A reply to the EC

By Ambiga Sreenevasan
June 21, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 21 — We thank the EC for the invitation but the time for talk and discussion has passed. This is due to the reports of blatant abuses of power in the recent Sarawak election and in view of the impending General Elections.

The EC’s continued assertions that they have no power to act in the face of such abuses and the information that the suggestions they have made to the Government for reform have met with no success gives us little hope in further discussion.

In the public interest the EC should disclose the reforms they have suggested to the Government. Although we acknowledge that the EC has introduced some suggestions of reform to postal votes, it is our view these reforms do not go far enough.

The EC’s comment that Bersih 2.0 is not independent is baseless. More importantly that comment and the comment about political parties does not reflect well on EC’s independence given that they are constitutionally required to be above partisan politics.

It should not matter to them who the suggestions for reform come from, whether it is from the Government, the Opposition, NGOs or any citizen. They should deal with all suggestions on their merits.

* Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan is chairman of Bersih 2.0, the electoral reforms group.

  1. #1 by Cinapek on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 12:02 pm

    “…The EC’s continued assertions that they have no power to act in the face of such abuses…”

    Absolutely. If you have no powers to act then why need to talk to EC? Might as well talk to a wall.

    If the EC has any sense of responsibility and independence as they claim, they should initiate a public dialogue involving all stakeholders so that those that has the power to act should act and all parties are clear as to what is allowed and what is not. Blatantly offering millions in return for votes is clearly corruption and nothing else. And the EC, even if they cannot take action as they claim, should at the very least speak out against such vile practices. By keeping quiet, they have sent the message they are condoning such dirty tricks and this will only serve to make the situation worse during the next GE. That is why BERSIH MUST ACT.

  2. #2 by bruno on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 12:12 pm

    The EC like all the other institutions are all under GOM. Dr. Mahathir made sure of that.No institution is free from political meddling.Everything from EC,PDRM to the Judiciary.EPF,PNB to Petronas.The EC is makan gaji only.Direct all your wrath towards Umno and its partner in crime Mca and Mic.Punish them and make then go on their knees.I know you can do it, Ms Ambiga.

  3. #3 by dagen on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 12:24 pm

    For 50yrs umno could not change itself. Dont expect umno now to change over the next few months. For governments like umno – anywhere in the world – there is only one way to make them go. Yes boot them out in general elections. But we have plenty of examples, local as well as from elsewhere, that after several decades in power elections are being reduced to mere procedures. According to the procedures the possibility of change is removed or made impossible. So what is next? Talk? Come on. Even if i gave EC the benefit of doubt that it is indeed independant, i have absolutely no confident that umno would behave properly and fairly. I hv no confident that EC could do anything in such event. I hv no confident that election judges sitting in election courts would be bold enough to rule against umno.

    So what choice do we have? Make our stand loud and clear. Let us party!

    Venue: The street of KL.
    Day: 9 July 2011.
    Event: Bersih!

  4. #4 by k1980 on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 12:52 pm

    Perkosa’s Ibr Ali prefers the Chinese community to change their greetings “Chiak Par Ar Boey?” to “Have you stock up your food supplies Ar Boey?”

    When PR forms the federal govt after the 13GE, I recommend that clownish baboon to be put sans clothing inside a cage in zoo negara, so that future generations can see for themselves what awaits those who would create chaos to dismember the country.

  5. #5 by baochingtian on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 12:54 pm

    How about an open air concert “Through My Window” :

    ” …I see a spark, it starts a fire
    Is this the one worth waiting for?
    Thought that I could do it without you
    Can’t exist like this anymore

    Now there’s me and you
    And we are not alone
    You and me
    We are together now

    Through my window, I can see there’s
    More than you and more than me

    Now there’s me and you, you and me
    We are not alone and we are together
    Through my window I can see
    Our wildest dreams could be so real”

  6. #6 by monsterball on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 12:55 pm

    Don’t waste time with EC….talk big and have no power….talk law and apply one sided laws.
    Until and unless EC dare to support NGOs to watch elections…this EC is a tool for UMNO B..to use.

  7. #7 by k1980 on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 12:55 pm

    Perkosa’s rally—

    Venue: The street of KL.
    Day: 9 July 2011.
    Event: Perkosakan the rakyat!

  8. #8 by Joshua on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 1:44 pm

    BN rigged the General Elections by Election Commission as proven in GE 2004 and GE2008.

    and the solution is here.

    Interim Good Governance Government – IGGG


  9. #9 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 1:55 pm

    · Bersih’s position: “Enough talk, now we walk” (Police saying “no” notwithstanding).

    · Perkasa/Ibrahim’s position: They would walk & stage a protest on the same day to “stop the Bersih’s rallyfrom happening.

    · Khairy/UMNO Youth’s position: It will hold another rally to “strengthen the democratic system” and show that “the voice of the people does not belong only to the opposition”.

    · Home Minister’s position: police would act against both groups if their actions during the rally affected national security.“If they are a threat to the safety of the country… then we will act… it doesn’t matter if you are pro or anti”.

    The political stakes are therefor raised running 9th July. Who will blink and soften its own position blink? Assuming no party, it will be interesting to see what happens on that day.

  10. #10 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 2:01 pm

    Since UMNO Youth & Perkasa also want to rally on the same day can the respective parties please sort out in advance the colour of their marchers’ shirts? Lets not have a mixed up – last minute. Supporters of different groups can bring their coloured shirts two or three days in advance into the city in order to change on that day itself for their rally. For surely a day before continuing to the 9th July – given the current Home Ministry’s stand- KL and all roads leading to it will be locked down and police turning back those with the rally coloured shirts.

  11. #11 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 2:19 pm

    That is if they don’t impose a curfew as early as the 8th July!

  12. #12 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 2:26 pm

    Of course one can treat what Perkasa’s cheif said as mere “barking” but Ibrahim did warn – “If they (ie Bersih) proceed, there will be a clash. If that happens, it is for the better”.

    One has to ask what does “it is for the better” mean. If there were a clash it cannot be better for Malaysians but he said , “for the better”. It is cryptic remark. It may be a bluff – or maybe a remark with knowledge aforethought of wider contingency plans for Perkasa to deliberately march on the same day against.

  13. #13 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 3:59 pm

    What surprises me is that KJ is now picking up the EC line. Clearly the basis of the pathetic line of argument comes from a Najib who is completely bankrupt of ideas. Instead of leading, he is sending his troops in on hopeless missions. What surprises me is there are still people that is willing to do Najib’s bidding and risking their personal reputation on it.

    Its time to leave the sinking ship including KJ. This political position is untenable and the longer he sticks to it, the worst he will end up. Obviously he is already wealthy and don’t need a career for the rest of his life but its tells of how woeful lacking the young Malay leaders are to have someone like him chose to subject himself to such ignomity, that he finds nothing better to do with his life.

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