Monday, May 20, 2013

NGOs to hold 'people's festival' on May 25

KUALA LUMPUR (May 20): A total of 48 non-governmental organisations will be holding a "people's festival" on May 25 to voice the people's dissatisfaction with the Election Commission (EC) for failing to tackle election fraud.
The peaceful gathering will be held at the Petaling Jaya City Council's (MBPJ) field Padang Timur, located opposite Amcorp Mall on Saturday evening.
The coalition, called the People's Voice 505, will hold the gathering "to reclaim democracy which was stolen from the people," Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) founder and Suara Rakyat 505 spokesman Badrul Hisham Shaharin, also known as Chegubard.
Suara Rakyat 505 will also reveal evidence of alleged fraud during the gathering.
The coalition has three demands:
> EC to be disbanded and its chairman, deputy chairman and committee to resign. Another "fairer and independent" EC to be formed via a public hearing whereby certain individuals endorsed by the public will be appointed to the commission and it will fall under the jurisdiction of Parliament instead of the prime minister;
> Elections to be held again in 27 contentious areas as highlighted by Pakatan Rakyat, where candidates contested without logos, and;
> Support election watchdog Bersih's move to set up a people's tribunal to collate all information and evidence of electoral fraud.
Asked if the coalition had notified the police about the gathering, Badrul Hisham said: "The situation is under control."
He said the coalition representatives have spoken to Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim about using the field and will follow up with state government officials in the following days.
"We have also invited certain politicians to speak at the gathering and they have been very responsive to the invitation," he added.
However, he declined to reveal the invited politicians, saying an announcement on details of the gathering will be made in the next few days.
Badrul Hisham said allegations that the gathering was an attempt to stage a "Malaysian spring" was not true, and that it was a "psychogical war" devised by the government of the day which is intimidated by people's power.
"People should not fall prey to this psy-war. There is no 'Malaysian spring' agenda and there will be no attempt to overthrow the government," he told a press conference.
Badrul Hisham said the organisers will furnish evidence of electoral fraud in audiovisual form and several witnesses will also present their accounts to the public.
"We have clear evidence such as 60,000 unreturned ballot papers," he said, adding that, "Ballots from Nusajaya were found in the Mahkota constituency which is located about 70km to 80km away." 
He said the EC had failed to ensure a free and fair election despite many rallies and gatherings calling for clean elections without manipulation and fraud.
"EC's call for all parties who lost in the elections to accept the results even though there is mounting clear evidence for the submission of court petitions shows the unprofessional attitude of the EC. It should accept all complaints and evidence of electoral fraud from parties and candidates who contested in the elections," he added.
He also said the coalition welcomes any proof from BN candidates if Pakatan Rakyat were behind any incidences of electoral fraud.
Badrul Hisham also condemned the arrest of student activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim.
He said the suspended Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) student's comments should not be misconstrued and must be taken in context.
Adam, 24, was arrested two days ago under the Sedition Act and is being investigated under Section 124(B) of the Penal Code, which carries a 20-year maximum imprisonment if found guilty, for remarks he made at a May 13 forum.
He had allegedly told the forum that Malaysians "cannot wait for five years to overthrow Umno and BN".

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