Posted: 29 Nov 2013 03:52 PM PST
Jacqueline Png, fz.com
Maria Chin Abdullah today officially took over as the chairperson of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections' (Bersih), with Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa as the vice-chairperson.
Chin was already confirmed as the new chairperson after she emerged as the only nominee for the position when nominations closed on Nov 8.
Ahamd Farouk polled 37 votes in the contest for the vice-chairperson post, beating his contender Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh by seven votes.
Ahmad Farouk, a trained cardiothoracic surgeon, lectures at Monash University Malaysia. He led the medical team during the Bersih 2 and 3 rallies.
Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) executive officer Masjaliza Hamzah polled 51 votes to take over as treasurer, beating Nahar Md Nor.
Two new steering committee members with portfolio elected are Farhana Halim and New Sin Yew. The unsuccessful candidates are K Arumugam, Ng Chak Ngoon and Hishamuddin Rais.
Bersih has 89 endorsing NGOs, and representatives from 67 member organisations took part in the coalition's first internal election. They included three postal votes from East Malaysia and one vote that was cast via email.
Bersih will continue to conduct regional election to form its full committee by the end of January.
Chin took over the helm of the election watchdog from current co-chairpersons Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Datuk A. Samad Said.
"The most immediate tasks we need to begin with are to stop the redelineation exercise, clean up the electoral roll and build up a stronger Bersih force through our regional branches." Chin said
Chin also launched a petition to the Yang di-Pertaun Agong calling for the resignation of all seven commissioners of the Election Commission.
"The EC has failed the nation in conducting free and fair elections, thus they should resign.
"We also want to halt redelineation exercise to until a new EC board is formed and the electoral rolls are reexamined."
Chin said the new election commissioners should consist of retired judges, senior lawyers and other members of the civil society.
"We urge NGOs to sign the petition and we aim to give it to the King in January," she told reporters after the election results were announced.
Chin said there are no plans for another Bersih rally for now as they will allow time for the King to respond.
"We are also waiting for the report from the Bersih People's Tribunal to show more evidence (of flaws in the election system)," she said.
Posted: 29 Nov 2013 03:48 PM PST
With DAP state-level elections looming tomorrow calls are being made for delegates to vote wisely based on candidates contributions and not sentiments.
A DAP veteran has called on delegates voting in tomorrow's state-level DAP elections to cast their votes based on what the candidates have contributed to the party over the past three years.
Jalan Tembikai DAP branch head K Gunabalan said: "Delegates must choose wisely and not be swayed by sentiments, nor elements of cronyism."
Gunabalan fears that the over 1,000 delegates, casting their ballots tomorrow, may vote along the lines of factionism or personality, saying the party delegates must not forget the party's original struggles.
Approximately 40 candidates qualify to contest for 15-slots in the state DAP election.
Those who win, will later determine posts to be held by individuals elected.
The present line-up comprises of Padang Kota assemblyman Chow Kon Yeow as the state chairman with veteran Lim Hock Seng as his deputy.
It is expected that several candidates are likely to withdraw from the running when elections begin tomorrow at the George Town City Hotel.
However, the number of contestants still is expected to remain large, in view of DAP's popularity, believed to currently be at an all time high after it performed well in the GE13.
"Now that DAP is a popular party with positions in government, particularly at Penang state level, it is important to support candidates who have served the party. We must distingush the difference between party and government posts," Gunabalan said.
Gunabalan reminded delegates not to emulate Umno, who have blurred the distinction of holding party and government positions.
"Governments come and go but what remains is our party struggle so we must clearly support those who have worked and served DAP in Penang."
"I am worried that the criteria for choosing leaders may be hijacked by the thirst for power or craving for positions within the state government," he added.
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