The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) today announced a new list of top 10 offenders in the 2018 general election Hall of Shame on Election Offences for the week of 27 April to 4 May.
This new line-up of 10 inductees into the general election Hall of Shame, the last to be issued for the week preceding polling day, listed in no specific order, are selected from over 400 verified reports, spanning electoral offences and unfair practices on nomination day, the issuance of postal ballots and one week into the campaign period.
The 10 inductees are listed as below:
- (5-Star Award of Shame) Hashim Abdullah, chairman of the Electoral Commission: For the failure to uphold the basic constitutional right of candidates to run in the election through the arbitrary, unfair and unlawful disqualification of PKR candidate for the Batu parliament constituency (Tian Chua) and the prevention of the PKR candidate for the Rantau state assembly constituency (Dr S Streram) from filing his nomination papers.
- Najib Razak of BN: On 26 April, the caretaker prime minister and Pekan candidate announced a special incentive of RM500 to all 60,000 DRB-Hicom staff, which would cost RM30m of taxpayers’ money, despite DRB-Hicom not being a government department but a government-linked company.
- Jamal Yunos of BN: For promising fishermen a reward of RM2,000 if they give their vote to BN and for giving out RM25,000 in a lucky draw to a voter in Sekinchan on 30 April. Even though Jamal tried to justify the payment as a wage and not bribery, this is simply an attempt to whitewash and a clear offence under the Election Offences Act.
- Kedah Rela director Ahmad Abdul Wahab: For speaking to a crowd of Rela officers in support of BN at a BN campaign event on 1 May, thereby showcasing the biased behaviour of public officials.
- Community Development Department (Kemas): For organising several campaign events for Barisan Nasional throughout the country despite being a government agency. This is a clear abuse and misuse of government machinery and assets.
- Pas and BN polling agents in Tapah: For violating the secrecy of votes (thereby breaching Section 5(6)(b) of the Election Offences Act by listing down postal ballot paper serial numbers next to the name of the postal voter on 30 April 2018, which carries a punishment of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or of a fine not exceeding RM3,000 or both.
- Malaysian Youth Council (MBM) and accredited election observers: For organising an event promoting BN politicians in Negeri Sembilan on 1 May, which amounts to biased behaviour by electoral observers appointed by the Electoral Commission. MBM should be removed from the Electoral Commission’s list of official election observers.
- Ramlee Marhaban of BN: For using cash to win votes in Semporna, which he openly and unashamedly disclosed in an interview with The Star newspaper on 30 April.
- Chan Quin Er of BN: For treating of food to about 600 people in a local community estimated to have cost RM30,000. The event was held in SJK Choong Wen in the Seputeh parliamentary constituency, which is another case of abuse of government assets for election campaigning by a political party. Furthermore, the school is also one of the polling stations, and it is an election offence to display campaign materials within a distance of 50 metres from any polling station during the campaign period.
- BN’s nationwide treating campaigns: Candidates under BN have been frequently observed to have employed treating strategies to win votes such as ‘Isi Minyak Percuma’, ‘Cermin Mata Percuma’ and ‘Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat’ on a big scale nationwide.
Once again, the chairman of the Electoral Commission, Mohd Hashim Abdullah, earned a special 5-Star Award of Shame for the second time in a row for failing to address and rectify serious abuse of power by its officers on nomination day including the unfair disqualification of incumbent MP Tian Chua (PKR) and the unfair prevention of Dr S Streram (also from PKR) from filing his nomination papers. The police barred the latter entry for not having an entry pass issued by the Electoral Commission, which resulted in an uncontested win for BN candidate Mohamad Hasan, who happens to be the caretaker chief minister of Negeri Sembilan.
Bersih 2.0 notes that despite having been featured in the general election Hall of Shame, the Electoral Commission and Barisan Nasional continue to disrespect, disregard and diminish the principles of clean, free and fair elections by ignoring the Election Offences Act 1954 and proceeding with the arbitrary use of power and influence to skew the elections in favour of Barisan Nasional.
The Electoral Commission and its 445 enforcement teams have failed to respond to the rampant treating, vote-buying, undue use of influence and biased behaviour of public institutions. They have instead focused on taking down banners which do not comply with their arbitrary new campaign material guidelines issued on 24 April.
Bersih 2.0 condemns the lack of action by the Electoral Commission and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in responding to the attempts by the ruling coalition, the Umno-led Barisan Nasional to steal the coming general election. The commissioners of both the Electoral Commission and MACC must answer to the people and voters of Malaysia for their repeated failure to uphold the highest law in the country, the Federal Constitution.
Bersih 2.0 strongly warns all political parties and candidates to immediately cease and halt all bad campaign strategies aimed at vote-buying and treating of voters as it is a criminal offence and may be cause to challenge an electoral win through an election petition.
Bersih 2.0 also warns all political parties and candidates against bribing and treating on election day as the campaign period officially ends at midnight, 8 May 2018.
Bersih 2.0 also urges all political parties, candidates, civil organisations and voters to reject all forms of bribery and treating including the cash handouts and lucky draw prizes. We also urge all political parties and candidates vested in clean and fair elections to start preparing for election petitions in anticipation of further attempts to diminish, skew and steal the elections.
An election petition must be submitted within 21 days from the date of the election results being gazetted. The grounds for an election petition are bribery, intimidation or other misconduct which may affect the outcome of the election, non-compliance with election laws and regulations, acts of corruption or illegal acts committed by a candidate or his agent or ineligibility of a candidate to participate in the election.
Bersih 2.0 urges anyone who witnesses an election offence to report online 1) at aduan.pemantau.org, 2) through WhatsApp on 011-17721546 or 3) call 017-8725418 or 017-8725419.
It is the responsibility of all stakeholders to ensure that the GE14 is representative of the people’s choice for Malaysia and not the result of gerrymandering, corruption and arbitrary use of statutory powers. To view of map of electoral offences, please visit aduan.pemantau.org/map
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Bersih 2.0 steering committee