Statement by Concerned Scholars on Coming Elections

Saturday, 19 May 2012
Press Statement

The 13th Malaysian general elections will be held sometime between now and April 2013.

These elections have the potential to be the most free and fair elections held in the country for several decades.

For the coming elections to live up to this potential, we call on the government and other major players and stakeholders to scrupulously observe the following priority concerns which we see as key to ensuring an outcome that can have greater legitimacy among Malaysians and outside observers:

1. Implementation of recommendations of the Parliamentary select committee to clean up the electoral process
2. Free and fair access to mass media for all parties
3. Public service staff at local, state and federal levels to observe strict neutrality
4. Prohibition on misuse of Government and associated public facilities and apparatus for electioneering purposes
5 All parties to be transparent and accountable in the use of money during the elections. Both coalitions need to disclose their sources of funding and provide a detailed account of their campaign expenditure

To enable a more level playing field for the coming elections, it is necessary that these concerns be addressed immediately and not just before the elections.

We are especially concerned that urgent measures be undertaken to ensure that the civil service and media strictly observe strict neutrality in the run up to the coming elections. Necessary measures could be proposed by civil society organizations engaged in monitoring the elections.

Further, to forestall any attempt at disruption of the election outcome, we propose that all political leaders and political parties agree to a short statement promising that they will respect the will of the people exercised at the polling booth as well as honour a peaceful transition of power.

This declaration – to be jointly crafted by the ruling and opposition parties – should be widely disseminated as a public service to discourage any individuals or groups that may be intent on creating mischief aimed at overturning the outcome of the elections.


Dr. Abdul Rahman Embong
Dr. Azmi Sharom
Azmil Tayeb (Ph. D. candidate)
Dr. James Chin
Dr Faisal S. Hazis
Dr. Farish A. Noor
Dr. Terence Gomez
Dr. Clive Kessler
Dr. Khoo Gaik Cheng
Dr. K. J. John
Lim Chee Han (Ph. D candidate)
Dr. Lim Teck Ghee
Dr. Francis K. W. Loh
Gregore Pio Lopez (PhD candidate}
Dr. Mustafa. K. Anuar
Dr. Ruslan bin Zainuddin
Dr. Subramaniam Pillay
Tan Beng Hui (Ph. D candidate)
Dr. Wong Chin Huat
Assoc Prof. Zaharom Nain

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Saturday, 19 May 2012 - 6:14 pm

    In view of the rising trend of political violence, the government should ensure voters’ safety.

  2. #2 by Winston on Saturday, 19 May 2012 - 8:32 pm

    Like that, how to guarantee their hold on power?

  3. #3 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 20 May 2012 - 3:03 am

    Academics – well they are academics! They’d come out with an idea like a “joint declaration” –to respect the will of the people exercised at the polling booth as well as honour a peaceful transition of power, and then disseminate to discourage any individuals or groups that may be intent on creating mischief aimed at overturning the outcome of the elections. How can such a thing work practically? First of all I doubt those on ruling side would agree to the wording let alone sign it. Even if they do, individuals or groups won’t listen and could ‘belakang’ be informed not to take it seriously.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 20 May 2012 - 3:19 am

    The direction things are going are clear – “funeral rite” protests in front of LGE’s house, burger and butt protest in front of Ambiga’s house (with authorities not taking action against). Malaysiakini May 19 reported “an angry mob pelted stones at two DAP state assemblypersons and party supporters at a high tea event in Merlimau, Malacca that was to feature Ambiga”. It was reported “the group clad in red T-shirts – some were the same ones worn by the crowd at last week’s Umno 66th anniversary at Bukit Jalil stadium! The colour “red” against Bersih’s yellow – what does that reminiscent of??? In Bangkok the two opposing camps driving the protests on the streets were the red-shirts and the yellow-shirts. Is it the message that no matter the election result, the matter may have to be settled on the streets of red versus yellow as in Bangkok?

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 20 May 2012 - 3:39 am

    Tunku Aziz’s unhappiness with LGE’s “biadap” treatment of his dissent (his objection to Bersih’s 3.0 was not against its objective for free and fair elections, which he supported, but more the way it challenged the law that led to the way it ended in violence as he foresaw) is personal. However what’s personal against DAP’s secretary-general – even the public diatribe against & denunciation of LGE’s attitude – even if justified, does not justify his transition to a positive and very public endorsement of the BN’s chief’s platform of transformation/policies!

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