Bersih 2.0 to EC: Enough talk, now we walk

Hafiz Yatim | Jun 20, 11 6:36pm

The Coalition for a Free and Fair Election (Bersih 2.0) movement will proceed with its march on July 9 despite attempts by the Election Commission (EC) dissuade them from proceeding by offering a dialogue.

Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan (right) said the movement’s representatives have already met the EC with its proposals for electoral reform before but there had been no progress.

“We thank the EC for the invitation but the time for talk and discussion has passed. This is due the reports of blatant abuses in the recent elections in Sarawak and in view of the impending general election.

“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,” she said.

Ambiga, a former Bar Council chairperson and recipient of the International Women of Courage 2009 award from the United States, said in the public interest, the EC should tell the public about the suggestions which have been made to the government.

“Although we acknowledge that the EC has introduced some reform to postal votes, it is our view this reform do not go far enough,” she said.

She also dismissed EC’s claim that Bersih is not independent.

“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 where the suggestions for reform comes from. Whether it is from the government, the opposition, NGOs or any citizen. They should deal with all suggestions on their merits,” she said.

‘Several meetings with EC’

Meanwhile fellow Bersih steering committee member and human rights lawyer Haris Ibrahim, also shared similar sentiments with Ambiga.

He said the perception put that EC has been made a scapegoat by Ambiga is incorrect as he remembered in her speech that she had reached out to the EC.

“In fact, Bersih have held several meetings with EC prior to this on election reforms including on the eight points raised in our demands. The EC said they will raise the forward the issue to the government.

“We have continuously seen blatant disregard of reforms in the recent Sarawak state elections. Hence, what is the so-called meet that EC is proposing? We had already met,” he said.

Haris said the problem, as Ambiga pointed out, is not with the EC alone but also the government who is claims is not interested to see these reforms.

However, he stressed that his comments to Malaysiakini was his personal views and does not represent the whole steering committee.

EC: Street demo can’t solve problems

Today EC chairperson, Bernama reported Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof saying that the commission was prepared to meet Bersih if it calls off the rally and not make the commission a scapegoat.

“We can discuss on that condition, but if they (Bersih) want to hold the illegal street demonstration and meet us just as a rubber stamp or an excuse, it is meaningless.

“To me, a street demonstration will not solve any problem. Amendments to the law will not happen or their demands accepted by staging a street demonstration. No way,” he told reporters at his office in Putrajaya today.

Abdul Aziz was asked to comment on Bersih’s insistence to hold an illegal street demonstration on July 9 despite the strong condemnation by several quarters who are opposed to the idea.

The Bersih 2.0 rally aims to highlight the need for meaningful electoral reform and petition the Agong to step in on the matter.

The eight demands of the coalition are:

•A thorough review of the electoral roll
•Reforms to the postal balloting process
•Marking voters who have cast their ballots with indelible ink
•A minimum 21 day campaign period
•Equitable access to media by participating parties
•Strengthen institutions which enforces election laws
•Eradicating electoral bribery
•Putting a stop to dirty politics.

  1. #1 by Joshua on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 3:57 am

    The eight demands of the coalition are:

    •A thorough review of the electoral roll
    •Reforms to the postal balloting process
    •Marking voters who have cast their ballots with indelible ink
    •A minimum 21 day campaign period
    •Equitable access to media by participating parties
    •Strengthen institutions which enforces election laws
    •Eradicating electoral bribery
    •Putting a stop to dirty politics.

    Joshua says all the EIGHT demands are all subject to opinions only and supervision is impossible.

    Tell me what would happen in football match when the referee and the linesmen are bias.

    I tell you the whole system of BN is rotten including the Election Commission because of the following proven factors:-

    For GE 2004, I brought up the issue to EC and others of discrepancies of the ballot papers issued for the Parliament seats and the state seats under it. There cannot be discrepancies but most seats have discrepancies into thousands.
    Nothing had happened.

    Then I lodged Police Reports in 2006 on GE 2004 and also lodged report to MACC or ACA and nothing happened.

    Then I also lodged Police Report on GE 2008 in 2008 and went on to file two High Court cases in 2008 but the High Court decided to strike out the cases due to time and other technical factors. I think the Judge was later given a datukship and a promotion as well.

    Nothing happen in the EC and so the next EC, business as usual for the EC to make more money in rigging the GE13.

    I also wrote a book “GE 2004 -victory rigslide or landslide?”

    So the only way forward is to have a third independent party to scrutinise all the finally results before declare the winners after checking all the ballot papers issued. Whenever, there is a discrepancy, the reasons must be identified in the counting centre or the next morning.

    RCI must be installed now on EC.

  2. #2 by Joshua on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 4:02 am

    correction please:-

    “There cannot be discrepancies but most seats have discrepancies into thousands”- should be
    There cannot be discrepancies in any seat but some seats have significant discrepancies and one seat into thousands of discrepancy.

    such distortions produce illegal Governments – Federal and States

  3. #4 by bruno on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 6:09 am

    This coming Bersih rally is about peoples power versus authoritarian power.A massive crowd turnout only will ensure a successful Bersih rally.Because the Bersih participants will be multi racial,and the anti Bersih Perkasa is only race based,so is Umno youth.

