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GE14: S'wak Pemantau will be on the lookout for offences

Bersih 2.0  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | After the Election Commission announced the election date on April 11, Bersih 2.0 launched the Pemantau campaign for the 14th general election this coming May 9.

Pemantau is the peoples’ initiative to observe and prevent election fraud and election offences this coming GE14.

Pemantau will be observing the conduct of the EC, political and candidates and their campaigns throughout the election period with major focus starting on nomination day.

All wrongdoings and election offences or fraud will be reported and appropriate court action will be taken if the need arises. The Sarawak Pemantau team currently consists of more than 10 volunteers and will focus on these 10 election offences:

  • Bribery and vote-buying
     
  • Treating and gifts
     
  • Undue government handouts/inducement
     
  • Undue use of government machinery
     
  • Excessive spending/lavish events
     
  • Bias behaviour by public institutions (e.g. EC/police)
     
  • Advance voting and postal-voting malpractices
     
  • Electoral roll problems
     
  • Problems on voting day
     
  • Political violence, intimidation and harassment during campaigning.

Sarawak Bersih would also like to warn all the political parties especially BN to abide by the democratic conventions of a caretaker government until after the polling day on May 9 when there is a new government in place.

We also want to remind the state government not to use state government machineries and assets to assist BN campaigns or BN candidates that will contest in the parliamentary seats.

Sarawak Bersih urges political parties to abide by the caretaker government ethics as had been enshrined in Australian Capital Territory 2012 General Election on Guidance on Caretaker Conventions and London Cabinet Office on General Election Guidance 2010.

After Parliament was dissolved and until a new government has been elected, the federal government will be the caretaker government and must not:

  • Makes new policies that will bind the next government
     
  • Make new appointments of important positions
     
  • Sign major contracts and undertakings
     
  • Announce new grants in any forms
     
  • Lay any foundation stones for projects and announce new schemes
     
  • Make promises to build infrastructures or implement mega public projects

In recognising that any political party may form a new government in the next Parliament, the caretaker government should not make binding policy decisions or enter into new agreements.

More importantly, it should also not use government machinery and resources or announce projects for its own political advantage.

Unfortunately, in the past, Malaysia’s elections have been marred by the brazen use of government resources for political party purposes, creating an uneven playing field between the incumbent and other candidates.

In Sarawak, there had already been misuse of government machineries and assets for campaign purposes by the BN government. Sarawak Bersih has received several reports on treating and gifts and undue government influences and handouts.

Ensure accountability

For the record, nine election offences had been recorded:

The five offences on undue government influences and handouts are:

  • Fatimah Abdullah, Minister of Welfare, Community Well-being, Women, Family and Child Development had given a donation from Petronas with the total sum of RM30,000 to the Pemulihan Dalam Komuniti (PDK).
     
  • Alexander Nanta Linggi, caretaker federal deputy minister of rural and regional development announcing federal grants to 39 organisations including JKKK, Women Bureaus, PIBG and NGOs which during the handout he campaigned to vote for BN.
     
  • Hajah Rohani Abdul Karim, incumbent Batang Lupar MP, handing out “Wang Ihsan Bencana Banjir” by the state Welfare Department at Dewan Kg Segali to 174 families that had been affected by floods. She also handed out BR1M to 20 recipients. Total amount of handouts was RM87, 000.
     
  • Hajah Nancy Shukri handing out BR1M to 341 people from Simunjan amounting to RM266, 800 during a “Majlis Penyerahan Baucer BR1M 2018”.
     
  • Hajah Nancy Shukri also officiated a “Quickwin Programme” and handed out flood relief to Felcra Sadong Jaya participants at the Dewan Masyarakat Sadong Jaya. The Sadong Jaya assemblyperson Aidel Lariwoo was also present at the event.

The two offences of treating and gifts are:

  • Hajah Nancy Shukri organised a “Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat” at her parliamentary constituency. All items were sold at a very discounted price. Free motor oil service and hair trimming were also held during the event.
     
  • Rohani Abdul Karim also organised a “Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat” at her parliamentary constituency. Flour was sold as low as RM0.15/kg. Three tonnes of basic need items such as flour, cooking oil and sugar were donated by her to be sold at a low price.

For further information and updated offences, readers may view the Election Offences Map here.

In January, caretaker prime minister Najib Abdul Razak stated that BN was committed to ensuring a clean and fair election. The BN manifesto also expresses a “commitment to nurture the growth of democratic participation”.

Similarly, Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto makes a commitment to “clean, fair and transparent elections”. Sarawak Bersih therefore expects both sides to honour these commitments and not abuse the rakyat’s money to further their own political agendas. Please campaign fairly.

Rakyat Sarawak wants to ensure the accountability of politicians in using government funds. We call on Sarawakians to reject money politics during political campaigning.

We also would like to ask people of Sarawak to take part in observing the election process and political campaigns to make sure they abide by the law and the constitution. If the public see any election offences, human rights violations or racist and violent political campaigns, please report them to:

Website : aduan.pemantau.org

Hotline : 03-79314444

Whatsapp : 011-17721546

E-mail : [email protected]

Those who like to sign up as Pemantau volunteers can register here.

We urge the EC and political parties to ensure that the GE14 will be free and fair.

We would also like to take this opportunity to urge people to go out and vote and help us observe the situation at all polling stations located both in urban or rural areas.

Keluar mengundi dan kalahkan penipuan!


BERSIH 2.0 is an electoral reform coalition advocating free and fair elections.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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