President Obama called Prime Minister Najib on the evening of May 13 to congratulate him on his victory in parliamentary elections and to reaffirm the strong bonds of friendship between the United States and Malaysia. The President noted that Malaysians had turned out in record numbers to vote and welcomed the Prime Minister’s efforts to address concerns about election irregularities. The two leaders discussed the importance of continuing to deepen our bilateral cooperation, including on expanding cooperation on trade, regional security, and multilateral cooperation.
Bagi pihak Presiden dan rakyat Amerika Syarikat, kami mengucapkan tahniah kepada Perdana Menteri Najib atas kemenangan koalisinya dalam pilihanraya Parlimen pada hari Ahad, 5 Mei. Kami juga ingin mengucapkan tahniah kepada rakyat Malaysia kerana peratusan keluar mengundi yang tinggi, dan juga kepada parti-parti pembangkang untuk kempen mereka, kerana pembangkang yang teguh adalah batu asas kepada demokrasi. Kami juga sedar bahawa terdapat laporan tentang berlakunya penipuan dalam proses pilihanraya, dan percaya bahawa ianya sangat penting bagi pihak bertanggungjawab menyelesaikan isu-isu yang berbangkit. Kami menanti hasil siasatan mereka. Amerika Syarikat akan meneruskan hubungan yang rapat antara kerajaan dan rakyat Malaysia demi mengukuhkan demokrasi, keamanan dan kemakmuran di rantau ini.
On behalf of the President and the people of the United States, we congratulate Prime Minister Najib on his coalition’s victory in Malaysia’s parliamentary elections on Sunday May 5. We also congratulate the people of Malaysia, who turned out in record numbers to cast their votes, as well as the parties of the opposition coalition on their campaigns, as a vibrant opposition is a foundation of democracy. We note concerns regarding reported irregularities in the conduct of the election, and believe it is important that Malaysian authorities address concerns that have been raised. We look forward to the outcome of their investigations. The United States looks forward to continuing its close cooperation with the government and the people of Malaysia to continue to strengthen democracy, peace, and prosperity in the region.
We discuss some of the vote irregularities being alleged as ruling coalition takes power for a record 13th time.
One of Malaysia’s most hotly contested elections has returned the ruling coalition to power. Prime Minister Najib Razak had staked his political future on strengthening his alliance’s majority in Parliament.
But his standing has been weakened – and he is promising to engage in dialogue with his political opponents. That has since been rejected – with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim pressing for a rally in two days to protest against the results.
|It’s clear cut, Najib Razak should be ashamed of himself, you [Razak] talked about this particular elections, you promised reforms but Malaysia did not get a a free and fair elections and it really is a flawed democracy at best.
Nurul Izzah Anwar, MP for the People Justice Party
There were two main personalities in this election, and Razak was one of them.
He has has been Malaysia’s prime minister since 2009. At 23, he became the youngest member of parliament in Malaysian history and quickly rose to prominence.
He is part of a political dynasty, with his father and uncle both former prime ministers. Under his leadership, the government repealed the controversial Internal Security Act. But critics say the new laws remain repressive and still allow for abuses.
Najib also promised to reform pro-Malay policies, though many of them remain in place.
Meanwhile, for Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition candidate, it has been a long journey that has taken him to both sides of Malaysia’s political divide.
Anwar is a former deputy prime minister himself, serving under Mohathir’s government from 1993 to 1998. He was sacked after falling out with Mohathir over the need to crackdown on corruption.
He has since battled charges for sodomy for which he was convicted, but eventually cleared. Sodomy is illegal in Malaysia, but Anwar has always maintained the cases were politically motivated.
Anwar joined the opposition, leading it to an unprecedented showing at the 2008 polls. It was the start of the first serious challenge to ruling Barisan National’s grip on power.
The opposition had capitalised on rising anger over corruption and oppressive tactics.
