voters,” he said when contacted.

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had said earlier today that the floods might affect the coalition’s chances of winning big.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Sunday, 30 January 2011 - 6:01 pm

    ///“Why are there no boats to ferry the voters in Labis town, which is also flooded, but Felda gets all the police and fire department boats?” asked DAP publicity chief Tony Pua in a tweet message. ///

    PR should not just stand by and watch. It should rent a few boats to ferry their supporters to the polling centers. As the saying goes – we reap what we sow (success comes only with hard work). It is a known fact that UMNO is in control of the police and fire brigade.

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 30 January 2011 - 7:10 pm

    For a campaigning period more than 10 days it is safe to say BN could not have studied meteorological conditions in advance to choose a propitious rainy polling day.

    So now Rain – Act of God- favours UMNO over PAS? Why is PAS not praying hard enough for no rain? Or UMNO Govt sought Bomoh help for rain?

    Fates of great wars & nations have been determined by weather – Allies’ landing of Normandy in World War II decisively depended on meteorological conditions – let alone electoral outcome.

    Assuming bad weather will dampen significantly voter turnout, then the critical factor offsetting poor voter turnout due to rain is mobilization ie transportation afforded & deployed by police, army, the Civil Defence Department and various government agencies to assist the voters identified as likely supporters to get to the polling stations! This is a resource BN has plenty as against PR.

    There are a few offences under election law. Most of these pertain to acts which induce a voter to cast his ballot for a candidate. It is also an offence to use these actions to induce voters not to cast ballots at all. These offences extend to using third parties as agents to commit them. For examples:-

    • It is an offence to provide food, drinks or refreshments with a view to induce voters to either vote for a particular candidate or not vote at all.
    • It is illegal to provide monetary rewards for voting for a certain candidate.
    • It is an offence to threaten a person to vote for a candidate or not to vote. In 2004 it was decided that threat included “spiritual threats”. This was allegedly due to PAS threatening eternal damnation if they did not vote for it and a vote for it would be rewarded by God.
    • It is an offence to obstruct passage to and from a voting centre.

    All these rules on electoral offences are intended in 1st instance to provide a level playing field.

    I wonder: if it were an offence to obstruct passage to and from a voting centre – ought it not equally to be an offence to facilitate passage by supplying transportation for ruling party/coalition’s identifiable supporters and voters to polling stations on selective basis denying opposition supporters and voters these facilities (when such transportation facilities are owned by government acquired via public funds)???

    If supplying passage were treated as mere “social service” and not an offence, then wouldn’t the BN pray for rain on every election and by election day as it could effectively mobilise transportation selectively to its supporters to counteract the given negative effect bad and rainy weather has on voter turnout (unassisted)? This factor of weather and control of transportation will be yet another addition to the BN’s existing arsenal of mainstream media support, having development funds and lollies for distribution.

  3. #3 by boh-liao on Sunday, 30 January 2011 - 7:25 pm

    Dis is 1M’sia mah, WHAT IS MINE IS MINE, WHAT IS YOURS IS MINE TOO
    U no stand my side, I no help U
    U no scratch my [email protected], I no help U, faham?
    Hidup 1 M’sia, happy happy!

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Sunday, 30 January 2011 - 7:30 pm

    Vote count as at 5.45pm
    ===============
    BN: 4712
    PAS: 2090
    BN Majority: 2622

    Check here: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/154919

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Sunday, 30 January 2011 - 7:55 pm

    Right now, besides rain drops keep falling on people’s heads and d pitter-pattering of d rain, we can hear loud cheers fr Tenang: HUAT lah, HUAT lah – wong choy fr cai shern yeh!

    Voters in Merlimau, Melaka, also want 2 HUAT lah, HUAT lah
    They r eagerly waiting 4 d BUY erection Santa team fr UmnoB/BN n 1M’sia 2 arrive there 2 distribute goodies, ang pow, green pow, plasma TVs, freebies
    They r wanting, waiting, dying, n willing 2 b bribed, ala UmnoB/BN culture or style
    They r also drooling 2 meet d tigershow star n scantily dressed dancing girls of 1M’sia, courtesy of Aloysius Lim

    Honestly, more BN n PR-drop out YB must do great favors 2 their constituents by kicking d buckets n precipitating more BUY erections that will benefit their constituents financially

  6. #6 by yhsiew on Sunday, 30 January 2011 - 8:08 pm

    PAS obtained 70% Chinese votes maintaining the figure obtained during Tsunami 308.

    Chua Soi Lek will have a big headache in answering to his political masters!

  7. #7 by Thor on Sunday, 30 January 2011 - 8:13 pm

    Why sob!
    I’m not bothered by winning or losing in any of the buy elections, be it in Tenang or Merlimau.
    Winning will only delay the snap election as it is known that Najib is using it as a testing ground to see whether his corrupted tactics or ploy favour him.
    All Pakatan needs to do now is to focus on BNUmno’s dirty tricks and try to overcome it when the snap election comes.
    Elections is like playing poker.
    Just “sai larng” all your “bets” in the final hours when your opponent over confident.

  8. #8 by burn on Sunday, 30 January 2011 - 8:29 pm

    extension of polling time should be given till midnight, or be postponed to another day.

  9. #9 by wanderer on Sunday, 30 January 2011 - 9:33 pm

    Why should anyone be surprised with UMNO/BN behavior?!…have they won anything if contested fairly.
    The event that unfolded in Tunisia and Egypt will be the eye opener for the decent folks in Malaysia …hopefully, will give strength and encouragement
    to kick out this corrupted and evil regime.

  10. #10 by tak tahan on Sunday, 30 January 2011 - 9:54 pm

    Lopsided election with lopsided aids to not fetch all the residents legitimate voters to the pols with the very bias ill intension.Very broad daylight cheating.It shows how gentlemen is our present government machinery.Ar…Beh tehen.Sakit kepala gua kerana tiap tiap hari kena baca perkara perkara lucut macam kita pun menteri dan kakitangan pundeh kerajaan punya orang.Ah yo….

  11. #11 by k1980 on Monday, 31 January 2011 - 8:08 am

    umno is most likely to pick the rainiest month in the west coast of malaysia ( sept or oct) to hold the 13 GE. Then it can send boats to ferry voters in its strongholds while the voters in opposition areas will have to swim to the voting centres

  12. #12 by wanderer on Monday, 31 January 2011 - 9:11 am

    PR should be thankful C4 did not bring out his submarines to ferry voters….otherwise, the PR would have suffered a bigger defeat!

  13. #13 by wanderer on Monday, 31 January 2011 - 9:14 am

    PR should be thankful the present administration did not bring out his submarines to ferry voters….otherwise, the PR would have suffered a bigger defeat!

  14. #14 by tak tahan on Monday, 31 January 2011 - 11:06 am

    Ya..la wanderer,and also the recovered jet engine right?Yo Yo!

    PR should have stand by any aids knowing the circumstance at that time which was growing from bad to worst.Even one or two boats will help to decrease the majority votes.Ar…

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