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Sarawak polls: Act against election offences, Election Commission urged

Image: freemalaysiatoday.com

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Bersih 2.0’s Sarawak Pemantau team in Sibu lodged a report with the Election Commission yesterday about on numerous offences our volunteers have monitored and verified in the course of their observation duties.

The Pemantau team has been following the schedules and events of all candidates contesting in Bawang Assan and the surrounding constituencies. Yesterday, the Pemantau team reported 10 offences committed by the Barisan Nasional candidates for Dudong, Bawang Assan, Pelawan and Tanjong Datu and the DAP candidate for Bawang Assan.

The offences included the misappropriation of government funds and property for personal use in contesting the election, direct bribery of voters and affixing campaign materials within 50m of polling stations.

We urge the Election Commission to investigate these violations under the Election Offences Act and involve the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate any misuse of public funds and public property.

The Pemantau team has only once recorded the presence of the Election Commission enforcement team at a campaign event. Bersih 2.0 demands the enforcement team have a marked presence at all campaign events by all candidates throughout the campaign period. Given the millions of ringgit allocated to the commission for this election, Bersih volunteers should not have to do the work of the commission.

Furthermore, we ask the Election Commission to explain the comments made by BN candidate for Tanjong Adenan Satem that he personally influenced the commission in the delineation exercise. Adenan’s comments came after the Barisan Nasional candidate for Tebedu claimed the recent delineation exercise was a gift by the Barisan Nasional government to the Bidayuh community.

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This is in direct violation of the 13th Schedule of the Constitution and again brings the independence of the commission into question. The delineation exercise is solely the Election Commission’s responsibility and must be done without political influence or with regard to racial politics. Bersih 2.0 condemns attempts by candidates in the election to racialise the delineation process.

The distribution of state funds, the use of government machinery and the implied influence of Barisan Nasional in the delineation process lays bare that the Sarawak state election is not in the hands of the voters but is instead nothing but window-dressing for a pre-determined outcome.

The Sarawak Pemantau Committee and the Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee

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