So with pyrrhic victory for the government, new social schisms exposed and polarisation that runs deep in the Malaysian society, Inside Story with presenter Jane Dutton, unpacks the issues with guests: Nurul Izzah Anwar, a member of parliament for the opposition People Justice Party and the daughter of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim; Azman Ujang, former editor-in-chief of the government-sponsored Bernama news agency; and Bridget Welsh, a professor of political science from Singapore Management University and author of numerous publications on Malaysian politics.
|“One has to put this into context, one of the realities of what has been happening in Malaysia is a declining failth in many of the politcial institutions and their ability to carry out elections in an administratively neutral way. And the election commission has been faced with a lot of allegations over the last five years”|
The GE13 results are in. BN won with a majority of 44 seats. If the results in 23 of those seats had been different, we would see a change of government. This result is the worst performance for BN in Malaysia’s history.
For the first time, the incumbent government has lost the popular vote nationally (in 2008, it was only in the peninsula). The BN coalition has still managed to hold on to power.
This piece, in a series analysing the election results, looks at the concerns raised regarding the electoral process and the potential impact these issues may have had on the final results.
In analysing the fairness of any polls, one asks whether the irregularities in the process could have affected the final outcome. Were the problems enough to change which coalition would have formed government?
These issues will be debated and assessed in the days and weeks ahead. Let me share some preliminary observations that suggest that in this election, some things appear not to be quite right.
Integrity of electoral roll
This was the longest wait for an election, and both sides were extremely active in registering new voters, especially in the urban areas where the party machinery was well honed.
Even factoring in the more robust voter registration efforts, changes in electoral procedures to register people where they live rather than where they are from, population demographics, and possible housing developments in different seats, the increased numbers in the electoral roll are significantly not in line with historical patterns of voter registration. This out-of-line pattern is in every state, except Negri Sembilan.
The figure that stands out in voter increase occurred from 2004 to 2008 in Sabah. The questions about the electoral roll in Sabah have been long standing, and are the subject of the ongoing royal commission of inquiry into immigrants.
These increases from 2004 through 2008 are by any measure – huge – in places such as Liburan, where caretaker Chief Minister Musa Aman’s state seat is located, in Semporna, the seat of Shafie Apdal and in Ranau currently held by Ewok Ebin.
Yet, after 2008, while the numbers have dropped, there is still on average 21% new voters in Sabah seats, a high number not in line with demographic trends. Migration appears to continue be a factor shaping voter numbers in Sabah in this GE13, despite calls to tighten the flows.
We also find that new voters have flooded states like Selangor, Pahang, Terengganu and Johor in GE13. The average increase in voters nationally between 2004 and 2008 was 8.2%. In the run-up to GE13, the voters registered doubled to 19.4%. The national and statewide averages however obscure the differences among different seats within states. It is clear that some seats have been special recipients of new voters.
Much has been made of the 28% of new voters in Lembah Pantai. This seat is actually on the low side compared to others. Consider the whopping 61.5% increase in Tapah, recently re-won by BN, or Subang with 52% new voters, won by Pakatan with a larger majority this election but shaped heavily by Pakatan’s registration of new voters.
A total of 90 seats, or 41% of all parliamentary seats, have more than 25% new voters. Many of these were in races with tight contests in 2008, and continued to have tight contests in GE13. The new voters have advantaged the opposition in urban areas, but benefitted the BN in rural and semi-rural areas or in states where the machinery of the opposition is comparatively weak, such as Johor.
Such races also won by BN that had large number of voters include Cameron Highlands (20%), Pasir Gudang (39%) and Tebrau (45%) in Johor. While some of the increase in the latter two seats might be explained in part by development, bizarrely there are sharp increases in voting populations in the remote interior state of Pensiangan (33%) and remote coastal seat of Kota Marudu (32%) in Sabah. These abnormal high increases raise questions.
The placement of new voters is even more intriguing when studying the actual polling stations results. Many new voters are concentrated in more less populated areas within constituencies, often in rural and semi-rural seats.
