Saturday, April 16, 2011

For BN, a hollow victory

Despite Barisan Nasional’s victory in the 10th Sarawak state elections, allegations of electoral fraud and vote buying continue to haunt the ruling coalition. Instead of playing by the rules, it looks like BN has adopted cunning and fraudulent tactics to achieve this win.

Teo Nie Ching, MP for Serdang, tweeted that : “in SRJK Chung Hua, a polling station, EC tried to issue 2 ballot papers to 1 voter. Luckily our PACA spotted & stopped it.” Many similar accounts were reported through out the state, as EC stepped up a gear to cheat and deceive the people, while proving that it is indeed a government stooge and agent.

Besides that, Elizabeth Wong, PKR assemblywoman for Bukit Lanjan, also testified that slips of ‘Undi BN’ were given to every voter by EC clerks. 1Malaysia and Barisan Nasional banners were also suspended under the ceilings of most polling centres, turning them into playgrounds and turfs of Barisan Nasional.

The Election Commission was also deemed as carrying out a ‘modus operandi’ for Barisan Nasional, as they manipulate rules and regulations to maximize gains for the coalition. Bernama reported that 800 polling centres were closed at 12pm, amidst voter turnout well below 50% at that point of time. This move was seen as one to restrict youths, who have tendencies of waking up late when compared to their elderly peers, from voting.

As Barisan Nasional acknowledges that youth nowadays are more politically inclined and tend to favour the opposition due to the anti-Taib sentiment, such Machiavellian and cunning tactics employed by the EC had certainly paid off handsomely. Youths who showed up at polling centres after 12pm were left in disappointment as they could not exercise their democratic right to vote. Complaints and reports were made for such exploitation and manipulation but to no avail.

Why they are called Taib's strongholds

As results were announced, a simple comparison in the number of voters between BN strongholds and opposition strongholds was shocking. Most of the seats won by the opposition saw more than 15,000 voters in one constituency, whereas most BN strongholds had significantly lesser voters. The seat of Pending, won by DAP, saw 21,274 Sarawakians voting. On top of that, Bukit Assek had 18,504 voters, Kota Sentosa at 20,559, Pelangan with 20,336 and 18,440 voters at Batu Lintang, all of which are seats won by the opposition. This is a startling contrast when compared to BN strongholds.

Only 8 out of 55 seats won by BN had voters ranging from 10,000 to 13,000. The others were at least 3 or 4 times less than those captured by Pakatan Rakyat, with the majority of them ranging from 5,000 to 7,000 voters. These stellar figures go against the fundamental theory of 'one vote-one count' adopted all over the world.

Most countries have a rule that the number of voters in the least-dense constituency must have at least 80% of the number of voters densest constituency. The EC, however, had not only ignored such democratic rules, in fact, they capitalized on and exploited the lack of such rules to advantage for Barisan Nasional. Gerrymandering skills were used to manipulate constituency borderlines as well as number of voters in a seat, in a bid to restrict and hinder the progress of the emerging opposition.

Barisan Nasional had also reaped dividends from their goodies-giving approach. Electronic appliances, devices as well as vehicles were distributed to Sarawakians, as well as free concerts and meals on a daily basis. The indigenous people in the rural areas were also receiving a tidy sum of money in exchange for a vote to the desperate regime. Reports from the locals that figures ranging from RM50 to RM1000 were offered, as Barisan Nasional and Najib Razak rely heavily on such illegitimate and illicit methods to cling onto power.

BN might have succeeded in exploiting and extorting those living in hardcore poverty, but had failed with such tactics in semi-urban and urban seats. A total reversal of fortunes was witnessed in major towns like Kuching, Sibu and Miri, as Barisan Nasional experienced a humiliating total whitewash. The urbanites handed Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) a hard lesson as heavyweights like George Chan and Tiong Thai King were defeated. In fact, the victories achieved by the opposition in these urban and semi-urban constituencies were capped with resounding majorities.

Barisan Nasional’s persistence of employing dirty tactics and approaches has brought our country to a new low in terms of democracy, transparency and fairness. The desperation of the coalition to sacrifice principles and ethics in exchange for votes is one which should be rejected and despised by the people.

It is therefore a blessing in disguise for Pakatan Rakyat for their failure to deny the two-thirds majority held by Barisan Nasional, as Malaysians have witnessed the true colours of a fading evil regime and will certainly vent their anger come the next general elections.

[Source: MC]

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