Election watchdog, The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih), said that it would be doing its own campaign to create awareness among the voters on the need for a fair and clean election.Bersih started its education process by a leaflet campaign this morning just after the nomination period ended for the Batu Talam state by-election.
The contest, on Jan 28, will see a straight fight between Barisan Nasional’s Abdul Aziz Kiram, 47, and an Independent candidate Ng Chee Pang, 22.
Bersih’s representative Ronnie Liu said that it was still unhappy with the electoral rolls used by the EC.
He said that the electoral rolls must be cleaned up by making house-to-house inquiries to iron out flawed registration and by releasing the list of deceased voters for public inspection.
Bersih has also been asking for the abolition of postal voting as it was open to abuse.
The watchdog has also previously suggested that the EC introduce the use of indelible ink to prevent duplicate voting at different polling stations.
The process and conduct of elections have caused much concern among the opposition parties, especially the use of flawed electoral rolls.
The EC realises that there need to be a legislative review to promote transparency in the holding of general elections. However so far nothing has moved.
This prompted opposition parties PAS and Keadilan to boycott this Batu Talam by-election. PAS has always put a candidate for this seat.
Mafrel to monitor polls
Meanwhile, another election watchdog Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel) said it was satisfied with the nomination process for the Batu Talam by-election this morning.
Mafrel chief Abd Malek Hussin told malaysiakini that the Election Commission must be lauded for putting up a list of candidates for the public to see.
This, he said, ensured the members of the public to check the details of the candidates and then lodge a protest in the event they find something wrong.
He also said that Mafrel will be monitoring the by-election until the polling day on Jan 28.
In a related development, EC secretary Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor said that the opposition parties may campaign for the Independent candidate.
However they are prohibited from using their party logos in the campaigns, he said.
The rural seat under the Raub parliamentary constituency fell vacant following the death of the incumbent BN assemblyman Tengku Paris Tengku Razlan, 66, on Dec 27 due to cancer.