Universities should be exemplary in conducting clean, free and fair elections

25 September 2007
BERSIH, the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, urges all local universities to set an example for the wider society by ensuring that the impending campus elections are clean, free and fair.

It was recently announced that campus elections for Student Council positions will be held on 2nd October while nomination is scheduled for 26th September 2007.
There have been grouses from various student groups for years that the university administration takes sides in the election through the use of E-voting (which discloses the preferences of students), and through placing ballot stations at residential colleges to ensure the delivery of ‘bloc vote’, as the hostel’s student population is at the mercy of their wardens, compared to the off-campus groups.
It is often said that universities are a mirror reflection of the wider society.
Sadly, as far as campus elections in Malaysia are concerned, the dirtiness and unfairness of elections in the country is not only mirrored, it is often exaggerated, particularly in the last decade where there were many instances of blatant abuse by university administrators just to ensure the victory of pro-government factions.
These administrators must be reminded of the consequences of such actions. Failing that, young Malaysians will lose their moral compass. Universities should be the light that provides the wider community a sense of purpose, not otherwise.
As a coalition promoting clean and fair elections, BERSIH wishes to see elections at all levels, including university elections, be conducted in a clean, free and fair manner.
BERSIH Steering Commitee:
Syed Shahir Syed Muhamad, MTUC President
YB Teresa Kok, MP for Seputeh
Sivarasa Rasiah, Vice-President of Parti KeAdilan Rakyat
Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad, Director of PAS Research Centre
Dr Syed Azman, PAS Central Committee Member
S. Arutchelvan, PSM Secretary-General
V. Gayathry, Executive Director of CIJ
Yap Swee Seng, Executive Director of Suaram
Wong Chin Huat, Chairperson of WAMI