    The EC can only be a neutral and independant institution if Umno allows it.The EC can come up with all sorts of reforms or except all of Bersih’s demands,but they still have to get the go ahead from GOM.The GOM or Umno will definitely say no so the EC’s hands are tied anyway.The only way is a huge massive crowd.

    A huge massive crowd will prevent the GOM or Umno to send in the goons.Even if they wanted to, the authorities will advised them not to.In the end this rally is about numbers.Big numbers and Umno,GOM and Perkasa will back down.Small numbers and they will chased the rally goers home.

  4. #5 by burn on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 7:29 am

    add one more point… gerrymandering!

  5. #6 by k1980 on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 8:34 am

    Old Abraham Ali and his wife were married for many years…, even though they hated each other. Whenever there was a confrontation, yelling could be heard deep into the night. Old Abraham would shout, ‘When I die, I will dig my way up and out of the grave and come back and haunt you for the rest of your life!’

    To everyone’s relief, he died of a heart attack. After the funeral, his wife went straight to the local bar and began to party, dacing the poco-poco as if there was no tomorrow.

    Her neighbors, concerned for her safety, asked, ‘Aren’t you afraid that he may indeed be able to dig his way out of the grave and haunt you for the rest of your life?’

    Mrs Abraham put down her drink and said, ‘Let him dig. I had him buried upside down. He would dig his way out the other side of Earth. And you know men won’t ask for directions.’

  6. #7 by dagen on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 8:35 am

    Now wot is wrong with bersih’s 8-points request? The request means barring umno’s participation in all elections.

  7. #8 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 8:52 am

    I think there need to be an eye on KJ which has stated Ibrahim Ali should be arrested. The truth is Ibrahim Ali is willing to be arrested if it will stop Bersih and in fact is his goal.

    So someone should put it out there that arresting Ibrahim Ali does give the govt the right to arrest Bersih organisers and supporters i.e., its an old Ops Lallang trick is not going to work. The days of such hypocrisy is over..

  8. #9 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 9:09 am

    ///This coming Bersih rally is about peoples power versus authoritarian power///-#4 by bruno. If this is what it boils down to – which appears the case when one says “enough talk now we walk” then the question is : what has people power got to overcome State power ie batons, chemical-laced water and tear gas??? Well one could say “numbers” galvanised by Facebook, sms etc to draw international and national attention to the plight of the disenfranchised who have no institutional channels to express discontent to effect regime change through conventional (rigged). Will the numbers be there? Do we have massive unemployment of hundreds of thousands of protesting youths to go to the street?

  9. #10 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 9:10 am

    That there may be a crackdown is a real possibility because partly the fear that what happens in Egypt Tunisia and Libya might catch on here; and secondly the ruling elites are themselves not united – with different factions within UMNO vying for power – and lacking imagination (mixed with palpable arrogance) on how to deal with Bersih’s street challenge, may just panic and risk a massive repressive crackdown and even declare emergency (more as an excuse for one faction to take over another control of the wheel from the other). In such a scenario the Opposition must be prepared to face the music including the loss of its states won in 308.

  10. #11 by wanderer on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 9:30 am

    The days of wine and roses are well over!…one can only put up with these UMNO lawbreakers for as much as one can take. It s time for action…to smash this evil racist regime straight on the face. True Malaysians have to decide and about time, it is either, to be oppressed indefinitely or finding a new direction for our beloved country. No guts, no glory!!

  11. #12 by best4rakyat on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 9:39 am

    Firstly,why bring in racial issue and chinese for coming rally.Totally irrelevant of this guy and is obvious to common sense for action must be taken by charging him to seditious act.

    Secondly,if PM really have vision to see Malaysia heading towards what we should aspire by his 1Malaysia and transformation he should or rather making a recommendation asking Ambiga S be assigned a key post in SPR to further improve a better political system for Malaysia instead.

    Sometimes, we fail to move forward because of ignorance to see from another aspect merely denial of truth that Malaysia really need change to better and we have many positive malaysian out there to help the nation truly!

    Khairy is doing right this time for his very independent mature comment on Perkasa’s racial intent for which will damage our nation if overlook by authority. That’s a very positive vision by example for future of malaysian youth to be with understanding and tolerance. This must not be too politically incline whenever harmony of malaysian to live together is jeopardised by irresponsible individual or group!

  12. #13 by Comrade on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 10:10 am

    Umno/BN is desperate to stay in control
    Electoral malpractices used to achieve its goal
    To the BN-friendly EC, enough of talk
    Justice to be sought through the Bersih walk

  13. #14 by for my country1 on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 11:01 am

    I and many other malaysians (tens of thousand of us) will be going for the KL Marathon on 26 June …..It is so fun and no issue. We had ran and we will run like true malaysians. There was no issue year in year out. So what is the problem in having a rallies. I do not see the problem. Infact we should encourage more of such rallies for the camaradie of all malaysians. We malaysians have been coop up in our work day in and day out. Such rallies on a week end would be fun and will translate for the goodness of the country…also a get to know your fellow malaysians.

  14. #15 by baochingtian on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 11:02 am

    “The Bersih 2.0 rally aims to highlight the need for meaningful electoral reform and petition the Agong to step in on the matter.”
    How about MJ’s song that says “…take away my money, throw away my time…” ???

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