(By TAY TIAN YAN/ Sin Chew Daily)
Let’s see what’s the difference by taking another way. Let’s allow the Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (Bersih) to hand over the petition to Parliament.
The road heading to the Parliament is so smooth and spacious. It would not be a problem to have even hundreds of vehicles and thousands of people on it. Charming scenery all along the way. Policemen could rest under the trees while observing the crowd and at the same time, enjoying the natural landscape. This helps in reducing stress.
The people have their own directions to go and the policemen have their own beat to look after. They do not interfere with each other and both keep their distance. When they have eye contact, they greet each other with smiles on their faces, one says selamat pagi, good morning, while another replies selamat jalan, have a nice day.
The crowd comes near the entrance of the Parliament. After asking for their purpose in coming, the guards inform the Parliament Administrator and he in turn informs the Parliament Speaker that they have a few visitors with a memorandum waiting there.
“How blessed to have such a democratic Parliament.”
Without hesitation, the Speaker instructs the guards to open the gate to welcome the guests. He also asks the restaurant to prepare some refreshments.
Hundreds of people walk along the road towards the Parliament. As they see the solemn Parliament building, they say: “what a palatial hall to express public opinions!”
When they reach the hall, the Parliament staff led by the Speaker are there waiting together with both benches of the lower house lining up on both sides to welcome them.
After the welcoming speech, the Speaker asks them their purpose in coming. Oh! So they come to hand over a memorandum to protest the current Constitutional amendments that proposes to extend the Election Commission chairman and members’ retirement age from 65 to 66.
After receiving the memorandum, the Speaker declares his independent and neutral stand and says that the matter would be referred to the ruling and opposition parties for discussions.
The public is satisfied with the Speaker’s attitude. They move on to the restaurant for refreshments. At the same time, representatives of the ruling and opposition parties come to the restaurant to discuss this proposal with members of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Election.
According to the Coalition, the present Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman has reached retirement age. Amending the Constitution is just for his sake, to extend his term of service. Isn’t it a trifling act to amend the Constitution merely for personal convenience.
The Coalition continued with 10 reasons to show that Abdul Rashid has disappointed the people with his poor performance during his term of service. It is hard to understand why phantom voters, children voters and dead voters could vote in the past.
Besides, gerrymandering has occurred in many electoral constituencies. For example, the constituency of opposition leader Lim Kit Siang in Ipoh has 8,000 extra voters in three months.
Other reasons include the uneven size of the constituencies, missing ballots, and the bias election officers.
After listening to the coalition’s views, the ruling party says it would carry out further study to show that they are impartial and responsible.
Therefore, the Speaker orders the withdrawal of Constitutional amendments and the matter would be discussed at a later date.
Both Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections and the Opposition accept the speaker’s decision happily. How blessed to have such a democratic Parliament.
On this day, no one has been arrested, no one has been detained for questioning, no tension and no disputes. Of course, there is no amendment to the Federal Constitution.
What a truly happy day.
( The opinions expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect those of MySinchew )
Happy Day In Parliament