Let us have a real clean and fair electionEver since a newspapers reported that all police leave have been frozen, many have been speculating that the next Malaysia's election will be soon. Now even the controversial Election Commission's chairman Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman who recently accepted to have his term extended by a year just after saying he have not (and may not want to stay on) as election chairman after an amendment to the Constitution to extend the retire age from 65 to 66 years of age, was bulldozed through the Parliament, was reported as saying: "When I say the election is around the corner, you better believe me because it is not a joke."
Lourdes Charles and Mazwin Nik Anis on Sunday January 6, 2008 in theStar online have also quoted the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan as saying that the main reason for the freeze was to conduct dry runs for the next general election. He was reported to have said: "We have several reasons for doing so; the main reason being that we need to have dry runs. There are many things that we need to do when the elections are called. We must be prepared."
theStar online has also reported the Election Commission's chairman Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman as having said: "I purposely said that to remind everyone - voters and political parties alike - to be ready as the elections will be held soon. "I just want to be fair to all. Democracy works when participation by political parties is vibrant on the ground. We would like very much to encourage as many parties to participate in the elections as possible, hence the 'warning' so that everybody can be prepared,"
the Election Commission's chairman Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman was reported to have said the reason for his comments was not to show that he has power, but quoted the above (that he wants to be fair to everyone) as the reasons.
He was reported as having said: "When I say the election is around the corner, you better believe me because it is not a joke. It is definitely not a joke. You don't joke about these things."
theStar online had also quoted him as saying: "I purposely said that to remind everyone - voters and political parties alike - to be ready as the elections will be held soon.
"I just want to be fair to all. Democracy works when participation by
political parties is vibrant on the ground. We would like very much to
encourage as many parties to participate in the elections as possible, hence
the 'warning' so that everybody can be prepared," he said.
Now if only the MSM (main stream mass media - printed newspapers, radio, television stations) is also prepared to be fair to everyone and give equal access to both incumbent ruling coalition as well a opposition parties. Will he MSM do that?
And also if only the election process is fair to all parties, incumbents as well as oppositions as well as to he electorates and Malaysians by not having ruling like "it is not bribery as long as the funds are not disbursed by the candidates". In some recent by-elections, the public agencies poured huge amount of public funds into the infrastrure and others of the 2 constituencies involved in the by-elections. The road paving machines were literally repaving the roads during the nights just before the by-elections.
Do also read about what the current Opposition Leader Yang Berhormat Lim Kit Siang has to say about fair election: Election Commission Chairman Rashid should implement "caretaker govt" concept to ensure free, fair, clean election
YB Lim Kit Siang says he will seek a meeting with the Election Commission's chairman Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman to ask that a caretaker government takes over after the dissolution of the Parliament before the formation of a new government. This is to ensure that incumbents do not make unfair use of their positions in the election process and use public machinery, resources and funds for any electioneering purposes to benefit any political party or candidate.
He is going to ask that any candidate who benefits unfairly from any "unhealthy" and dishonest practices such as campaigning assistance by the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister or Cabinet Minister through the abuse of their government positions or misuse of public funds and resources, should be subject to disqualification.
An example is the above mentioned by-election. Although the government poured huge amount of funds into the two constituencies in the very short period just before the by-election, the Election Commission's chairman Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman had ruled that "it is not bribery as long as the funds are not disbursed by the candidates". But this is not fair election practice as the candidates who won belonged to the the very ruling coalition then which was responsible for the disbursement of huge amount of public funds, and this can be taken as benefiting the winning candidates, by by YB Lim Kit Siang description of how a fair election process should be, the winning candidate should be disqualified as they have benefited by this use of public funds which was then in control of the ruling coalition to which the winning candidates belong.
Come on Malaysia. Let us have a real clean and fair election. This was what BERSIH had been asking for, and it is a fair request. Let us have equal access to the main stream mass media (printed newspapers, radio and televisions) for both the candidates of the ruling coalition and the opposition parties. Let us not have any abuse of public funds and public machineries for electioneering purposes. Disqualify any candidates who may have benefited from such abuses of things belonging to the public.