This is where the questions over the large number of unexplained voters grouped in bunches in places like Bachok (21% new voters and won by PAS with less than 1% margin) and Bukit Gantang (29% of new voters and won by PAS with 2% margin) come in.
It appears that the localised remote placements of new voters may have had an impact. For example, the placement of 3,600 new voters in a remote Felda scheme occurred in Segamat, which was won by the BN with a 1,217 majority. The voting in this Felda scheme was over 90%, with one stream at 99%. In 2004, the voter turnout in this area was much lower.
This spike pattern of voter turnout in particular polling stations was found in Terengganu in 2004, when the BN wrested back the state, and questions were raised at that time as well.
Spike patterns out of line
This GE13 spike in voter turnout at the local level is being witnessed in specific places across the country. With the national level of turnout at 85%, the spike patterns that are well out of line with historic patterns of voting behaviour raise questions, even accounting for the overall rise in participation and voter turnout.
Another pattern in the placement of new voters beyond tight races involves prominent leaders getting large shares of new voters, such as Najib Razak’s own seat Pekan with 38% new voters, or Rompin represented by Jamaluddin Jarjis at 29% new voters. It remains unclear why these largely rural constituencies would have such large voter increases.
Generally out-migration areas such as Perak and Pahang receiving large numbers of new voters does not conform with population patterns. Why are places with people leaving to work outside get sharp increases in voters?
The lack of clear transparent explanations on why voters are registered in some areas in such high numbers this election, compared to past patterns in these areas, understandably raises questions.
Many seats that were lost by the opposition or were in tight races have large number of new voters, including, including Tanah Merah (24%) and Balik Pulau (25%), although in some cases the opposition picked up or retained seats with large voter increases in these seats, such as Kota Raja (47%) and Kuala Nerus (25%), among others.
This issue of voter registration and voter turnout levels needs further study, with more information on who are these new voters and their pattern of voting. The fact is that the polling station results will show the spikes at the local level and careful study will tell us statistically the impact of these new voters on electoral outcomes.
The Electoral Commission (EC) and electoral administration as a whole are facing a real trust deficit. A reliable electoral roll is essential for any fair elections. Repeatedly questions have been raised about the veracity of many new voters.
Election watchdog Merap and others have time and again drawn attention to the questions of electoral roll integrity. Before the polls, these matters were essentially ignored or dismissed. To date, the scope of phantom voters and questionable placement is not fully known. Now the results themselves will show the impact at the local level.
This is why the sharing of all results through the Borang 14 is essential in order to make a systematic and thorough assessment. Preliminary reviews of results are already raising red flags as they have shaped the outcomes at both the parliamentary and state levels.
Early and postal voting
Queries about the early and postal voting have also emerged. Here the question is about double voting, with individuals having the opportunity to vote twice. Postal voting numbers increased in this election. Historically, there have always been questions about the veracity of postal voting, with reports questioning that this voting is secret and others arguing over the accuracy of the results.
There have been improvements in recent years over postal voting involving polling agent access to this process in many locations. Yet, even with these improvements, questions about whether postal voting is fair and accurate remain.
In this election, further questions emerged over the numbers and placement of these postal voters in different constituencies. Many tight races, such as Sibu, had increases in postal voters. In some cases, the list of names of new postal voters were reportedly not provided openly.
Early voting, an estimated 240,000 people, is also a new addition for this election and being queried. Early voting includes many Malaysians within Malaysia, such as the wives of army officers and journalists who can vote before polls.
There was not a clear distribution of the list of early voters provided nationally, and in some cases even individual candidates were not able to access the names of who were the postal and early voters.
No clear explanation was given to why some constituencies received early voters and others did not. Importantly, this information was not properly shared so that it could be verified. Furthermore, there were unexplained instances when the numbers of early and postal voters increased. In Lembai Pantai, for example, the number stated was 200, but 600 showed up. How did this happen?
