- ‘EC can’t dismiss ballot-paper buying claim’
- KL ‘Black 505′: Pakatan wants Dataran Merdeka but …
- Malaysia: Drop Charges Against ‘Blackout 505’
Posted: 04 Jun 2013 11:50 PM PDT
The Election Commission (EC) cannot simply say that it has nothing to do with the police report lodged by its officers, alleging the buying of ballot papers by a BN candidate, said PKR’s Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli.
He told reporters this is because the EC is constitutionally duty-bound to safeguard its reputation and the credibility of the electoral process.
“(EC deputy chairperson) Wan Ahmad (Wan Omar) likes to scold us and then, when a police report is lodged, he goes into quiet mode," Rafizi(centre in photo) told a press conference today.
“This is his responsibility. If a report was made by the EC’s own officers, then it is his constitutional duty to clear the air, explain and to nullify the election (results) if it is true."
He also rubbished a claim by the BN's Hulu Besut representative Nawi Mohamad that he is not involved.
“(Nawi) only said ‘there is no such thing’, as easy as that, which is the standard Umno answer.
“They are saying a police report is not evidence enough and that anyone can lodge one, not realising that there are penalties for false reports."
Rafizi said the fact that the EC officer was willing to put herself forward to be investigated and to give evidence lends credence to her claim.
"But at least Nawi is nicer than Shahrizat," he said, referring to former Umno Wanita chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil who has sued him for allegedly defaming her over the National Feedlot Corporation exposes.
Nawi had told KiniTV he did not buy any postal ballot paper, while Wan Ahmad told Sinar Harian that the claim has nothing to do with the EC.
Yesterday, Rafizi provided media with a copy of a police report lodged by an individual claiming to be an EC officer.
The individual said that her postal ballot paper was "bought" by Nawi for RM100, and when she asked for the paper back, the ballot was already marked for BN.
Posted: 04 Jun 2013 11:49 PM PDT
Pakatan Rakyat will write to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the police today to state their intention to hold the Kuala Lumpur legof the 'Black 505′ rally at Padang Merbok on June 15.
PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli said, however, the coalition's first choice for the 2pm rally would be the iconic Dataran Merdeka, about a kilometre away.
“Our wish and intention is to hold the rally at Dataran, but we take heed of the constant reminders by the police to avoid Dataran," he told a press conference today.
“In a mutually beneficial move, we take this initiative. But if the police and DBKL do not mind, we would like to assemble at Dataran."
He said Pakatan is choosing Padang Merbok for now to avoid going “back and forth” in negotiations, which could lead to delay.
The Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 requires that authorities be informed 10 days in advance of any gathering, and that written permission is obtained from venue owners.
Padang Merbok is managed by DBKL.
Rafizi reiterated that the rally is to demand the resignation of the Election Commission, as well as reinstatement of an interim panel that is agreed upon by the BN, Pakatan and civil society groups like Bersih to spearhead electoral reform.
“The time when the BN decides on its own is over. We can discuss terms of reference for the appointment of a new EC, but (there will be) no compromise unless all members resign immediately,” he said.
He said the rally will also demand that a re-election be called in 30 parliamentary constituencies, under the watch of the proposed interim EC.
It will further demand that amendments to electoral laws and the intended redelineation exercise is halted until the interim panel is in place.
“We are apprehensive about (Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s) announcement that the EC will be under a parliamentary select committee (PSC), as this is nothing but a delay tactic.
“We have been down this path (before) … the PSC is made of a majority of BN members, and there will be delays, and further delays."
‘PAS leaders, members will be there’
Also at the press conference was PAS deputy secretary-general Syed Azman Syed Nawawi, who refuted claims that the party is not behind the 'Black 505′ rallies nationwide.
He said that the entire PAS top leadership will be present at the KL rally and that the party will mobilise members and supporters to attend as well.
PKR’s Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul said the event will take on a “festive” mood and will “safe and non-confrontational” just like the many 'Black 505′ rallies held since May 8.
“There have been many young people who come in a respectful and orderly manner, and this is encouraging as it shows that the nation is maturing fast,” he said.
Prior to the Kuala Lumpur event, Black 505 rallies will be held in Perlis on June 10, in Sungai Petani, Kedah, on June 11 and in Batu Pahat, Johor, on June 14.
“We are inviting everyone, whether party members or not and including BN members, to come and listen as this is part of political education,” he added.
Posted: 04 Jun 2013 11:23 PM PDT
The Malaysian authorities should stop prosecuting activists and opposition figures involved in rallies protesting the recent elections, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Prime Minister Najib Razak.
At least six alleged organizers of the "Blackout 505" rallies have been charged with violating Malaysia's Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 for failing to give police the required 10-day advance notification. On May 22, police also arrested 18 peaceful protesters at a candlelight vigil outside the Jinjang police station in Kuala Lumpur.
"Prosecuting activists for organizing peaceful protests makes a mockery of the prime minister's promises to establish a rights-respecting government in Malaysia," said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. "The government should drop the charges against the six activists and publicly pledge to cease bringing cases against organizers of peaceful protests."
The "Blackout 505" rallies in Selangor, Penang, Ipoh, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Johor Bahru, and other parts of Malaysia attracted large numbers protesting the results of, and alleged malfeasance during, the country's May general elections. The well-ordered demonstrations have generally been confined to clearly defined spaces or venues, such as sports stadiums and empty fields.
Statements by prominent public officials called into question the government's commitment to protect the right to peaceful assembly. For example, Minister of Home Affairs Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told the media that people had to stop the post-election gatherings, and "if they still want to continue, then they will have to pay the price." Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Mohmad Salleh said the police refused to tolerate the candlelight vigil, "as it will only cause agitation among the public."
The 10-day notice provision under the Peaceful Assembly Act is contrary to international human rights standards and should be amended along with other problematic parts of the law to protect public assembly and free expression. The United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of assembly and of association, Maina Kai, reported to the UN Human Rights Council in April 2013 that "peaceful protests should not be viewed as a threat" by governments. He flagged lengthy notification periods and recommended a maximum notice requirement of 48 hours.
Human Rights Watch called on the Malaysian authorities to drop the charges against the "Blackout 505" protest organizers, and to end harassment and police investigations of other organizers. The Malaysian government should amend the Peaceful Assembly Act and other laws that infringe on the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of association.
"Prime Minister Najib should understand that addressing the issues surrounding the May elections means listening to his opponents – not prosecuting them for asserting the right to have their voices heard," Robertson said.
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