Malaysia

Bersih calls for RCI in peninsula and Sarawak over alleged electoral fraud

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — A royal commission of inquiry (RCI) similar to the one in Sabah should be set up to probe allegations of electoral fraud in the rest of Malaysia, polls watchdog Bersih 2.0 proposed today.

“Yes... because of the numbers we see ballooning in various places,” Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, Bersih 2.0’s co-chair, said at a press conference here.

“I did actually earlier call for an RCI but investigation can be done by any responsible authorities.

“But of course we do find that when there’s an RCI, people are more willing to come forward. Our problem of getting evidence of those who had been wrongly registered is that they are scared to come forward.”

Ambiga (picture) said that with an RCI, people would feel more protected and be more ready to testify.

“So for that reason, an RCI will be much better,” she said.

“We therefore call upon both the EC (Election Commission) and the government to launch an investigation into whether the alleged ‘Ops Durian Buruk’ has also been replicated in Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia,” she added.

Ambiga also said the EC should clean up its ranks to ensure that it is “free” from those linked to the alleged unlawful award of citizenships, saying that those found to be responsible should be “made accountable”.

She repeated Bersih 2.0’s call for EC to clean up dubious records from its electoral roll.

During the press conference, Lee Wee Tak, a research assistant from the Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis (MERAP) presented a few findings on the alleged discrepancies of the EC’s electoral roll.

Later, Ambiga was asked if she thinks Sabah needs a Truth and Reconciliation Commission after the conclusion of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI)’s probe.

“I’m all for the setting up of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“No matter who wins the election, we must have a Truth and Reconciliation Commission because we are a nation in transition, Malaysia is not the same as it used to be,” Ambiga said.

Earlier, Bersih Sabah’s spokesman Andrew Ambrose had in an online video call to the media here gave a few recommendations for the country to move forward after the RCI in Sabah.

He said that issues such as the rights of Sabah’s indigenous people and xenophobia – fear of foreigners – must also be addressed.

He also said the issues that have been raised “must be recorded in historical books for educational purposes”.

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