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Ambiga: Bersih’s ‘People’s Tribunal’ a ‘Moral Force’ to Investigate Electoral Fraud

Posted: 20 May 2013 08:52 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — Bersih 2.0's "People's Tribunal" may not have any legal standing but will serve as a "moral force" to investigate allegations of electoral fraud, said Datuk Ambiga Sreenavasan when defending the polls watchdog's final attempt at proving wrongdoing in the May 5 polls.

The renowned civil rights activist told The Malaysian Insider that Bersih 2.0 will soldier on with its plan to set up the tribunal which, she said, should be announced in two or three weeks' time, despite earning condemnation from polls regulator Election Commission (EC).

"It is true that it is not set up under any law or statute. That is why it is called the People's Tribunal," she said.

"It will be an evidence-gathering tribunal and what we have is the moral force to examine the allegations. That is its main aim — to gather evidence," she added.

On May 6, a day after the tumultuous 13th general election, Bersih 2.0 announced its plan to set up the tribunal to look into the hundreds of reports of alleged cheating that took place during the polls.

The coalition of over 80 non-governmental organisations insisted that the polls results had favoured the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) largely because of these irregularities, and said it would not recognise the outcome until it had verified all allegations of fraud.

In the polls, BN continued its half-a-century unbroken rule and emerged victors yet again despite winning with a significantly smaller seat majority in the 222-seat Parliament.

It is true that it is not set up under any law or statute. That is why it is called the People's Tribunal. — Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan
The ruling pact snapped up 133 seats this time to Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) 89, failing yet again to recapture the coveted two-thirds parliamentary majority that it first lost in the 2008 general election.

PR refused to accept its losses, however, pointing to the fact that it had won the overall popular vote by scoring 51 per cent of votes cast, while BN only took 48 per cent — an outcome reminiscent of the 1969 polls when the ruling pact first lost the popular vote.

The federal opposition pact of PR has since confirmed plans to file election petitions to challenge the results in 27 federal seats where BN had won with marginal majorities, allegedly due to electoral fraud.

PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli has also said that the same complaints will be brought before Bersih 2.0's "People's Tribunal" where, he said, PR's evidence was likely to be treated with more seriousness than in any court of law.

Ambiga told The Malaysian Insider that the tribunal will be presided over by a five-member panel, which will include individuals of repute and who will not be members of any political parties or even from Bersih 2.0 itself.

She said the panel will likely come up with a set timeframe to conduct its probe, apart from deciding on appropriate terms of reference before commencing any hearing.

"We will then expect some sort of recommendations or findings to be made. This will be presented to all the relevant authorities, including human rights bodies like Suhakam," she said.

"For Bersih... our role is just to facilitate the setting up of the tribunal. Further to that, we will not get involved. It must be completely independent," she added.

Ambiga also explained that the setting up of the tribunal was taking longer than originally planned due to the complexity of its scope of investigation, as well as the selection of its panel members.

"We originally wanted to have it done by June but it looks impossible at this point. We should announce the panel within two or three weeks' time.

"But as to when the panel will begin their hearings, that would be entirely up to the members to decide," she said.

Despite widespread protests against its handling of the 13th general election, the EC has insisted that it had conducted the polls fairly and successfully, citing the higher turnout of voters at a whopping 84 per cent as evidence of voters' confidence in the Malaysian electoral system.

"We have conducted a successful polls, there was an 85 per cent turnout… we have good job as you can see from the turnout," EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said last week.

PR has been organising mammoth rallies across the country to prove voter dissatisfaction against the polls, which PR de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has insisted had been stolen from his pact.

Source: TheMalaysianInsider

Model GST Singapura Tak Relevan Untuk Malaysia, Hanya Bantu Orang Kaya

Posted: 20 May 2013 08:46 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA, 21 MEI: Menjadikan pengutipan Cukai Barangan Dan Perkhidmatan (GST) di Singapura sebagai model tidak bersesuaian berikutan pendapatan perkapita rakyat negara ini jauh lebih rendah berbanding Singapura.

Mengenakan GST sebanyak tujuh peratus seperti yang dibayangkan Menteri Di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Idris Jala baru-baru ini juga membimbangkan kerana bercanggah daripada kadar empat peratus seperti yang dicadangkan Kementerian Kewangan sebelum ini.

"Menjanjikan penurunan cukai korporat dan cukai pendapatan untuk off-set GST hanya membantu orang kaya.

"Dalam erti kata lain, plan GST BN adalah regresif dan pada dasarnya akan melihat majoriti rakyat membayar lebih cukai daripada minoriti kaya," kata Pengerusi Biro Perdagangan dan Pelaburan PKR,  Wong Chen dalam sidang media di ibu pejabat PKR di Merchant Square semalam.

