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4 April 2007
TAN SRI DATUK SERI PANGLIMA HAJI AB. RASHID BIN AB. RAHMAN,
Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya Malaysia (SPR),
ARAS 4-5 BLOK C7, PARCEL C
PUSAT PENTADBIRAN KERAJAAN PERSEKUTUAN
Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri,
DAP requests that the Election Commission investigate Parliamentary Secretary of Youth & Sports Datuk SA. Vigneswaran for physically manhandling a Harian Makkal Osai photographer and also MIC Youth Brigade members for involvement in the bloody assault on two DAP members as well as using vulgar language to threathen a Harian Malaysian Nanban female reporter after the nominating process was completed on 3 April 2007.
The Machap by-election will witness a continuation of the tradition of dirty tactics employed by BN in misusing government machinery and resources to get voters to support BN to achieve their overwhelming victory. Sadly such politics of deception, fear, money and compulsion have been employed by BN without any restraint from the Elections Commission.
To these 4 tactics of deception, fear, money and compulsion, BN has now included in their arsenal the politics of violence. On 2nd April 2007 Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when announcing BN’s candidate for Machap had introduced a Hokkien term – Hut Ji Liap! (Give a punch).
Unfortunately, such language of “hut ji liap” was not mere rhetoric but acted out in full display after the nomination process had been completed in the Machap nomination centre in Bukit Bulat. Two DAP members from Seremban, K. Kannis A/L Kanniah and Vijayan A/L Arumugam, were assaulted in full view of the police personnel present whilst walking back along the road. Around 30 MIC Youth Brigade members were involved using bricks and the MIC party flag.
We have the sharpened MIC flag which was used as a weapon to seriously injure our two members on the heads and faces. Three assailants have been identified of which two copies of the police reports are attached for your attention. Our members were walking peaceably and had better sense than to provoke a much larger crowd. Using violence is unacceptable and a clear attempt at intimidation to influence the election climate in Machap by introducing an element of fear.
Such violent attacks by MIC Youth Brigade members contravenes Section 4Aof the ELECTION OFFENCES ACT 1954 (REVISED - 1969) which states:-
Section 4A. Offence of promoting feelings of ill- will or hostility.
(1) Any person who, before, during or after an election, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, does any act or makes any statement with a view or with a tendency to promote feelings of ill-will, discontent or hostility between persons of the same race or different races or of the same class or different classes of the population of Malaysia in order to induce any elector or voter to vote or refrain from voting at an election or to procure or endeavour to procure the election of any person shall be liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine not exceeding ten thousand ringgit or to both such imprisonment and fine.
(2) Subject to any specific provision to the contrary in any written law relating to an election, any person who is convicted of an offence under this section shall, until the expiration of five years from such conviction, be incapable of being registered or listed as an elector or of voting at an election or of being elected at an election, and if at that date he has been elected at an election, his seat shall be vacated from the date of such conviction.
MIC and BN members are used to employing gangster culture and violence to get votes. The same MIC Youth Brigade members used vulgar language to threaten a Malaysian Nanban Harian reporter Malini a/p Rangasamy causing fear to her when she was only carrying out her duty as a reporter. MIC Youth chief Vigneswaaran who is also a Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sports, went further by physically manhandling a Harian Makkal Osai reporter Malayandi A/L Pidaran. Copies of the police reports are also attached.
Such violence on reporters threatens freedom of the press and indicates that there will no free, fair and impartial access by the DAP in the mainstream media during this elections. If the Election Commission is serious and sincere about creating a level playing field, then they must not only ensure fair access in all papers and broadcasting media but act sternly and urgently against BN members, leaders and MPs who use violence on DAP members, reporters and photographers.
Can the Election Commission henceforth ensure the safety of DAP members and supporters as well as journalists covering the by-election from the violence of BN members? Should the Election Commission fail to act under Section 4A against BN leaders and members for not only attacking DAP members but also reporters and photographers, then it will only confirm that the Election Commission is biased and prejudiced against opposition parties.
DAP had expressed deep misgivings and unhappiness that the polling day has been fixed on a working day, denying the right of 2,410 voters working outstation the opportunity to return home to work. Instead of seeking a high voting turnout by encouraging those working outstation to return home to vote, the Election Commission appears to deny those inclined to support the opposition the opportunity from doing so.
Taking action against those perpetrating those shameful acts of violence on Nomination Day would help remedy the strong biasedness in favour of BN.
LIM GUAN ENG
* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP