calls for all-party/NGO roundtable conference to draft proposals for a new law
on free, fair and clean elections and not another gang-up between the Election
Commission and the ruling parties
to write new election laws with bias towards the Barisan Nasional.
statement by the Election Commission Chairman Datuk Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman
asking for more enforcement powers including deterrent punishments to bar opposition
parties and individuals from
contesting in elections is most horrendous, totally misguided and completely
will not admit and does not like
it, but the brutal reality is that the Election Commission in the past few
decades have not convinced Malaysians that it is a fully independent and
autonomous body which did not have to hew to the dictates or wishes of the ruling parties, whether in fixing
campaign periods or in the enactment of election laws.
Election Commission for instance has not lived down its great blot and
shame in the 1999 general election when it
connived with the ruling parties in disenfranchising 680,000
new voters from the right to vote
in the 10th general election, although they had registered as voters
for more than eight months earlier.
Election Commission's proposal for a '"Super Sedition" clause where
those who uttered seditious remarks during campaigning would have their voting
rights revoked and prevented from contesting in elections for five years is most
obnoxious from all democratic principles, apart from being open to considerable
abuses of power.
is best illustrated by the police harrassment of the DAP's "No to 911, No to 929, Yes to
1957" People's Awareness Campaign, claiming that it is seditious to say
"No to 929" or to say no to an Islamic State.
instance, the Seremban district
police chief, Assistant Commissioner Abdul Khalid Abu Hassan had
warned DAP leaders and supporters who distribute the leaflets
"No to 929" to the public risk being charged under the Sedition Act
1948 (New Straits Times 23.7.02).
Khalid's warning was most deplorable, and the best example of police officers
taking the law into their own hands to criminalise legitimate political and
constitutional activities in the country - and we do not want to see some
over-zealous Election Commission officers acting like Abdul Khalid in the
Khalid's warning is the most blatant example of police officers who arrogate to themselves the power to
criminalise legitimate political and constitutional activities in reckless
disregard of the damage of their actions to Malaysia's international image on
democracy and human rights - or the recent efforts by the Deputy Prime Minister,
Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi in organizing the Kuala Lumpur International
Conference on Islam (Kalif 2002) to show the world that the Malaysian
government's concept of Islam is compatible with democracy and human rights.
the Election Commission accept that The "No to 911, No to 929, Yes to
1957" campaign is a patriotic
and nationalistic campaign to defend and uphold the 1957 Merdeka Constitution,
the "social contract" and 1963 Malaysia Agreement that Malaysia is a
democratic, secular, multi-religious, tolerant and progressive nation with Islam
as the official religion but Malaysia is not an Islamic state - whether ala-UMNO
the "No to 929" campaign is seditious, then the 1957 Merdeka
Constitution and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement are seditious documents.
Furthermore, the first three Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and
Tun Hussein Onn would have committed sedition offences as well as they had at
one time or another proclaimed that Malaysia is a secular nation with Islam as
the official religion but not an Islamic state.
fact, in February 1983, on the occasion of his 80th birthday, Tunku
issued the clear public message that plural Malaysia should not be turned into
an Islamic State. The third Prime
Minister, Tun Hussein On, who celebrated his 61st birthday within the
same week, also publicly supported Tunku's call that Malaysia should not be
turned into an Islamic state.
Tunku and Tun Hussein's public statements in February 1983 are all in the
historic archives which could not be denied by anyone.
If the "No to 929" campaign is seditious, then Tunku
and Tun Hussein Onn had committed the offence of sedition when they called on
Malaysians not to turn Malaysia into an Islamic State.
the Election Commission is given new powers to bar opposition parties and
individuals from contesting in elections, would one day in not too distant
future, the Election Commission would declare that any political party which
advocates "No to 911, No to 929, Yes to 1957" and wants to defend and
uphold the 1957 Merdeka Constitution, the "social contract" and the
1963 Malaysia Agreement that Islam is the official religion but Malaysia is not
an Islamic state is to be barred
from contesting in elections on the ground theat such campaigning is
groundless warning by Abdul Khalid is the most blatant example of the gross
abuse of police powers and a wake-up call to all Malaysians that they must be
prepared to exercise their constitutional rights to defend and uphold the
44-year fundamental constitutional principle and nation-building cornerstone in
the 1957 Merdeka Constitution and
the Merdeka "social
contract", later reaffirmed in the
1963 Malaysia Agreement when the people of Sabah and Sarawak joined to
form Malaysia, that Islam is the official religion but Malaysia is not an
view of the baseless and misguided warning by Abdul Kahlid, I will be in
Seremban on Sunday (July 28) morning together with other DAP leaders to take the
non-seditious and fully constitutional "No to 929" campaign to the
people of Seremban - and I call on Abdul Khalid to fully respect the
Constitution, the Rukunegara and the rule of law by giving the fullest
co-operation to the DAP in the discharge of our legitimate political activities.
find it very sad that in Kampar and Seremban on Monday, there was a full police
turn-out at the DAP''s "No to 929" campaigns, as if these two towns
were facing major security threats and as if they do not have better things to
do to carry out the basic police duties of maintaining law and order and
reducing the spiralling incidence of crime in the country.
police must be reminded that their first job is to fight crime
and not to invent new crimes by going
around to criminalise legitimate political and constitutional
activities of opposition parties which pose no threat to law and order
or the security of the nation.
if the Police want to continue to mobilise scarce police personnel at DAP's
"No to 929" campaigns - which is going to increase in intensity in
various parts of the country in the coming months - then
Abdullah and the Inspector-Gteneral of Police Tan Sri Norian Mai
should immediately ask for a special supplementary budget allocation for
the police to increase police personnel and resources so that they will not be
diverted from their most elementary duty of fighting crime because of the
misguided decision to give "full-strength police escort" to DAP's
"No to 929" functions.
can be assured that DAP MPs will give full support in Parliament
for a special supplementary budget for the police to increase police
personnel and resources to monitor and "protect" the DAP's "No to
929 " campaign.