The Sun: EC gets voter bribery complaint

EC gets voter bribery complaint
Llew-Ann Phang

KUALA LUMPUR (April 17, 2007): Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s statement that development pledges cannot be construed as vote-buying was booed by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (Bersih).Its representatives PAS Central Committee member Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-president R. Sivarasa and DAP stalwarts Teresa Kok and Liew Chin Tong unanimously opposed Abdul Rashid’s statement Tuesday.

“It is a big joke. Bersih strongly opposes and looks upon his statement and irresponsible.
“The chairman should re-examine his position as this shows that the EC is not transparent, and it makes fools of the people instead of fulfilling the public’s demand for fair and clean election,” said Syed Azman.
Sivarasa pointed the contradiction in Abdul Rashid’s statement: “It is interesting how he says development promises cannot be construed as vote-buying and in the later part of his statement he says that election candidates and political parties cannot make promises to voters during election.”
At a press conference at the Keadilan headquarters, Syed Azman said Bersih reiterated its demands for a fair and cleaner election.
“We will continue our struggle for this, up till the eve of the general election and the EC should meet our three immediate demands,” he said.
These are:
1) a thorough review and clean-up of the electoral roll,
2) the use of indelible ink on voters and
3) the abolition of postal votes.

Syed Azman cited last week’s Machap by-election as a shameful event against the rules of a clean and fair election, including violence and intimidation, blatant abuse of state machinery and resources, bribery in the form of treating and outright vote-buying at the end.
Liew said: “We have pictorial proof of these allegations, including one of a queue of people who were paid Ôtravel allowance’ varying from RM50 – RM300 at a vacant house, near the Tebong polling station.”
Pictures included one showing roadworks at 1am on polling day, a Pemuda Barisan Nasional cap in a police car and a free dinner courtesy of the MCA.