Bersih: Alternative coalition could have formed federal gov't if election was free and fair

English Section, Harakah
KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 (ES) – The coalition of the three biggest opposition parties here could have won “hands down”, if the election was free and fair, Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) think tank director Dzulkifli Ahmad said.
Dzulkifli, who is also steering committee member of coalition Bersih which campaigned for a free and fair election, said only due to the “overwhelming” support from Malaysians in the election held on March 8, that had “mitigated all these cheating that took place”.
In a Bersih press conference held here today, Dzulkifli also rebuked any assertions especially by the Election Commission (EC) secretary Datuk Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor that contended the unprecedented opposition’s performance was a proof that the election was free and fair.
He also noted that none of the Bersih demands namely abolishing postal votes, the use of indelible ink to prevent multiple votings, cleaning up of the electoral rolls and fair access to the media were entertained by the EC.
Also present at the press conference were the other steering committee members including Yap Swee Seng, Theresa Kok, Ronnie Liu, Sivarasa Rasiah, Anuar Tahir, Syed Azman Syed Nawawi and Lee Khai Loon.
Bersih calls for a Royal Commission
Suara Rakyat Malaysia(Suaram) executive director Yap Swee Seng also noted that the opposition parties could have won the election “outright” and appealed to the Yang DiPertuan Agong, the King to appoint a Royal Commission on Electoral Reform.
He said the Commission could both study the entire electoral process and system and investigate all allegations of fraud and misconducts perpetrated during the last 12th general election.
He urged all concerned Malaysians to endorse the petition to the King online at and to submit documentation of instances of fraud and misconducts they have encountered for submission to the Commission.
“Bersih stresses that the opposition’s impressive gains were the result of a number of factors, and in spite of the numerous incidences of fraudulent practices, irregularities and misconduct – not because of the absence of dirty tactics,” he said.
“The (ruling coalition) BN won many seats with wafer-thin margins, very likely aided by fraudulent means. The margin was smaller than 20 per cent of the total valid votes in 57 seats and smaller than 10 percent in 25 of them,” he said.
“In order to wrest BN’s 30 weakest seats from the coalition to form the federal government, the opposition parties in fact needed only 56,822 more votes,” he said.
Election Petitions
The election which saw the opposition denying the ruling coalition its two-third majority since the 1969 election, also expected to record a number of election petitions being filed to challenge the result.
Liu said the DAP would be filing an election petition for the Sandakan parliamentary seat in Sabah after the BN candidate allegedly received some 600 postal votes. Liu claimed that the seat only have some 300 postal votes.
Sivarasa said KeADILan would also contest the result in Setiawangsa parliamentary seat which had some 26 percent postal voters registered in the constituency.
He said candidate from the party would have won by a majority of one thousand over votes with the exclusion of postal votes.
Liu also questioned about some 72,000 postal votes which were not returned and unaccounted for.
The PAS-PKR-DAP won 82 parliamentary seats in the March 8 election compared to 140 seat won by the BN ruling coalition. The opposition only held 12 seats in the last parliament. – Saadon Aksah/ES