Based on news reports from Malaysiakini ad Star Online:
EC chairman wants us to believe his track record in conducting free and fair elections is good, But how can that be when not all citizens are being treated equally.
Take for example the postal votes. Nothing is more ridiculous than restricting the facility to only diplomatic staff and their spouses, students studying abroad and the armed services.
My condemnation of the blatant discrimination is centred on the word ‘restricted’ in above sentence, and not the three groups of Malaysian citizens.
What about Malaysians working abroad, who don't fall into the diplomatic or student abroad groups?
The EC chief’s dismissive and arrogant answer is for them to come home to vote. Why? Why not extend to them the same facility (of postal voting) that the 3 mentioned groups will enjoy, as is the rights of every Malaysian registered as a voter, including those abroad but who do not fall under any of the 3 mentioned groups?
The EC secretary, Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor, said that Election Regulations (Electoral Roll) 2002 and Election Regulations (Postal Votes) 2003 do not provide for ordinary citizens living abroad to cast postal votes, other than those 3 categories.
This is bloody deliberate disenfranchising citizens of their constitutional rights to vote.
For example, my blogging mate, renowned blogger Susan Loone, who works in Bangkok, is not able to vote by post, and must travel back all the way in order to participate in a once-in-very-5-years general election. It’s her constitutional right, yet the EC chairman is blatantly denying her that enshrined right to do so where she works.
What about those who are working in Canada, Finland, USA etc, thousands and thousands of kilometres away from Malaysia? They'll be effectively denied their voting rights.
Why is there this discrimination?
If you look at those two Acts, they are dated only in 2002 and 2003, meaning they were recent changes.
I believe the changes were made for racial reasons. Most Malaysians working abroad are non-Malays. It’s sickening to know that as a Malaysian citizen working abroad (who would have difficulty travelling back home just to vote), you are being deliberately marginalised for fear that you might vote for, say, the DAP.
I feel very sad that the DAP has gotten itself all tangled up in its own rocket-brand underwear, for now it has to wash and hang same out to dry in public.
I am referring to the Fong Po Kuan resignation. She is not going to contest in the general election. It annoys me that performers like her are being nudged out of good seats after she has pioneered the breakthrough in making her seat a DAP stronghold.
Instead of squabbling over prime seats, which rightly should be left to the incumbents to recontest, the other wannabes should venture into new seats. There seems to be a lack of adventurous daring among those wannabes, wanting to play safe only in what they perceive as safe blue ribbon seats.
The same comment applies to the report that Karpal Singh may take over Bagan parliamentary seat from the incumbent, Lim Hock Seng, who like Fong has done a good job building up local trust in the DAP.
While I respect Karpal, I believe the leaders shouldn’t knock out lower profile candidates, who are the salt of the earth.
Another sad issue is the terrible Higher Education Ministry who has not only banned academicians and undergraduates from participating in the general election (no wonder we have such low level immature graduates) but has now formed a Gestapo style monitoring unit to keep tabs on those university denizens to check that they don’t breach university regulations regarding the general election. They face suspension or expulsion if they do.
He said “The core business of students is to study.”
Study what? University undergraduates are not your primary school students. If they can’t study politics, state affairs, policies, citizen rights, civic duties including political campaigning by participating in general elections as budding adults should, what hope do we have for our nation’s future?
No wonder our universities have plummeted in their international rankings, when our graduates still have to ask teacher whether they can go wee wee.