5 March 2008
The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) warns Malaysians that the General Election on 8 March could be Malaysia’s dirtiest elections ever, as a result of the Election Commission’s (EC) decision to cancel the implementation of indelible ink on polling day.
BERSIH is of the view that indelible ink will prevent multiple voting. While only a thorough clean-up of electoral roll may eliminate phantom voters (impersonators of fraudulently-registered and genuine voters), indelible ink can at least make them “unrecyclable”.
The cancellation of the use of indelible ink makes the deployment of phantom voters operationally easier and cheaper. The outcome of marginal seats in Kelantan, Penang, Selangor and Perak may therefore be determined by phantom voters.
Against a backdrop of other emerging irregularities such as the wholesale transfer of voters and thousands of fraudulent voter registrations, the democratic rights of Malaysians may have already been stolen from them — before being exercised at the ballot box on 8 March!
BERSIH calls upon all Malaysians to support the nationwide signature campaign for a Royal Commission on Electoral Reform (RCER) to be established after the General Election. The campaign is being conducted both on the ground and online at http://www.petitiononline.com/RCER2008.
BERSIH urges all members of the public to help collect evidence of all instances of fraud, irregularities and misconduct including phantom voters, intimidation, bribery and treating to submit to RCER.
BERSIH rejects the EC’s excuses for the cancellation of this move on legal and security grounds. The National Fatwa Council gave its approval for the use of indelible ink as early as last August. The EC could have submitted the amendment to the relevant by-law, Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981, to the parliamentary session from August to December 2007, thus clearing all legal and security concerns.
The decision by the EC shows very clearly that it has no intention nor the commitment to carry out electoral reform. None of BERSIH’s five basic demands for electoral reform (cleanup of electoral roll, indelible ink, abolition of postal voting for security personnel, free and fair media access, campaign period of 21 days) has been fulfilled.
BERSIH urges all concerned Malaysians to express their demand for electoral reform by supporting our call for a Royal Commission for Electoral Reform after the General Election.
BERSIH vows to step up its efforts and continue our mission for clean, free and fair elections, no matter what it takes.
For enquiries, please contact the BERSIH secretariat at (012) 2232002 or (012) 2192010.
Related posts: BERSIH calls for Royal Commission on Electoral Reform after the General Election
BERSIH warns that GE2008 may be the dirtiest election ever in Malaysian history