Given the reality that the indelible ink was in many cases not indelible, the possibility of double voting exists. On voting day there are numerous reports of individuals finding out that someone had voted fraudulently using their name, leading to concerns also about electoral disenfranchisement.
There were also reports of non-Malaysians being transported to the polling stations by buses and even flown in, some of these believed to be phantom voters. The scale and impact of these on the results is not yet clear, but given the combination of a non-transparent early and postal voting process in various locations and non-indelible ink issues on election day, and sightings of non-Malaysians in contentious seats, troubling questions are being raised.
The close results make these issues and questions more salient. A total of 72 of seats (or 32%) were won by less than 10% margins of turnout. Twenty percent of seats, 44 seats, were won with less than a 5% margin. The closeness of these races could easily have come down to a few voters. These razor-thin margin seats were won by both sides, but given the questions raised about the process of voting in these close seats, they need to be carefully reviewed.
To date, the total number of seats affected by either non-transparent new voter increases and early voting allocations and unexplained incidents of disenfranchisement appears to be more than the actual margin of victory for the BN. These reports need to be properly vetted and verified, but fundamental questions remained.
A spoilt-vote victory
Finally, this brings up the questions on the election night itself. There are queries surrounding the recounts and spoilt votes. How many recounts which overturned the results at the last moment were there? In Perak, for example, three state seats – three is a famous number in Perak – Alor Pongsu, Manjoi and Pangkor results were overturned at the last minute. Questions were also raised at Kamunting as well.
The need for transparency at the final count is essential for a fair election. When the EC asks people to leave and there are new ballot boxes seen outside of a polling station, as was reported in Lembah Pantai, there are questions. It is not fully clear what exactly happened with the recounts in Perak and elsewhere – as there were numerous recounts nationally this election – but the climate of distrust that has permeated the assessment of the election process raises doubts.
In the days ahead, a better sense of the numbers and recounts will emerge. With reports of sudden changes in the voting results such as Bentong and Labis, questions are being raised. Many people cannot understand how a result that was statistically a large margin ahead could be overturned. These need to be clarified, particularly in Bentong where the margin was larger.
Part of the problem is that in some cases, the number of spoilt votes exceeded the actual majority in places where recounts took place. Here are some of the seats at the parliamentary level where this happened: Kuala Selangor, Cameron Highlands, Bachok, Bentong, Sungai Besar, Kota Merudu and Baram won by the BN and Sepang and Kuala Nerus won by the opposition. Another seat with high spoilt votes is Segamat, at 950.
What distinguishes these close recounts from the famous cases of Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh losing in 1999 with more spoilt votes than the majority, is the process of the administration of the indelible ink in this election – before marking the ballot paper – thus staining the papers and contributing to higher spoilt votes.
This pattern of higher spoilt votes than actual margins of victory was also replicated at the state level as well in many areas, where only a few seats mattered for who should win state power. The process of administering the ink appears to have had an impact on the results in some areas.
It is important to be careful when reviewing the election results and not rush to judgement about what happened and why. It is also important to see the election holistically. The focus here has not touched on the use of money in the campaign, which was rampant, labelled ‘bombing’ in Sabah, or the mainstream media reporting.
The aim has been to raise the preliminary questions revealed in the results and the impact actual numbers of voters associated with the election. As the evaluation of the election moves forward, the call to answer these questions will only increase and intensify. Further study and analysis is essential.
Nevertheless, from the non-indelible ink and spikes in voter turnout to being not allowed to vote, concerns with the electoral process itself are not sitting right with many in the public, and this is not just supporters on one side or another. Transparent and truthful answers are both needed and welcomed.
Umno’s Utusan Malaysia is fomenting racial sentiments to cover up alleged vote rigging in Election 2013, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.
