Pilihan raya kecil dicemari salah guna sumber kerajaan, sekatan polis (Malay/English)

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File photograph: Malay Mail Online

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Gabungan Pilihan Raya Adil dan Bersih (Bersih 2.0) telah mengeluarkan laporan pemerhatian di pilihan raya kecil Tanjung Piai.

Bersih 2.0 telah menghantar lima orang pemerhati untuk memantau pilihan raya kecil tersebut dan telah merekodkan 21 kes kesalahan pilihan raya dan 10 kes salahlaku sejak kerusi parlimen Tanjung Piai dikosongkan. Dua puluh satu kesalahan pilihan raya mengandungi tiga kes penjamuan dan pemberian semasa tempoh berkempen dan 18 kes melanggar tegahan berkempen semasa hari pengundian.

Kami ingin menonjolkan 10 kes salah laku yang menyaksikan peningkatan amalan penyalahgunaan sumber kerajaan untuk berkempen. Semua kes adalah melibatkan menteri persekutuan daripada Pakatan Harapan dan menteri besar Johor yang mengumumkan projek pembangunan dan peruntukan baharu kepada rakyat di Tanjung Piai. Jumlah peruntukan yang diumumkan adalah berjumlah RM24 juta.

Walaupun kami maklum bahawa kerajaan persekutuan dan kerajaan negeri di Johor perlu meneruskan operasi mereka semasa pilihan raya kecil, namun menggunakan sumber negeri untuk mendapatkan sokongan daripada calon parti pemerintah adalah tindakan tidak beretika.

Kerajaan PH perlu mematuhi prinsip-prinsip pilihan raya bersih dan adil dengan menahan pengumuman projek baharu atau peruntukan baharu semasa piliha raya kecil. Perlu ada satu garis pemisah antara kefungsian kerajaan dan aktiviti parti.

Kekalahan calon PH dalam pilihan raya kecil tersebut juga jelas menunjukkan pemberian sedemikian tidak lagi berkesan untuk memenangi hati dan undi pengundi. Pemimpin parti politik, tidak kira siapapun yang menjadi kerajaan, perlu mempunyai etika yang tinggi dalam berkempen dan berhenti memandang rendah kebijaksanaan pengundi dengan pemberian duit serta material.

Memandangkan Akta Kesalahan Pilihan Raya 1954 tidak mempunyai peruntukan berkenaan penggunaan sumber kerajaan untuk berkempen, kami menggesa penggubal undang-undang untuk menyokong reformasi pilihan raya dan meminda akta ini bagi memastikan padang yang sama rata antara semua calon pilihan raya.

Sebagai tambahan, kami mengutuk halangan yang tidak berdasarkan undang-undang yang dilaksanakan oleh polis berkenaan perlunya mendapatkan permit bagi kempen pintu ke pintu. Halangan sebegitu tidak mempunyai asas undang-undang dan menghalang kebebasan untuk berkempen.

Bersih 2.0 menggesa polis untuk menghormati kedaulatan undang-undang dan tidak mengenakan peraturan yang tidak berasas bagi menghadkan kaedah berkempen.

Kami ingin mengingatkan polis, Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya serta semua parti bahawa apabila tiba masa pilihan raya, SPR diberikan mandat oleh perlembagaan untuk menguruskan pilihan raya dan bukannya polis.

Melainkan ada masalah dengan keselamatan atau ketenteraman awam, kebebasan berkempen adalah elemen utama untuk pilihan raya bersih dan adil.

Jawatakuasa pemandu Bersih 2.0

English version

By-election marred by misuse of government resources, unlawful police restriction

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) has released its election observation report on the Tanjung Piai by-election.

Bersih 2.0 had deployed five observers to observe the by-election and documented 21 cases of election offences and 10 cases of misconduct since the Tanjung Piai parliament seat fell vacant.

The 21 cases of election offences comprise three cases of giving treats and gifts during the campaigning period and 18 cases of breaching the limitation on campaigning on polling day.

We would like to highlight another 10 cases of misconduct, revealing a worsening trend of misusing government resources for campaigning. All cases involved Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal ministers and the Johor menteri besar announcing new development projects and allocations that targeted the people of Tanjung Piai. The total of the allocations announced amounted to RM24m.

While we recognise that the federal government and the state government of Johor need to continue to operate during by-elections, using state resources to win support for candidates of the ruling parties is unethical. The PH government should adhere to the principles of free and fair elections by withholding announcements of any new project or allocation during the by-election period. There has to be a clear separation between government functions and party activities.

The PH candidate’s in the by-election clearly indicates that such inducements no longer work in winning voters’ hearts and votes. Political party leaders, no matter who becomes the government, should set a higher ethical standard in campaigning and stop underestimating the wisdom of voters with material and monetary inducements.

As the Election Offences Act 1954 does not have a provision regulating the use of government resources for campaigning at present, we call upon lawmakers to support electoral reforms and amendments to the Election Offences Act to ensure a level playing field among all election candidates.

In addition, we condemn the unlawful restriction imposed by the police requiring a permit for door-to-door campaigning in the Tanjung Piai by-election. Such a restriction has no legal basis and is an unnecessary restriction upon the freedom to campaign.

Bersih 2.0 urges the police to respect the rule of law and not to impose unreasonable and unnecessary rules to restrict campaigning methods. We wish to remind the police, the Electoral Commission and all parties that the commission is the constitutionally mandated authority to conduct elections, not the police. Unless there are actual security or public order concerns, the freedom to campaign is a key element of free and fair elections.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee

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