Menurut Wong Chen, Idris juga gagal memaklumkan keadaan sebenar Singapura ketika melaksanakan GST pada 1994 tidak terus mengenakan tujuh peratus, sebaliknya hanya mengenakan tiga peratus, dinaikan kepada empat peratus pada 2003 dan hanya 13 tahun kemudian pada 2007 barulah mencapai tujuh peratus.

Menurut Wong Chen yang juga merupakan Ahli Parlimen Kelana Jaya itu, kerajaan sepatutnya menumpukan usaha membaiki kelemahan asas cukai yang lemah, pembaziran perbelanjaan dan rasuah sekaligus mampu mengurangkan defisit negara.

Menurut beliau kelemahan asas cukai berpunca daripada fakta bahawa pendapatan majoriti rakyat Malaysia adalah masih rendah sekaligus berada di bawah paras had pembayar cukai.

Pada April tahun lalu, kerajaan menangguhkan lagi bacaan Rang Undang-Undang GST buat kali ketiga selepas pertama kali dibentangkan di Dewan Rakyat sejak tahun 2009.

Langkah penangguhan tersebut diambil dipercayai disebabkan kebimbangan BN akan ditolak dalam Pilihan Raya Umum Ke 13 (PRU-13) baru-baru ini.

Bagaimanapun BN selepas mencapai kemenangan dengan majoriti merosot berbanding PRU-12 sebelumnya, dijangka tidak akan teragak-agak untuk melaksanakan GST selepas diluluskan dengan sokongan wakil rakyat BN di Dewan Rakyat nanti.

Sumber: Selangorku

Xavier, Wong May Be Dropped From Selangor Exco Lineup

Posted: 20 May 2013 08:13 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA (May 20): PKR's Dr Xavier Jayakumar and Elizabeth Wong have accepted the possibility that they may not been reappointed to the Selangor state executive council.

This is apparently because the new lineup will feature six Malays and four non-Malays, as requested by the Sultan of Selangor to better reflect the racial composition of the assembly members.

With three or four of the non-Malay exco positions going to DAP, PKR will at the most have only one non-Malay representative in the lineup.     

Wong, when contacted today, said she is committed towards working for her Bukit Lanjan state constituency and addressing environmental issues irrespective of whether she gets an exco post.

"Yes there is a possibility (of not being re-appointed) but it won't affect my resolve to represent my constituents and my work on the environment," she said.

"We place our trust in MB (Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim) to make the best decision on this matter (exco line-up)," she added.

Xavier told fz.com that PKR had agreed to include a non-Malay assembly member in its exco list but the decision was not final.

'There are a few names. We will have to wait and see," he said.

In previous discussions, Selangor Pakatan Rakyat leaders had agreed that the 10 exco positions would be equally distributed between Malays and non-Malays, with PAS representatives holding three posts (in addition to the speaker's post), DAP holding four posts and PKR holding three posts (as well as the menteri besar's post).

DAP had already mooted former speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim and Seri Kembangan assembly member Ean Yong Hian Wah to fill two exco positions.

Teng was known to have thrown his name in the hat for the exco position even before the May 5 polls.

Also, DAP won more seats in Selangor compared to PKR. DAP and PAS each won 15 seats while PKR won 14 seats.

However, in a surprise announcement on Saturday, Abdul Khalid revealed the ratio of positions between DAP and PAS had switched.

According to a PKR source, the reason behind this was due to a proposal from the Sultan of Selangor for Malay elected representatives to assume six exco positions while non-Malay representatives will assume the remaining four exco positions to better reflect the racial composition of the newly elected state assembly.

Out of 56 state assembly members, 37 are Malays and 19 are non-Malays.

The previous exco lineup had five Malays and five non-Malays. 

If Pakatan were to accede to the ruler's proposal, and maintained DAP's ratio of four exco positions, then PKR would have to nominate its Malay elected representatives for the exco posts and exclude  Wong and Xavier.

The Pakatan leadership is now in discussion to solve the kerfuffle over the exco line-up.

Wong had previously championed environmental policies and worked on the drafting as well as implementation of the Freedom of Information legislation.

She had tabled an amendment to the National Forestry Act 1984 which calls for a public inquiry compulsory before a forest reserve can be de-gazetted. It was passed by the state assembly during its sitting in April 2011.

She also worked closely with orang asli communities, and embarked on a first attempt in the administrative history of the Selangor government to use geo-mapping
technology in order to delineate orang asli villages and native customary land in the state.

Wong also worked on the No Plastic Bag on Saturdays campaign which was successful in the state.

Xavier is known to champion Indian community issues.

He has worked on various matters, including the relocation and construction of Tamil schools, ironing out land matters affecting Tamil schools and improvement of Tamil school education via a committee made up of Selangor Pakatan leaders.

He also administered the relocation of Hindu temples as well as facilitated talks between former plantation workers and landowners for relocation.

Xavier also facilitated administrative matters to solve flooding woes in Taman Sentosa, with the construction of a water retention pond slated to begin soon.

Source: fz.com

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