Jom nyatakan sokongan kepada SPR yang diserang (Malay/English)

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The new Electoral Commission line-up in the new Malaysia

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih 2.0) mengecam kenyataan bekas timbalan pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) Wan Ahmad Wan Omar yang menggesa supaya pengerusi SPR sekarang, iaitu Azhar Azizan Harun, dan ahli suruhanjaya yang lain meletakkan jawatan kerana adanya perubahan kerajaan sekarang.

Cadangan beliau agar SPR meletakkan jawatan bersama-sama dengan perdana menteri bukan sahaja serangan kepada integriti SPR, tetapi ianya juga serangan kepada Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan demokrasi di Malaysia.

SPR adalah sebuah badan berperlembagaan dan pengerusi dan ahli SPR dilantik berdasarkan Perkara 114(1) Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang menyatakan bahawa ahli-ahli SPR adalah dilantik oleh Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Ahli-ahli SPR hanya boleh berhenti sekiranya sudah berusia 66 tahun ataupun dipecat oleh Agong.

Perkara 114(3) juga menyatakan secara jelas bahawa ahli-ahli SPR “tidaklah boleh dipecat daripada jawatan kecuali atau alasan dan mengikut cara yang sama seperti seorang hakim Mahkamah Persekutuan”, yakni melalui sebuah tribunal untuk membuktikan adanya penyalahgunaan kuasa atau kesalahan yang menjejaskan fungsi SPR.

Ini bermakna kewibawaan dan keberkecualian SPR sebagai institusi demokrasi adalah setahap dengan Mahkamah Persekutuan.

Gesaan Wan Ahmad untuk Azhar Harun dan ahli-ahli SPR yang lain untuk meletak jawatan tidak masuk akal sepertimana kalau Ketua Hakim Negara Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat juga digesa untuk meletak jawatan kerana Dr Mahathir Mohamad yang mencadangkan nama mereka untuk perlantikan oleh Agong.

Gesaan ini bukan sahaja memperlihatkan kecetekan penghayatan Wan Ahmad tentang demokrasi dan Perlembagaan Persekutuan, malah menampakkan anggapan dirinya sebagai lantikan politik apabila menyandang jawatan setiausaha (1998-2004) dan kemudian timbalan pengerusi (2004-2013) SPR. Tidak hairanlah SPR dalam tempoh 1998-2013 gagal meyakinkan rakyat bahawa ia bertugas dengan bebas dan berintegriti.

Sehingga kini, kita belum menyaksikan tindakan atau kesalahan yang menunjukkan adanya perlanggaran perlembagaan, undang-undang atau prinsip pilihan raya adil dan bersih oleh SPR.

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Sebaliknya, SPR telah banyak membuat pembaharuan terhadap pelaksanaan pilihan raya dan respon berkenaan isu-isu pilihan raya. Berikut adalah beberapa pembaharuan SPR yang boleh dipuji:

  • meminta calon-calon pilihan raya kecil menandatangani borang “Aku Janji” agar tidak melanggar Akta Kesalahan Pilihan Raya seperti di pilihan raya kecil Cameron Highlands
  • mengedarkan kad pengundi (voter cards) kepada pengundi bagi memberi maklumat seperti pusat pengundian, tarikh mengundi dan saluran pengundian untuk menggalakkan pemilih turun mengundi seperti di pilihan raya kecil dewan undangan negeri Rantau, dewan undangan negeri Semenyih dan parlimen Sandakan
  • menyemak dan menyiasat senarai pemilih yang berusia 90 tahun ke atas untuk mengeluarkan nama pengundi yang telah meninggal
  • memaparkan proses penjumlahan undi di pusat penjumlahan undi di semua pilihan raya kecil secara langsung dan terbuka di laman Facebook rasmi SPR
  • menyediakan kamera kecil di meja kerani pengundian bagi memantau proses pengundian serta pengiraan undi di setiap saluran semasa pilihan raya kecil Kimanis. Ini dilihat sebagai satu pembaharuan dalam memastikan ketelusan pengurusan pilihan raya dan rakaman boleh dijadikan rujukan sekiranya terjadi apa-apa isu berbangkit
  • memberi amaran kepada kerajaan agar tidak menggunakan jentera dan sumber kerajaan untuk berkempen semasa pilihan raya kecil Cameron Highlands
  • memberi akreditasi kepada pertubuhan masyarakat sivil seperti Bersih 2.0, Engage, Tindak Malaysia dan sebagainya untuk menjadi pemerhati semasa pilihan raya kecil
  • membuat laporan polis terhadap kesalahan pilihan raya yang dilakukan dalam pilihan raya kecil

Ini adalah sebahagian pembaharuan yang dilakukan oleh SPR di bawah kepimpinan Azhar Harun yang harus dipuji. Secara keseluruhannya, SPR hari ini adalah jauh lebih berwibawa, telus dan lebih terbuka berbanding SPR di zaman Barisan Nasional.

