Monday, May 6, 2013

Apa berlaku?

Michelle Ding Sue Yean

What happened?
Why did the unofficial results vary so much from the final announced ones?

I was a counting agent yesterday. Every candidate should have a Counting Agent (CA) to observe and verify the final count in the Saluran he/she is in. 

This final count, recounted as many times as necessary, in front of witnesses (CA)s fr all parties contesting - is then put in a form. The Borang 14. The final count is written plainly there, and is agreed, approved and signed by reps from all parties.

And this is supposed to be final, brought to the main EC centre to be tallied. All ballot papers are sealed in bags and then in boxes. Because all the necessary recounts have already been done at each saluran. Really. We were very careful. 

Now each Counting Agent will also bring this signed copy back to their party base, and the count from all the different salurans are tallied there. This is how 'unofficial' results come about. 

Yesterday, by adding up all the 'scores' - it seemed like PR has won, and won big. 

But no announcements were made. At the EC's main counting centres, recounts were requested on seats that BN lost in (even after all the different saluran had already confirmed the count), blackouts happened, mystery boxes appear - and then suddenly - BN candidates are winning. And then and only then, The EC comes out with official result statements: BN has won this seat, BN has won this other seat. Too dodgy. 

When our country was born, the EC was formed independent from the executive, as it must be. Today, it answers to the Prime Minister Department. (Kinda like you organizing a contest, you make the rules, terms & conditions, and you are also contesting in it. After that you influence the judge's decision, and all judge's decisions are final. )

The EC has therefore, for a long time lost its voice and might I say, raison d'être. Depressing. 
This is Mahathir's doing. It was during his 'far too long' reign that he constitutionally made the EC slave of the PMO. 

FYI: It takes a 2/3 majority in Parliament to amend the constitution. Except for 1969, 2008, and now 2013, BN has always won 2/3 of Parliament, Sometimes even 90%. And here you don't really go against your supreme party or you get kicked out. 

This is also why our constitution has been amended way too many times and usually for the benefit of a select few. BN. UMNO. And all their cronies. 

The fact is: 
Democracy didn't die yesterday in Malaysia, it died a long time ago. The moment the EC ceased to be independent.

We are finally realizing it, which means we are in motion to reclaim it. There is some form of respite in that, I guess. But we also know the journey ahead will not be easy. The way things are going, it looks like it will have to get a lot harder before it becomes better. For our sakes, and for our children and country - The people need to be resilient. We need to persevere. 

And we need to take important steps. 

Paramount to that is to urgently demand a complete reform of the Election Commission (SPR), detach it from the jurisdiction of the PMO, and give it back it's voice.

That, I think, would be a very crucial first step to resuscitate our democracy. 


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