SPR mesti hentikan sikap sukahati menghalang siasatan tempatan bantahan persempadanan semula

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Source: freemalaysiatoday.com

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Pegawai advokasi Bersih 2.0, Zoe Randhawa, pada 26 Januari, menarik balik kes mahkamah menentang Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) yang menghalang pertanyaan beliau mengenai bantahan terhadap persempadanan semula bagi P117 Segambut, walaupun berjaya mengumpul lebih dari 100 borang bantahan yang disyaratkan.

Sehari sebelum pendengaran “leave application” untuk semakan kehakiman, beliau menerima notis dari SPR bahawa mereka akan mengadakan siasatan tempatan juga pada akhirnya.

Ini jelas menunjukkan bahawa SPR sedang menyalahgunakan kuasa untuk menghalang siasatan tempatan dengan sukahati, ataupun mereka kurang mengenali tanggungjawab dan peranan sebagai badan pilihanraya.

SPR bertanggungjawab dari segi perundangan untuk mengadakan siasatan-siasatan ini apabila bantahan diterima meskipun alasan-alasan meragukan yang direka oleh mereka.

Malangnya, mengheret SPR ke mahkamah demi mengingatkan kewajipan mereka untuk mengadakan siasatan tempatan memang membazir masa, tenaga, dan sumber. SPR yang tidak berdaya menunaikan tugasannya yang paling minimum yang diwajibkan di bawah Lembaga Persekutuan adalah satu perkara yang amat mengecewakan.

Satu kes serupa dengan keputusan yang sama berkait dengan bantahan terhadap persempadanan semula pernah berlaku dengan Setiawangsa – SPR cuma bersetuju mengadakan siasatan tempatan selepas perkara ini dikemukakan kepada mahkamah.

Dengan setiap kesilapan yang dilakukan, ianya semakin ketara bahawa imej buruk SPR bukan disebabkan oleh persepsi negatif tetapi ketidakcekapan sendiri.

Kes-kes Segambut dan Setiawangsa bukanlah di antara yang pertama dan ianya tidak akan menjadi yang terakhir juga. Bersih 2.0 menyaran semua pihak yang pernah dihalang dari mengadakan prosiding siasatan tempatan walaupun memenuhi semua syarat untuk mengambil tindakan mahkamah. SPR mesti bertanggungjawab terhadap semua tingkahlaku dan kata-kata mereka demi pilihanraya yang adil dan bebas dan untuk mempromosikan sistem demokrasi yang sihat.

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Bersih 2.0 akan tegas meneruskan daya usaha untuk memastikan SPR tidak mengabaikan tanggungjawabnya berdasarkan perlembagaan terhadap persempadan semula dan proses-proses lain berkaitan dengan pilihanraya.

Ahli-ahli jawatankuasa pemandu Bersih 2.0.


Election Commission must stop randomly denying local inquiries into delineation objections

Bersih 2.0 advocacy officer, Zoe Randhawa, on 26 January 2017, withdrew her court case against the Electoral Commission that had denied her a local inquiry into her delineation objection for P117 Segambut despite having collected the 100 signatures required.

Just a day before the leave application hearing for a judicial review, she received a notice from the commission that it would hold a local inquiry after all.

Either the commission is misusing its powers to deny local inquiries as it wishes or it does not even know its basic responsibilities as an election body.

The commission has a legal obligation to hold such inquiries when an objection arises despite whatever dubious excuses it concocts.

Taking the commission to court to remind it of its duty to hold a local inquiry is an unfortunate waste of time and resources. It is appalling that it cannot even perform the bare minimum required of it under the Federal Constitution.

A similar case happened with the delineation objection for Setiawangsa which yielded the same outcome – the commission only agreed to hold an inquiry after it was were taken to court.

With blunder after blunder, it is becoming clear that the commission’s bad image is not caused by negative public perception, but rather itsir own incompetence.

The Segambut and Setiawangsa cases are not the first and they will not be the last. Bersih 2.0 urges anyone who has been denied a local inquiry, despite fulfilling the necessary requirements, to take legal action. The commission must be held responsible for its words and actions to ensure free and fair elections and promote a healthy democracy.

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Bersih 2.0 will continue its work to hold the commission accountable as it further tries to shirk its constitutional responsibilities in delineation and other electoral processes.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee members

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