The Malay broadsheet front-paged the question “Apa lagi Cina mahu (What else do the Chinese want?) in what appeared to be an attempt to shape the results of the 13th general election, which saw Barisan Nasional’s (BN) worst-ever performance, by pitting Chinese votes vs Malay ones.
“The big mistake that an illegitimate government makes is to deceive people in the election and to whip up racial sentiments to cover up their misdeeds,” said Anwar (picture) at a packed press conference at the PKR headquarters here.
“When Datuk Seri Najib spoke of reconciliation, that I accept, but when he talked about a ‘Chinese tsunami’, that I reject,” he added, referring to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Analysts have said data from voting trends showed that the outcome of Election 2013 was not simply the result of a “Chinese tsunami” as Najib has claimed, but a major swing in the urban and middle-class electorate that saw a widening of the urban-rural gap.
But Utusan Malaysia, a newspaper that has represented the right-wing forces aligned largely with former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, published several stories today blaming the Chinese for dividing Malaysia.
In the wrap-around front page today, Utusan Malaysia published a number of photographs which allegedly showed Chinese-looking youths wearing black to protest the results of the election.
The photographs are believed to have been lifted from the Internet and were also used by many right-wing bloggers aligned with Dr Mahathir.
Anwar accused Umno today of playing a “sentiment game”, pointing out thatUtusan Malaysia’s front page was approved by the BN lynchpin.
DAP publicity chief Tony Pua said yesterday that Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) improved performance in Selangor was due to the “massive increase in Malay support”, particularly in the semi-rural belt of the country’s most industrialised state.
DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang has also noted that PR won several Malay-majority federal seats like Kuala Terengganu, Alor Star, Lumut and Sepang.
BN won Election 2013 with a smaller majority than the previous election and failed to retake Selangor and Penang, the two most developed states in the country.
As voters go viral with their protests, the opposition warns it will challenge the result.
Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has declared Sunday’s knife-edge election was stolen and announced a legal challenge to the victory claimed by the ruling coalition.
“We won the elections,” he said. “The Election Commission is complicit in the crime of stealing the election from Malaysians. The government has lost its legitimacy.”
The announcement came as protests against the result went viral on the internet and prime minister Najib Razak blamed a swing against his government on what he called a dangerous “Chinese tsunami”.
“The polarisation in this voting trend worries the government,” Mr Najib said. “We are afraid that if this is allowed to continue, it will create tensions.”
He welcomed a court challenge. “We have a very transparent system whereby we can refer to the courts,” he said. “But in the interest of the country, we hope all parties, especially the opposition, will accept the results with an open heart and allow our democratic process to run smoothly.”
Mr Najib emerged victorious with a simple majority after the most gruelling election in his country’s history that left his opposition rivals claiming widespread fraud influenced the result.
Ethnic Chinese, who make up a quarter of Malaysia’s population, deserted Mr Najib’s Barisan Nasional coalition in droves, continuing a trend from the 2008 elections.
They turned to the opposition, attracted by its pledge to tackle corruption and end race-based policies favouring the majority Malays in business, education and housing.
Voters swung from Barisan’s race-based policies in the cities, with the ruling coalition winning about 60 per cent of seats with less than half the popular vote. It lost ? by bigger margins in more seats than it won by big margins and tended to win in districts with smaller populations.
The government’s core voters are rural Malay Muslims and rural indigenous people in Borneo, which translates into large numbers of seats because of the way district boundaries are drawn.
Barisan won 133 seats and the opposition 89 in the 222-seat parliament, short of its customary two thirds majority.
Enthusiasm for change was so great in urban areas, where 70 per cent of the population live that more than 90 per cent of registered voters turned out in some areas despite voting not being compulsory. Many of them were educated middle-class Malaysians.
The three-party Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance maintained its momentum at the election, showing it can be a real challenge to one of the world’s longest-ruling governments, despite infighting and diverse ideological views. Pakatan for the first time presented a credible alternative budget and vision for the country.
