People Take Up the Call: Vote and Observe – 19 April 2013
19 April 2013 18:54

 

PEMANTAU is disappointed by a recent statement made by Assistant Head of the Inspector-General of Police (Public Relations) Secretariat, ACP Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf. He claimed that the police had “received many applications to become monitors of the 13th general election as well as of incidents of political violence” as well as that “monitoring by any individual or group, uniformed or otherwise, or those declaring themselves as monitors, is not allowed.”

 

His statement appears to be at odds with that of the chair of the Election Commission, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof. As reported in the media on 5 April, he said that the EC welcomes the PEMANTAU initiative, which according to him would prove that the EC is open to any groups wanting to help them improve the electoral process.
 
We stress that PEMANTAU has never applied to the police to be monitors. In opening a line of communication with the police, we recognise their responsibility to ensure the safety of all Malaysians, to which PEMANTAU can only contribute by alerting them of incidents of violence and misconduct.
 
We emphasise again that PEMANTAU’s work will not intervene with the EC’s conduct of the elections or the accredited observer group’s task of observing the elections. In fact, this shall complement them and help to deter fraudulent practices such as vote buying, violence, undue influence and intimidation, and abuse of public resources. The police should ensure the safety of the PEMANTAU observers as they are exercising their legitimate rights to be part of the democratic process of this country.
 
So far PEMANTAU has mobilised 2000 Malaysian citizens to observe 55 parliamentary seats all around the country. More are joining up at the last minute. Their work begins on nomination day and will carry on until tabulation on polling day. PEMANTAU observers will watch for violations of the Election Offences Act, including bribery, treating, and statements intended to spread hostility and ill-will. They will also observe any other misconduct, such as the misuse of government resources to benefit particular political parties. We are ready to go with our material and resources, which have been distributed to our observers.
 
The media is an important aspect of clean and fair elections. PEMANTAU fully supports the Centre for Independent Journalism’s media monitoring work during the campaign period. Their project, “Watching the Watchdog”, is a significant source of information for PEMANTAU’s own work. We are concerned to hear of allegations by concerned individuals that political pressure is being put on a number of media outlets, as this will adversely affect the right of voters to make an informed choice.
 
PEMANTAU will be issuing statements based on critical issues raised by the observers during the campaign period, which will also be published on our website for the media and the general public. PEMANTAU press conferences will be conducted periodically from now until polling day. We will be releasing a preliminary report within 24 hours after polling day, and a final report a month later. All our documents will be freely available.
 
PEMANTAU urges all Malaysians who can do so to come out and vote – your presence is needed to fight fraud. But don’t stop there: if you witness any incidences of electoral misconduct, find a PEMANTAU observer or go straight to to lodge a complaint.
 
Thank you.

PEMANTAU Pilihan Raya Rakyat (PEMANTAU) comprises of:

Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0 (BERSIH 2.0)

Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (MAFREL)

Pusat KOMAS
 
For further enquiries, please contact the BERSIH 2.0 secretariat at 03-77723275 or 019-4380428.
 
Complaints by the public can be channelled to:
 

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