Malaysia

EC defensive, duty to ensure peaceful election, says Bersih

By Boo Su-Lyn
February 15, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — The Election Commission (EC) appears defensive about the results of Election 2013 results when warning against violence by the losers, showing there could be possible fraud in the coming polls, says watchdog Bersih 2.0

The EC and retired national police chief Tan Sri Musa Hassan had warned of possible violence by losers in Election 2013, with former the Inspector-General of Police saying there could be chaos like the “Arab Spring” uprising in the Middle East to topple the elected government.

Maria (left) and Ambiga say it is the EC’s duty to ensure a peaceful and clean election.Maria (left) and Ambiga say it is the EC’s duty to ensure a peaceful and clean election.“Why are you so defensive about people not accepting the results? Of course people will accept results if you are transparent and fair about the whole process. If not, of course people will raise questions,” Bersih 2.0 steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah told The Malaysian Insider.

Bersih 2.0 co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan pointed out that the EC’s duty is to ensure a peaceful and clean election.

“They can do this by being honest, transparent, independent, and by ensuring the elections are clean and fair,” she told The Malaysian Insider.

Bernama quoted EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar last Monday as saying that unexpected situations may occur in the 13th general election due to a “mistrust doctrine” adopted by various quarters towards the EC and election transparency.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was also quoted by Bernama last Friday as saying that the opposition should accept the results of Election 2013 and not cause chaos should they lose.

Previously, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad claimed there was an opposition conspiracy to replicate the Middle East uprisings should Pakatan Rakyat (PR) fail to wrest Putrajaya.

Maria pointed out that Bersih 2.0 has received complaints about voters’ constituencies being shifted and from people who did not register as voters, but found their names on the electoral roll.

“People just won’t have confidence in the EC,” she said.

The activist also stressed that the EC should bring in international observers from the United Nations, Commonwealth countries or the European Union to observe the 13th general election.

“If your election is free and fair, I wouldn’t bother if 10,000 people monitor the process because it’s clean and fair. But if you cannot control the process and you are playing around with the process, then of course you’ll get a lot of comments and of course people will not accept the results,” said Maria.

The EC said recently that five non-governmental organisations from Peninsular Malaysia, eight and three from Sarawak and Sabah respectively have been appointed as observers, and that observers from ASEAN countries would be invited.

PR said last Monday that Musa’s prediction of an “Arab Spring” would intimidate Malaysians from voting freely.