Bersih 2.0 mengajak rakyat Malaysia yang cintakan pilihan raya bersih dan adil untuk bersama menyatakan sokongan kepada SPR yang sedang diserang oleh pihak yang tidak bertanggungjawab.

READ MORE:  Pengerusi SPR baharu perlu mempunyai kepercayaan awam bagi meneruskan reformasi pilihan raya (Malay/English)

Jawatankuasa pemandu Bersih 2.0

English version

Bersih 2.0: Let’s show our support for the Electoral Commission amidst attack

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) denounces the statement of former Electoral Commission deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar who urged the current chairman, Azhar Azizan Harun, and other commissioners to resign because there had been a change in the government.

Wan Ahmad’s proposal for the electoral commissioners to resign along with the prime minister was not only an attack on the Electoral Commission’s integrity, but also an attack on the Federal Constitution and our democracy.

For the record, the Electoral Commission is a constitutional body with the chairperson and other commissioners appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in accordance with Article 114(1) of the Federal Constitution. The electoral commissioners only cease to hold office if they attain the age of 66 or have been fired by the Agong.

Article 114(3) states clearly that a commissioner “shall not be removed from office except on the grounds and in the like manner as a judge of the Federal court”, which necessitates a tribunal to prove there has been misconduct and offences that affect the Electoral Commission’s objectives.

This also means the standing and independence conferred to the Electoral Commission as a democratic institution is at par with the Federal Court.

Wan Ahmad’s call for Azhar and other commissioners to resign is as illogical as if our Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat is similarly urged to resign, just because Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who proposed all their names for the appointment by the Agong, has resigned.

Wan Ahmad’s call for the electoral commissioners’ resignations revealed not only his shallow knowledge of democracy and the Federal Constitution but also his self-perception as a political appointee when he was the Electoral Commission secretary (1998-2204) and then its deputy chair (2004-2013). No wonder the Electoral Commission during 1998-2013 failed to convince the people that they had discharged their duty independently and with integrity.

READ MORE:  Great strides in electoral reform - but risk of total reverse remains

To date, we have not seen any action or misconduct committed by the current Electoral Commission that violates our Federal Constitution, laws or the principles of free and fair elections.

Instead, the Electoral Commission has introduced many reforms in the conduct of elections and commendably responded to election-related issues, amongst others:

  • requiring candidates to pledge not to violate the Election Offences Act, as in the Cameron Highlands by-election
  • distributing voter cards to voters with information such as polling centres, polling dates and polling streams to encourage voter turnout such as in the Rantau, Semenyih and Sandakan by-elections
  • verifying the existence of registered voters aged 90 or above to purge the deceased ones from the electoral rolls
  • carrying out a live broadcast of the vote-counting process at counting centres in all by-elections on the Electoral Commission’s official Facebook page.
  • providing a mini camera at the polling clerk’s desk to monitor the voting process and the counting of votes for each stream during the Kimanis by-election. This reform ensures transparency in the conduct of elections as the recordings can serve as evidences in the event of any disputes arising
  • warning the government not to use government machinery and resources to campaign during the Cameron Highlands by-election
  • accrediting civil society organisations such as Bersih 2.0, Engage, Tindak Malaysia and other NGOs to deploy election observers during by-elections
  • lodging police report for election offences committed in by-elections

These are only part of the commendable reforms introduced by the Electoral Commission under the leadership of Azhar Azizan Harun. Overall, the Electoral Commission today is better, more transparent and open than the it was during the Barisan Nasional era.

Bersih 2.0 calls upon all Malaysians who want free and fair elections to rally behind the Electoral Commission that now that is has come under attack by unscrupulous parties.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee

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