Press Statement, 3 May 2013
Serious Breach As Caretaker Federal Government and Arrest Political Violence
With two days leading the GE13, BERSIH 2.0 is appalled and deeply concerned over the continued spate of political violence with intent of creating strong racial and religious sentiments and as well as other forms of violations of code of conduct especially “vote buying”. The most recent incident yesterday whereby a plastic bag filled with chicken head and blood thrown into the porch of PAS candidate Nasrudin Hassan’s house is highly unacceptable.
Similarly, there was another incident today whereby a box containing a chicken head was sent to BN State Chief for Penang Teng Chang Yeow. Both incidents contained threatening note addressed to the respective individuals.
There have been various reports of candidates being harassed or party events disrupted even with violence. One example was highlighted by a PEMANTAU observer in Kluang, where loud speakers were blasting loud music throughout the night next to a Pakatan Rakyat ceramah with the key purpose to disrupt the event. Intimidation and harrasment by supporters of the opposing party at several political events was also reported. In Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, SAPP president Yong Teck Lee was reported to have stormed a Pakatan Rakyat event with a group of supporters. It was also reported that a campaign vehicle belonging to Barisan Nasional have allegedly hit a motorcycle belonging to a PKR campaigner in Seberang Perai.
Media reports had highlighted that the police have identified several gangs supported by ‘VVIPS’ to cause trouble during election day is worrying and of deep concern. While we are happy that the police are taking the issue seriously, we hope the warning from the police will be translated into swift action.
BERSIH 2.0 had monitored a steady growth in participants fanning racial and religious sentiments at various ceramahs. In Shah Alam (1/5/2013), Dr Mahathir Mohamad was also reported to label DAP candidate for Gelang Patah Lim Kit Siang as a racist and accusing him of ‘poisoning’ the Chinese minds in his campaign by telling them that they are victims of discrimination by the Malay government. Such overt racial remark with absolutely no basis is uncalled for and reflects an unprofessional ethic by the participants of the upcoming general election
The guidelines to a caretaker governments role and responsibility has not been taken seriously at all by the Barisan Nasional. Leading the violations is caretaker Prime Minister Najib who has made one after another announcements related to budget allocations and policy decisions when he is now only a caretaker prime minister. This includes the upgrade of status for Han Chiang College to a University College, an allocation for a new campus for UiTM, the approval of branch campus for Ee Heng High School in Penang, the approval of one more school for Foon Yew Chinese school in Johor Bahru, the approval of additional school for Chung Hwa Chinese school in Kuching and the announcement of building 9999 low and medium cost housing in three areas in Penang recently.
Additionally, caretaker Chief Minister of Terengganu also announced the award of Bukit Besi iron ore mining concessionaire of 230 hectares to Perwaja Holdings Bhd. Campaign posters show “Vote for Prime Minister Najib “ is also a violation of the guidelines as he is no longer a Prime Minister but a caretaker Prime Minister. He is leader of the BN and this campaign banner gives a false perception of his leadership.
BERSIH 2.0 questions how such major decisions were made in the light of the dissolution of parliament since April 3 2013. We also question how basic needs and rights of the people such as education which is the social responsible of every government can be manipulated in light of the upcoming elections. The caretaker government has no right to give out direct allocations or cash promises as it constitutes vote buying. The campaign should focus very much on the manifesto and policies that will bring about a better quality of life for the rakyat and move the nation to a more mature democracy where freedoms and rights are respected and upheld.
In view of the continued disregard of the code of conduct on caretaker government of BERSIH 2.0 and the repeated violations of this code of conduct by the caretaker Prime Minsiter Datuk Seri Najib Razak, we decided to place him in the blacklist on the breach of code of conduct of caretaker government.
We are also extremely concerned with the revelation by the leader of Pakatan Rakyat that the caretaker prime minister is allegedly implicated by virtue of being the head of the Prime Minister Office has been allegedly involved in the moving of large number of foreign workers or Malaysians from Sabah and Sarawak via chartered flights by Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia. If this is true, this would not only undermine the sovereignty of the country and the integrity of the election process, this is also the most blatant abuse of power and the machinery of caretaker government and the code of conduct on caretaker government, in particularly the Prime Minister’s Office. We demand a public explanation from the caretaker Prime Minister with evidence that will prove the emails from the two airlines companies implicating the Prime Minister Office is not true. A simple denial and silence would not be enough to restore public confidence on the caretaker government.
The two weeks of monitoring has revealed that in this elections, various incidences and forms of political violence has taken place which could have been avoided if the elections were managed better with low or no threats and intimidation from opposing parties both to candidates and voters. Fear is NOT a tool or means to gain votes in a democratic process. BERSIH 2.0 call upon the police to step up their efforts in a professional manner to ensure the safety and security of all voters, candidates and persons involved in the elections. .
BERSIH 2.0 continues to affirm its commitment to clean and fair elections and we urge voters to come out and vote on polling day without fear. We call on them to reject dirty politics and political violence.
Special Committee on Code of Conduct
On behalf of the Steering Committee of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0 (BERSIH 2.0)
The Special Committee comprises:
Irene Fernandez (co-chair), Zaid Kamaruddin (co-chair), Yap Swee Seng, Jerald Joseph, Liza Bong, Anne Lasimbang, and Dr Farouk Musa.
