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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Enough of diversions: BN must clear up election fraud before GE-13

Sulaiman Kamal | 1:50 PM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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The Malaysia of today is too fraught with unnecessary nothings that the real issues often slip through the cracks. Diversionary tactics are the true and tried methods employed by the Barisan National government to divide, distract and distance the population from the real matters of nation building, a worsening economy and rising costs of living.
It has been a mechanism honed to both mislead and camouflage the establishment's inability to turn around their own mismanaged and ill-judged decisions.
The latest hot topic seized by the BN politicians to divert attention from their coalition's problems involve PAS' newly-elected deputy president, the hugely popular Mat Sabu. BN boss UMNO says it is upset over Sabu's statement that the real freedom fighters were not from UMNO, but included many other Malay individuals and groups including Mat Indera and the Putera-Amcja.

The real motive to stop Pakatan and PAS from further exposing voter fraud
Meanwhile, the real matters of election fraud slip by unnoticed. The public is conveniently diverted to a trumped-up issue based on UMNO's interpretation of history. And this is something PAS, which has been at the forefront of exposing voter fraud especially within the armed forces, need to take cognizance of. Debate and tell the real story to the Malay community, scold UMNO for their lies, but do not forget the all-important issue of GE-13.
With or without Prime Minister Najib Razak's toy Parliamentary Select Committe on electoral reform, the BN has no intention to reform at all. Why should they when the existing loopholes were intentionally created to help them win? But does that mean Pakatan Rakayat must open the door even wider for the BN to push through greater electoral fraud?
So Pakatan and PAS must continue to expose voter impropriety especially to the ordinary folk in the rural areas and the armed forces. Do not be side tracked by the Bukit Kepong-Communist issue. If necessary, Pakatan and PAS should form two desks - one on voter fraud and the other on Bukit Kepong - to ensure both issues are tracked and driven home to voters without any ommission.
Let us learn from history, we should not be distracted even by history
The whole issue of Bukit Kepong and the Communist presence in Malaysian society at a time that is long past really depends on which side of the fence you choose to read your history.
A old saying says that “history is written by the victors” - a point well taken by the ancient Egyptians; who only carved stories of their victories on their walls, their defeats never made it to public records. Instead, all we read are glowing writings of their many accomplishments yet, kings and queens who were considered un-popular were erased from public records, their monuments destroyed and their history totally re-written. The real question we need to ask ourselves is, whose version of history are we to believe?
Yet, the problem is not history itself, but rather the version served to Malaysian society. Above all, at this crucial stage, let not history be another diversionary tactic employed to sway us away from the corruption and mismanagement practiced by the current government. Which has always been the case with the BN whenever there is a general election round the corner, emphasis will be given to all matters except those that really matter.
The Election Commission chief has finally conceded that indelible ink poses less problems than a biometric system. According to EC chairman Abdul Aziz Yusof, while biometrics may seem the “perfect system” in theory, there were loopholes in practice, which have already been pointed out by Bersih organisers, Pakatan leaders and other members of civil society. The EC chief also admitted that a biometric system could also malfunction on voting day itself, which could leave both government, opposition and citizens in a quandry. Apart from that, biometrics was “very expensive” in comparison with indelible ink and required at least seven months' lead time.
This admission comes in the light of independant investigations by PAS into the voter registration lists, whereby the PAS Youth wing had successfully exposed to the EC the existence of 'clone' and phantom voters. It is now incumbent on the EC to clean up the election registration lists, and show proof to citizens that it has really done so.
Only too happy for the PSC to 'hang'
To date, one still wonders how much work the PSC has done to seriously combat election fraud since Najib casually tossed out the idea? Probably zero, and now, everyone seems to be crazed by the Mat Sabu--Mat Indera issue. But given UMNO's conduct in the past and now, is it any wonder why such a party is not serious in combating election fraud despite evidence that blatantly stares us in the face?
And as the nation addresses the issue of its election process, one of the vital things the EC must attend to is allowing all citizens the right to vote and this includes those working overseas. Indeed, overseas citizens must be accorded the opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to vote; and it is the task of the government to ensure that they do.
According to EC chairman Abdul Aziz Yusof, this will “hopefully happen in the next general election”. For postal votes that is. No mention yet on automatic registration. Even so, this is still a small step forward to ensure that all citizens of Malaysia get to elect those they feel are worthy to lead government. But Malaysians must not be so trusting and just allow things to stop here. Insist that it is carried out and demand details on how enforcement will be conducted to ensure there is no additional voter fraud, but less.
Change is the call of the day
A democratic government is one that is elected by the people and the Barisan Nasional is therefore not a government, based on this definition. Instead, it formed government with Najib inheriting the PM's chair from a retiring Abdullah Badawi. If he was truly sesnsitive of what democracy means, Najib would have held snap polls long ago in order to claim his rightful mandate. But here he is, fighting to maintain the status quo. Is it any wonder then that his administration thinks there is nothing wrong with electoral fraud?
But due to the insistence of the Pakatan and Bersih, some progress has been made in terms of citizen awareness. It has taken BN more than 50 years to finally acknowledge it needs to heed the people. But said to say, it is too little and too late. BN has overstayed because it looks like it has reached a situation when the people want only one thing - change.

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