Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad alleged after
the UMNO Supreme Council meeting on Wednesday that some 600 Chinese voters in
the Anak Bukit state assembly by-election last Thursday (July 18, 2002) were
afraid to vote because they were “intimidated” by the “strong threats to
the Chinese’” as a result of the “violent behaviour of PAS supporters” (Bernama
24.7.02), implying that the
defeated Barisan Nasional
candidate, Zakaria Said, could have otherwise won as he had lost by 508 votes.
leaders have rejected the allegation, the Election Commission should confirm or
deny Mahathir’s serious allegation that some 600 Chinese voters in the Anak
Bukit by-election were afraid to vote because of PAS threats, denying Barisan
Nasional of a 2-0 victory in the two Kedah by-elections in Pendang and Anak
do not want such serious and unsubstantiated allegations to stand uninvestigated
or to be used as an excuse to
justify draconian amendments to the
election laws which will make the electoral playing field even more lopsided in
favour of the ruling parties and to the detriment of a new
culture of free, fair and clean elections in the country.
of the some 600 Chinese voters in
Anak Bukit who were
“intimidated” by the “strong threats” and “violent behaviour” of the
PAS supporters from casting their vote on polling day had
lodged police reports at such unlawful denial of their constitutional
right to vote? In fact, was
there any single police report
lodged about such PAS threats “intimidating” the some 600 Chinese voters
from exercising their right to vote?
MCA or Gerakan leader go on public record on polling day itself or immediately
the following day to protest against the “strong threats” and “violent
behaviour” of the PAS supporters which created the fear among some 600 Chinese
voters in Anak Bukit from casting their votes and denying the Barisan Nasional
victory over PAS so as to give the
Barisan Nasional a 2-0 score instead of a 1-1 result in the two Kedah
by-elections following the death of the PAS President, Datuk Fadhil Noor?
were not only no complaints from the MCA and Gerakan leaders about some 600
Chinese voters in Anak Bukit by-election being “intimidated” from voting and
the Barisan Nasional denied victory in the by-election, they were all
very pleased and proud at their success
to bring about the high turnout of Chinese voters for the Barisan Nasional in
Wah Jit Poh on Thursday for instance quoted a Kedah MCA leader as saying that
there was a 84% turnout of the Chinese voters in the
Anak Bukit by-election as compared to 65% turnout in the 1999 general
election, and that there was almost 100% Chinese voter
support for the Barisan Nasional candidate.
claim of the MCA Kedah leader is true, then Mahathir cannot be right
that some 600 Chinese voters in the Anak Bukit by-election were
intimidated by PAS threats from casting their votes, which would have resulted
in a Barisan Nasional
victory over PAS.
Bukit has a total of 19,399 registered voters, comprising 16,889 Malays
(87.06%), 2,151 Chinese (11.09%), 290 Indians (1.49%), 69 Others (0.36%).
Mahathir is right that some 600 Chinese in Anak Bukit were “intimidated” by
PAS threats from casting their votes, this would represent some 28% of the 2,151
Chinese voters – which together with the 84% Chinese voter turnout as claimed
by the Kedah MCA leader would bring
the total of Chinese voters in the constituency to 112% of the actual number on
the electoral roll!
As it is
extremely unusual for Chinese voters in any constituency to have a voter turnout
exceeding 80 per cent, is there a “phantom bank vote” representing over 30%
of the Chinese voters in Anak Bukit so that there could be some 600 Chinese
voters who were afraid to vote because of PAS threats?
basis of these figures, Mahathir’s allegation of some 600 Chinese voters in
Anak Bukit who were afraid to vote because of PAS threats lacks credibility –
and it would be most unfortunate if such “tall tales” are used to justify
draconian amendments to the election laws to make them even more undemocratic
Election Commission should take seriously Mahahtir’s allegation of some 600
Chinese voters in Anak Bukit who were afraid to vote because of PAS threats and
initiate a full public inquiry into the truth or otherwise of
this allegation as well as other serious charges of gross electoral
improprieties, whether against PAS or Barisan Nasional.
As the DAP was not involved in the two Kedah by-elections, we are
prepared to serve on such an inquiry to get to the bottom of all allegations of
“crude and callous” tactics used in Pendang and Anak Bukit by-elections
before they are used to make the election laws even more undemocratic and