Incidents Observed Since 1 May 2013
25 April – It was reported that a man was kicked in the waist while putting up political banners in Kunak, Sabah.
27 April – Three vehicles were damaged and a party worker was injured during a commotion in front of Semporna PAS operation centre at Sabah.
27 April – PAS candidate Iskandar Samad has lodged a police report after receiving a complaint from one of the residents in his area (Ampang) that he received a CD containing sex scene which was allegedly meant to smear an opposition leader.
28 April – It was reported that PSM candidate Dr Nasir’s operation centre was allegedly disturbed by a group of PAS supporters in Kota Damansara.
30 April – It was reported that a firecracker was thrown into a campaign operation center of BN in Jelapang by four unknown persons in the early morning. No one was injured.
1 May – MCA President Dr Chua Soi Lek has reported that he was intimidated by rival supporters during his walkabouts. Youth on motorcylces were shouting when he was on his rounds. He also gave our RM320,000 to 12 temples and 12 NGOs and one Tamil school during the event.
1 May – 300 flags belonged to Pakatan Rakyat together with the van that kept the flags were set on fire and burnt by two unknown motorcyclists in Bukit Mertajam.
1 May – It was reported that an UMNO election campaign car may have hit a motorcycle that followed the motorcycles tour of Parti Keadilan Rakyat youth but did not stop over to check the incident in Seberang Perai. The motorcyclists then chased the four wheel drive until to the resident of the UMNO candidate for Seberang Jaya. It was reported that the driver of the UMNO campaign car thrown a hoe and injured the leader of motorcyclists.
1 May – Two BN campaign workers were reportedly injured while putting up campaign flags by a group of about 200 people that came in motorcycles, cars and lorries in Bukit Mertajam. Most of them were reportedly wearing masks although their vehicles were decorated with flags of Pakatan Rakyat.
1 May – The chairman of IKHLAS for Kedah was reportedly threatened with physical violence by a man in One Malaysia shirt with BN logo in Alor Setar.
2 May – It was reported that a plastic bag filled with blood and a chicken head was thrown into the porch of the accommodation of PAS candidate for Temerloh Nasrudin Hassan. A threatening note which read ‘Take this pig’s blood’ was also found in the bag.
2 May – A group of 18 opposotion supporters were reportedly aggressive and attack a Barisan Nasional candidate’s vehicle in Butterworth.
2 May – It was reported by Supt Koh Ah Tiam in Terengganu that two party supporters were injured after being attacked by another party supporters.
2 May – It was reported that an elections workers of Barisan Nasional was seriously injured after being attacked in a tent at Taman Halia, Lunas, Kulim.
2 May – It was reported that a group of protesters in Gelang Patah attempted to confront Hindraf leader P Waythamoorthy last night during a campaign for BN.
2 May – It was reported that 20 PAS supported stormed PSM’s ceramah in Kota Damansara and demanded their leader to denounce PSM candidate Dr Nasir Hashim.
2 May – BN State Chief for Penang Teng Chang Yeow received a box containing a dead chicken and a threatening note whih read ‘If you refuse to withdraw from the election, this is what you and your family will face’.
3 May – The police have detonated a bomb found at a DAP election campaign site in Jinjang Utara this morning.
Other violations with regards to the Code of Conduct for Participants of the 13th General Election and Caretaker Government Guidelines
27 April – Caretaker Chief Minister of Sabah Datuk Seri Musa Aman gave out communal grants involving 25,896 acres of land to representatives 46 villages in Sook.
30 April – Caretaker chief minister of Terengganu Datuk Seri Ahmad Said announced in Kemaman the award of Bukit Besi iron ore mining concessionaire of 230 hectres to Perwaja Holdings Bhd.
30 April – Caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that Han Chiang College will be upgraded to University College while Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan (SMJK) (C) Heng Ee will have a new branch in Bayan Lepas. He also added that a further funding of RM1 million through Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia will be given to Han Chiang college should his mandate be renewed.
30 April – it was announced by caretaker Prime Minsiter Datuk Seri Najib Razak that the federal government has signed agreements through 1Malaysia Development Berhad in purchasing lands to build 9,999 new homes in Air Putih, Air Itam and Paya Terubong.
1 May – It was announced by caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) will be given an additional allocation to build a new college.
1 May – It was reported that President of Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat (SPAD) Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar gave our vouchers worth RM520 under TR1MA to 7,759 taxi drivers in Johor Bahru, Johor.
2 May – it was announced by caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that financial assistance to SM Chong Hwa Kuantan will be tax exempted.
2 May – 262 people from several villages in Kota Marudu were given 4,707 acres of land through the issuance of Communal Titles.
2 May – It was reported that 1Malaysia vouchers valuing RM10 to RM50 were distributed at Farlim Pasar, Air Itam, Penang by workers wearing 1Malaysia t-shirts.
2 May – A police report was lodge by two Pakatan Rakyat supporters who was alledgely offered money to stop campaigning for DAP candidate S. Ramakrishnan.
For a previous list of violations, please refer to our previous statements on the BERSIH 2.0 website.