Source: The Mole
The swearing in of MPs at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday should somehow bring a closure to issues surrounding the 13th General Election.
After all, despite all the allegations of fraud during the polls and threats of boycotting the parliament, all 89 MPs from the Opposition took their oath of office.
In many ways than not, the swearing in marked the start of a new episode post GE-13.
While some may argue otherwise, the fact that the Opposition MPs had joined 133 of their counterparts from Barisan Nasional for the swearing in, it is an “acceptance” of the election results.
Prior to the swearing-in, Selangor BN leader Datuk Datuk Seri Noh Omar had challenged Pakatan leaders to proceed with their plan of boycotting the ceremony.
He succinctly summed up the issue: “If they are really unhappy with the election results, do not take the oath. Do not use the political immunity.”
He then added: “You cannot accept the election results selectively,” when commenting on a statement earlier from Selangor Pas deputy commissioner Khalid Samad who said that the coalition “recognised its victory but not the defeat“.
Khalid had said: “Of course we recognised our victory, but not our defeat.”
He said this when asked whether by attending the swearing-in would mean that Pakatan is recognising the election results.
In the national polls on May 5, Barisan Nasional (BN) had won 133 seats while Pakatan pact had managed to win 89 seats.
Despite being able to secure better results than the 2008 general election, the Opposition led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim continued to accuse the polls was laced with cheating and fraud so much so that they had almost immediately after the election was concluded embarked on protests and rallies.
Most “popular” of their accusations were the presence of some 40,000 Bangladeshi phantom voters and blackouts during the polling process in several election centres.
While the protests were held to pressure the resignation of the panel members of the Election Commission, the Opposition did not leave their efforts merely through the political activism but also turned to the Courts.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat strategic director Rafizi Ramli had said in a statement that the opposition pact had collectively filed 25 election petitions for parliamentary seats and 10 state seats.
For parliamentary seats’ petitions, PKR filed the most number with 19, while Pas filed four and DAP with two.
On June 12, The Star reported Pakatan had also managed to file an additional three petitions which are Kudat, Tawau and Libaran.
BN itself had filed 21 election petitions following the 13th General Elections.
In series of post conferences after the general elections, Rafizi had alleged that there were extra ballot papers, irregular serial numbers and switching of polls results in Balik Pulau, alleged blackout incident in Kulim-Bandar Baru parliamentary seat and allegation that some votes were counted earlier in Alor Gajah and Grik parliamentary seats.
However, despite all the “revelations” by the Opposition of election fraud, it is interesting to note that none of the petitions filed by the Opposition mentioned anything about the presence of “Bangladeshi phantoms“.
And against his normal practice in the past and on other issues, Rafizi did not publish any of the police reports in relation to the allegations about the Bangladeshi phantoms.
Allegations of the presence of 40,000 Bangladeshi phantom voters was dismissed by Bangladesh’s High Commissioner to Malaysia A.K.M. Atiqur Rahman who repudiated Rafizi’s contention, saying until now there is no evidence or report lodged to back the allegations.
In turn, DAP MP for Serdang Ong Kian Ming had reportedly apologised for mistaking a registered Malaysian voter as a “Bangladeshi” phantom voter and even PKR news organ Suara Keadilan had to apologise for making similar accusation on one of its own supporters.
On the allegations of blackout incidents at polling centres, the Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar had said that there were no police reports being lodged on the polling day or within 24 hours later.
“We are talking based on facts. No police report was lodged on the incident on May 5 and no EC officers or party agents complained to us about it.”
“TNB (Tenaga Nasional Berhad) had also issued a statement to clarify that there were no blackouts or power shortage incidents within 24 hours on the day,” Wan Ahmad reportedly said.
Wan Ahmad said this in response to a police report lodged several days after polling by Pas’ Seri Serdang assemblyman Noor Hanim Ismail who claimed that said the incident did happen at Sekolah Kebangsaan Serdang, and Pas candidate’s agent had taken photographs before and after the incident happened.
He pointed that it is the same photo which had been used to claim that a blackout incident had occurred in other places including in Bentong.
What is baffling is how did Pakatan managed to convince some of the protesters in the much-hyped “Black 505” rallies despite not being able to furnish any evidence of its allegations over the electoral fraud?
After holding nine-rallies nationwide, the poor turnout at the “finale” on Saturday at Padang Merbok, just a kilometre away from the Parliament, could be very telling.
Maybe, most of the protesters have wised up to the electoral fraud allegations and that the Opposition leaders were going to take their oath in less than 48 hours.
And maybe, they too sense that the GE13 needs a closure and it was time to move on.