Ahad, 22 September 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Election Commission took orders from Putrajaya, Ambiga tells Bersih tribunal

Posted: 21 Sep 2013 11:10 PM PDT

Muzliza Mustafa, TMI

Bersih co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said the Election Commission (EC) acted under the instructions of Putrajaya when it should have acted as an independent body.

Ambiga, who was the last witness at the Bersih People's Tribunal in Subang Jaya, stressed that the EC had taken a partisan approach when making statements.

"EC acted like they were under Putrajaya's control. I have problems with the commission for their failure in giving proper explanations on the issues surrounding the electoral roll and others under their purview," she said today.

She added that the commission did not say anything when election-related issues cropped up.

"They failed to fulfil their responsibilities to investigate political violence and other serious allegations during GE13," said Ambiga.

She told the tribunal the EC's sole responsibility was election matters. "If they have not got it right, it just shows their lack of empowerment," said Ambiga.

"It's like their hands were tied."

Among the issues brought to the tribunal's attention was how the electoral roll did not tally with the data kept by the National Registration Department, the indelible ink, and phantom voters as well as postal voters.

Ambiga said the EC had failed Malaysians on the indelible ink issue.

"They cannot do this and give wishy-washy answers. They are just letting it fade away and hope everybody will forget all about it.

"Many questions were not answered. This is not right.

"EC should be the one advising the government, not following their orders," said Ambiga.



Chin Peng set to “haunt” Parliament tomorrow

Posted: 21 Sep 2013 07:23 PM PDT

Eileen Ng, TMI

Parliament will convene tomorrow for the second time since the general election, and with the spectre of former communist leader Chin Peng hanging over it, many Members of Parliament are bound to raise Putrajaya's refusal to allow his ashes to be brought back and interred.

The presence of several opposition lawmakers at Chin Peng's wake will provide fodder for the Barisan Nasional backbenchers who are bound to raise a heckle and try to link DAP to the communist party.

Party members who attended the Bangkok wake of the former Communist Party of Malaya secretary-general said they were there on their own accord.

Klang MP Charles Santiago said he was in Bangkok for a meeting with non-governmental organisations and took the opportunity to drop by at the Wat That Thong temple where Chin Peng's remains lay.

The Star reported yesterday that the second-term DAP MP was seen kneeling and holding a joss stick at a floral dais inside the air-conditioned hall where the sealed casket bearing Chin Peng's remains was placed.

Together with Santiago were Selangor DAP committee member and former senator S. Ramakrishnan and Aliran exco member Sarajun Hoda. Also seen at the wake, but at a different time, were Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi and PKR Batu MP Tian Chua.

This may not provide the Minister in charge of parliamentary affairs  Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, the peaceful meeting he craves for, after being exhausted with the last meeting.

"I hope the House will continue to be peaceful," he told reporters wearily at a function this week.

Shahidan will also find himself under the spotlight in the wake of reports that his daughter was working for him in a "gazetted government post", a position the administration said should not be held by family members.

Chin Peng's death is not the only issue which has riled up Malaysians.

Equally controversial are the Sri Pristina school issue, Putrajaya's compensation to the two Automatic Enforcement System (AES) concessionaires, the softening of the economy, the Bumiputera Economic agenda and the ongoing Bersih People's Tribunal on electoral fraud.

The spike in violent crime, which includes the murder of Arab Malaysia Bank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi in July, has culminated in calls for the return of draconian laws to rein in criminals.

Both sides of the political divide are bound to set Parliament alive with these issues.

"While we cannot simply discuss any issues this time because the topic is strictly confined to the debate of Bills, expect MPs to find ways to weave it in, either during Question Time or during the course of the debate," said DAP's Kulai MP Liew Chin Tong.



Umno polls: Youth chief contender causes a stir at centre

Posted: 21 Sep 2013 07:02 PM PDT

(The Star) - An Umno Youth chief contender, clutching a copy of the Quran in his right hand, caused a stir when he went into a tirade against the ills of money politics after filing his nomination papers at the Putra World Trade Centre here.

Syed Rosli Syed Harman Jamalullail (pic) took a swipe at incumbent leader chief Khairy Jamaluddin and his line-up and swore he would not give in to corruption nor practise money politics if elected to the post.

The Pusat Bandar Taman Chempaka branch committee member claimed the current Youth leadership did not understand the actual struggle of the Malays.

He added that Khairy had spent 20 years outside Malaysia and was not able to understand the problems faced by the people.

"How can such a person understand the plight of the people?" he asked.

Syed Rosli, 37, drew the attention of the media and the Umno members who had gathered at the nomination centre, but was reprimanded by the working committee as any form of campaigning was only allowed outside the nomination area.

Syed Rosli is among four people challenging Khairy for the post.

The others are Akhramsyah Sanusi, a son of former Kedah mentri besar Tan Sri Sanusi Junid, former Merbok Umno Youth chief Karim Ali and Bukit Setiawangsa Umno Youth branch chief Irwan Ambak.

Asked if the five-way tussle for the post would create disunity within the wing, Khairy said: "The Youth members are wise enough and understand the process of democracy."

He added that there was also a contest for the post at the last party election in 2009 but the movement remained strong.

In that election, Khairy faced off a challenge by former Selangor mentri besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo and then Umno Youth exco member Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, the current Kedah mentri besar.

Umno Youth, together with the Wanita and Puteri wings, will hold their delegates meeting and elections simultaneously on Oct 12.


Ambiga, Bersih drawn into DAP’s CEC mess

Posted: 21 Sep 2013 01:30 PM PDT


Athi Shankar, FMT

A former DAP branch chairman has raised suspicion on why vocal election watchdog, Bersih and its leader S Ambiga had been strangely muted on the DAP polls fiasco.

Jalan Bagan Luar DAP branch ex-head G Asoghan wants to know why Ambiga had been in switch off mode from the start on DAP electoral process that was marred by irregularities.

He asked whether Ambiga had any conflict of interest that prevented her from rebuking the DAP leadership for failing to conduct a free and fair party election in Penang on Dec 15, 2012.

He said Ambiga had recently claimed that Bersih had an army of supporters demanding for free and fair elections in the country.

Hence, he said Ambiga should by now had commissioned a Bersih team to investigate the party members' allegations of irregularities in the DAP electoral process last year for positions in party central executive committee (CEC).

He pointed out Bersih was supposedly a neutral organisation championing a free and fair polls.

"As its leader, why Ambiga, a torch-bearer of democracy in the country, has been strangely quiet on DAP election fiasco last year that breached all democratic principles?" asked Asoghan at a press conference here yesterday.

He also expressed shock over Ambiga's muteness even on current undemocratic happenings in the DAP, in which party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had been accused of rushing to hold an internal re-election on Sept 29 without adhering to the party constitution.

Firstly, Asoghan said the re-election should not be held in a special congress, pointing out that such congress shall be held only to address and resolve an urgent arising matter, such as a resolution or constitutional amendment.

He also questioned on legitimacy of special congress given the invalidity of CEC, the party highest decision-making body, since the Registrar of Societies (ROS) did not recognise last year's party election.

"The party is holding a special congress under whose authority? Did ROS sanction it?" asked Asoghan.

He claimed that a re-election should be held as a separate event by itself after being sanctioned by the ROS, and the party branches should be issued a 10 to 12-week notice to make fresh nomination of candidates for the re-election.

He also said the event shall just be a balloting process to elect new CEC members, thus shall not have speeches by party national chairman and secretary-general as stipulated in the notice of special congress.

"There is no CEC. So there is no chairman and secretary-general until after the CEC polls. This is just fresh polls," stressed Asoghan. 



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