Closing speech by Lim Guan Eng at the closed-door DAP National Election Workshop in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 16th January 2011 at 5pm:
Is the proxy voting system the newest strategy by the Election Commission (EC) to assist BN to defend Putrajaya at all costs and win the 13th general elections?
DAP express shock at the latest proposal by the EC to implement a proxy voting system that would empower individuals to cast ballots on behalf of other registered voters. EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof even said that this was amongst some proposed 30 amendments to election laws in the country that the commission hoped to table in the coming Parliament sitting in March.
Are these and the proxy voting system the newest strategy by EC to assist BN to defend Putrajaya at all costs and win the 13th General Elections? By revealing as many 30 proposed changes without first discussing with opposition parties indicates that the EC wants to surprise and handicap PR who may not have the time, manpower and resources to cope with the latest changes. How then can EC by trusted as a credible body that is free, fair, neutral and independent in conducting elections?
Without proper consultation and feedback from both the public and PR the latest strategy which may well cripple or even strike a possibly fatal blow to PR general election campaign and hopes of victory. Tan Sri Abdul Aziz's explanation that the proxy voting system was aimed at enabling those who were unable to be present on polling days to have their votes cast by approved proxies, would be open to abuse and encourage vote-buying. If EC is sincere, why then did EC not sanction Malaysians living overseas to register and vote in our foreign missions?
DAP vehemently opposes and condemns proxy voting which will only open up another avenue of abuse for the well-equipped BN to exploit. Based on BN's abysmal record of perverting the clean conduct of the electoral process and EC atrocious failure to monitor and ensure compliance, there are serious concerns that proxy voting will only serve to "legitimatise" the practice of employing phantom voters.
When proxy voting is permitted, we can neither be sure that the proxies are genuine or that the voters they purport to represent are genuine. Further, proxy voting can only encourage vote-buying. BN already enjoys overwhelming advantage in 3Ms - Money politics, Media control and misuse of government Machinery. Allowing proxy voting will only add on to BN's arsenal of weapons against PR to defend Putra Jaya at all costs.
The public has no confidence that PR will ensure that there will be no abuses in the proxy voting system when the EC has systematically rejected complaints of 3Ms, malpractices in postal voting, refusal to allow automatic registration of voters and permitting Malaysians overseas to register and vote. DAP will direct our top party leaders National Vice-Chair YB Tan Kok Wai and DAPSY chief YB Anthony Loke to meet with the EC to register our objections in the strongest possible terms.
DAP leaders are also reminded to be wary and monitor closely the possibility that the EC will conduct a constituency redelinenation exercise under Article 113 of the Federal Constitution. In a possible "gerrymandering" exercise, EC will redraw all parliamentary and state constituencies in favour BN to the detriment of PR. In such a scenario, PR would have lost even before the contest begin because the constituencies would be like a "loaded" dice.
Even though BN has lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament, there is a likelihood that the constituency redelineation exercise would still proceed. EC would argue that such a constituency redelineation exercise is valid under Article 113 and there is a no need for a constitutional amendment as the exercise does not involve an increase in the number of seats, only the boundaries. However PR would vigorously oppose such interpretation to prevent EC from "loading the dice" to favour BN.
*Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary General & MP for Bagan