The Bersih 3 organisers have somewhat got an agenda in creating a “logger head” situation with the authorities on their sit-in protest on April 28.
They had insisted that the venue should be at Dataran Merdeka despite the City Hall’s objection.
It is somewhat amusing and at the same time puzzling that they had remained uncompromising on the venue when the subject matter of concern is the push for political reforms.
It gives rise to whether the organisers were giving priority to the venue or the cause that they are championing, which is related to political and electoral reforms.
Already the management of Bukit Jalil National Stadium and Stadium Merdeka have agreed to allow Bersih organisers to use their place for their rally on Saturday.
But that is not good enough for the organisers who had been adamant in only staging their sit-in protest in Dataran Merderka.
Their clear defiance on the venue proper clearly points to their deliberate attempt to create a ruckus or troubled situation at their venue of choice. “Whether you like it or not, we want to hold our rally there,” that’s their stand on the matter.
There seems to be a shift from its primary objective of rallying for a cause on electoral reforms to arguing about the venue now.
The blatant refusal to take up the offer of a different venue smacks of great suspicion and obviously smells like an agenda in the making.
This time around, the rally apparently was to protest against the Parliamentary Select Committee’s (PSC) audit of the electoral roll which they claimed was incomplete, and had not addressed issues related to postal voting, election offences and measures to end dirty politics.
To set the record straight, the government had dutifully in response to the call for electoral reforms set up a Parliamentary Select Committee.
After a long six months of deliberations, it has tabled its final report in Dewan Rakyat with 22 recommendations covering voter registration, maintaining clean electoral rolls, dissolution of Parliament, campaigning and polling.
The parliamentary select committee members were made up of five representatives from Barisan Nasional and three from Pakatan Rakyat and one Independent.
Although the committee members were given a free reign to disagree on the views brought up during its deliberations, it came as a surprise that when the Electoral Reforms report was finally tabled, the Opposition staged a walk out from Dewan Rakyat.
The rakyat should this time around put serious thought to the planned Bersih 3 whether it is justified.
They should ask themselves whether it has been politically hijacked for the agenda of certain individuals to gain political mileage and whether it is to drum up enough support running up to the coming general election.
Worst still if it is a deliberate attempt to create unrest at the venue and spark off violence.
With all those talk of electoral reforms, Pakatan Rakyat should perhaps look at their own backyard first.
During the Pakatan Rakyat’s party election in 2010, there were allegations of rigging and vote manipulation.
It was marred by internal conflicts and allegations of vote irregularities.
Some of the irregularities are as follows:
- Inconsistencies with vote tally and voter turnout, and ballot boxes transferred to other locations.
PKR Rembau division chief Badrul Hisham Shaharin (or widely known as Chegubard) had in a letter to Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail complained that:
- There were inconsistencies in the vote tally posted on the party’s website with some figures changing mid-week;
- He received complaint from a Sabah division chief that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had instructed him to support a certain candidate and reject another;
- Ballot boxes in Libaran and Sandakan were taken to different locations for tallying without the presence of agents of the candidates.
- The numbers of votes were much higher than voter turnout. For example, Badrul said counting and polling agents confirmed that voter turnout in the electoral log was only 70, but there were 200 papers in the ballot box;
Money politics and phantom voters
- Lim Soo Nee, PKR-Kulim assemblyman had also complained that money politics were involved and there were phantom voters in the Kulim-Bandar Baharu divisional election.
- He alleged there were “cash payment” to some after they had cast their ballot papers;
- There were presence of “helpers” to help delegates mark their choices of candidates on the ballot papers;
- Photostated ballot papers were distributed to delegates;
- There were 306 PKR members who were eligible to vote, but 420 ballot papers were issued during the election. He questioned where the extra 114 voters came from.
All these points to a lot of happenings behind the scene. We only hope that the people would not be taken for a ride.