Posted: 21 May 2013 10:04 AM PDT
As reported in Kwongwah
黄汉伟巡视天德园大道加宽工程 第二阶段料7月完成 发林新市镇车辆可左转到亚依淡
As reported in Guangmin
Posted: 21 May 2013 03:21 AM PDT
As reported in FZ.com by Himanshu Bhatt
DAP's Air Itam assemblyman Wong Hon Wai, accompanied by Sim (R) holds a vernacular newspaper report on RM4 million allegedly spent for election pay-outs, outside the Penang MACC office.
DAP's Air Itam assemblyman Wong Hon Wai, with Bayan Baru MP from PKR Sim Tze Tzin (R), displays a voucher that was given to a voter before GE13 to claim an election pay-out for the Sungai Pinang state constituency (N30). The seat was eventually won by DAP.GEORGE TOWN (May 13): The Penang government has found reason, supported by legal provisions, to set up a commission of enquiry on incidences of election pay-outs and related malpractices being made in the state.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said based on the advice of constitutional lawyer Tommy Thomas, the state wants to have a commission so as to have findings and actions with statutory force.
The commission, he said, would work in parallel with any investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police and if appropriate action is taken by the authorities, there would be no need to continue operating the commission, Lim said.
"We actually do not have much faith in the MACC and Election Commission (EC)," he said. "Let the commission be formed and let them come up with the findings. I don't want to make any pre-emptive comments."
The Penang state executive council (exco) under Pakatan Rakyat will deliberate over the idea at its first meeting for the new term tomorrow.
Lim said the meeting will also hear the input of newly minted exco member and lawyer by profession Jagdeep Singh Deo and Andrew Yong who is special legal officer of the Chief Minister.
Jagdeep, until his appointment to the exco last week after successfully defending his Datuk Keramat state seat, ran the legal firm of his father – DAP chairman and Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh.
In a statement, Thomas explained that Section 2 of the Commissions of Enquiry Act 1950 gives power to both the federal and state governments to appoint such commissions.
Section 2(3) reads:
"The state authority of any state other than Sabah or Sarawak may issue a commission appointing one or more Commissioners and authorising them to enquire into –
(d) any other matter in which an enquiry would, in the opinion of the state authority, be for the state's public welfare and which does not directly concern the public welfare of any state.
"The expression 'public welfare' found in Section 2(3)(d) is also found in
Section 2(1)(d) relating to the Agong's power to appoint at the federal level," Thomas noted.
He stressed if the Penang government was satisfied that "the public welfare of Penang has been engaged by reason of the dishonest manner in which the election campaign had been carried out," it is empowered, under the section, to appoint a commission of enquiry.
Thomas explained that the chief minister would have to seek the Yang diPertua Negri's approval for the establishment of the commission and the latter will make its appointment.
He said the appointment cannot be challenged in court because it is "non-justiciable" and also because no party has the 'locus standi' to institute legal proceedings in court, Thomas added.
He cited Section 3(1) of the Act which provides the state the authority to specify the terms of reference and practical directions of how the commission can carry out its duties, while Section 3(2) provides for the appointment of a number of Commissioners.
The idea was mooted after Pakatan Rakyat representatives reported of alleged pay-outs in numerous occasions, around the state.
Before the 13th general election, DAP's Wong Hon Wai received a tip-off of such
incidence at a coffee shop in Reservoir Gardens in Penang.
Wong, who was candidate for the Air Itam state seat, called the police and rushed to the site but claimed that the activities stopped upon his arrival.
"The queue was still there, and after an hour the organisers asked the people to go off," Wong said, then lodging a police report and another with the MACC the next morning.
A few days ago, he and Pakatan Rakyat component members were shocked to hear of widespread pay-outs being allegedly made for voters in constituencies where Pakatan had lost to Barisan Nasional (BN).
Wong visited the MACC again today, this time with several PKR candidates who wanted to furnish evidences of similar cases in their own areas.
Wong learnt that his report was still "under observation." "No action was taken, no witnesses called... I am expecting them to make arrests!" Wong said.
"It is not an isolated case. It is a widespread vote-buying scheme to manipulate the outcome of the general elections," he alleged.
"If MACC does not take any action, in five years this kind of thing will happen again, and on a bigger scale," Wong lamented.
Ten PKR hopefuls who lost in Penang – many by thin margins – also began the process of reporting alleged incidents of pay-outs in their respective constituencies to the MACC.
Their spokesman, Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin, said the public vouchers were given out during the 1Malaysia free 'charity dinner' and at other places during the campaigning period.
Sim said PKR members had all gathered evidences and want the police and MACC to investigate whether the events where the vouchers were given out were related to pay-outs.
Sim cited the Balik Pulau parliamentary constituency where PKR and PAS lost in three state seats. He said money was being dispensed at three locations.
"The pay-out amount was between RM120 and RM200 to each person," he said, adding that voters in constituencies where Pakatan Rakyat parties won were turned away.
Sim said he lodged a report at the Sungai Nibong police station on May 10. He cited Section 10A of the Election Offences Act 1954 where bribery related to voting is spelled out as an offence "before, during or after an election."
He claimed that at one site they saw "hundreds of people" queuing up in front of an entrance that had a cardboard displaying the official EC-designated numbers of the constituencies the BN had won.
"Some people said to us that if you produce your IC (identity card) photocopy and you are a voter you can take the money. They (those handing out the money) had the voters' list where they marked that you had taken the money," he said.
Acting on a tip-off, Sim and PKR members did a spot-check at a location in the Pulau Betong state constituency, but the persons who were giving out the money left when they arrived.
"If this (pay-out) is legal, why are you running away?" Sim said, suspecting a continuous effort as many areas on the mainland had yet to receive their payments.
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