Complaints pour in to Bersih’s electoral monitoring campaign
PETALING JAYA, June 8 — Up to 600 people have lodged complaints of electoral offences to Bersih since its “Jom Pantau (Let’s Monitor)” campaign was launched in February to enlist the aid of the public in exposing irregular electoral practices.
Human rights group Komas, which spearheads the initiative as one of 84 NGOs that make up the electoral reforms movement, said today up to 30 per cent of 1,875 complaints in the campaign were made by individual members of the public.
“This shows that hundreds out there are watching you, so do the right thing. We always hear the response from the [Election Commission] saying these are ‘technical errors’. But it can’t happen hundreds of times,” Komas citizenship education co-ordinator Arul Prakkash told a press conference here.
Arul, who also co-ordinates “Jom Pantau”, said the 1,875 reports since the campaign was launched on February 10 centred mainly on alleged irregularities in the electoral roll, a major complaint by the opposition that has backed Bersih’s three public protests since 2007.
He added that after vetting over 500 complaints, 194 have been “verified and confirmed” as pointing to irregularities, such as duplicate identification numbers, names and birthdates as well as those who listed as voters or postal voters but who have never made such applications.
“We have written to the EC two weeks ago to seek a meeting on how to co-operate on this and asking that ‘Jom Pantau’ is allowed to be official election monitors for the next general election,” he said.
The reliability of the electoral roll has been widely questioned since a Parliamentary Select Committee was set up late last year to look into electoral improvements.
The panel completed its six-month tenure and submitted its findings to Parliament in late March but the opposition and civil society groups have criticised it for lacking specific recommendations on how to clean up the voter registry.
This led electoral reform movement Bersih to hold its third rally for free and fair elections on April 28, which saw tens of thousands being turn up in Kuala Lumpur before being dispersed by police.