As well as winning the cities the opposition made inroads into the government’s traditional strongholds in Johor, Sabah and Sarawak.
But the result shattered opposition leaders, including former student firebrand Anwar Ibrahim who believed they had a good chance of winning after being swamped at huge rallies and a surge of support in the cities.
The opposition has accused the government of bringing “phantom” foreign voters to hotly contested seats, using indelible ink that washed off and blatant vote buying, violence and intimidation. ?
Opposition supporters are venting their anger. An internet petition (change.org) protesting electoral fraud has gone viral with people signing at a rate of 1100 a minute.
Videos, pictures and first-hand accounts of purportedly foreign “voters” being confronted at polling centres has also gone viral online.
Mr Anwar, who said before the election he would quit politics if the opposition lost, said: “It is unfair for us to form a decision based primarily on an election that we consider fraudulent.”
Mr Najib accused the opposition of stirring up hatred, anger and racial issues.
One of the first declared winners was 32-year-old Nurul Izzah Anwar, the daughter of Mr Anwar, who is seen as a potential future leader of the country.
She retained the Kuala Lumpur seat she won in 2008 despite a strong challenge from Raja Nong Chick Paintai Abidan, a senior minister and powerbroker in the United Malays National Organisation, the main ruling party.
Police dispersed an angry crowd of government supporters where the votes were counted.
The Chinese-backed Democratic Action Party had a landslide win in the northern state of Penang, securing more than three quarters of the vote.
In Kelantan, voters chose an opposition candidate over the Malay chauvinist Ibrahim Ali, head of the extremist Perkasa organisation who had the backing of former prime minister Mahthir Mohamad.
Mr Najib, a 59-year-old British-educated aristocrat who campaigned on a “stay the course” argument, now has a mandate to push through an ambitious $US444 billion economic program aimed at lifting Malaysia to the ranks of wealthier neighbour Singapore by 2020.
Shareholders of the Australian-owned Lynas rare earths processing facility in the eastern state of Pahang will breath a sign of relief over the result. Its stocks jumped 16 percent Monday.
Mr Anwar had said he would close the plant pending an inquiry into its safety if he won office.
CAUGHT ON CAMERA – BN’S HATCHET FACED VOTE BUYERS!
Election foul! – This hatchet faced BN organiser was filmed paying for votes at a car parked up by this polling station in Perak
We warned the vote buyers of BN that they were in danger of exposure this year like never before.
We said that an army of young Malaysians holding cameras, mobile phones and recorders as their weapons would be patrolling the streets ready to catch them in the act and post it on the Worldwide Web.
But, it seems they took no notice and carried out the instructions of their BN masters to try and cheat and buy up this election.
What greater crime can there be than to attempt to steal the liberty of your own people? This crime is treachery.
Sarawak Report, like so many of the internet eyes on this election, has been watching and we present a round up of the cheating captured by the busy eyes of our team of supporters. We will be updating it during the next hours.
RM50 ringgit – cheap for your liberty mate!
The woman at this polling station in Perak was then clearly filmed walking back to the BN polling centre with the bought ballot form to join her flag-waving party colleagues.
Handily, the camera was able to catch the number plate of the car she walked past as well… it was the car from which the money in the transaction was handed from.
The car, the woman and the BN flags…. time to call the police?
There have been numerous incidents caught on camera of BN agents up to untoward activities in this election. This is how they have always won in the past. Take a look at our vote buyer as she returns to base.
Back to her BN base…. the toad in her hole
Meanwhile, the citizen camera people were also picking up and posting evidence of other untoward activity in Perak, with helicopters dropping out bags marked for the Election Commission into the middle of a football field during the course of the day!
Marked for the election commission!
A horrified onlooker posted the shot on Facebook and said this:
‘”THIS is really going OVERBOARD…I hope we could get an EXPLANATION for this??? Time 3.50pm. Location Sungai siput (u), perak. Sungai buloh football field. A helicopter dropped 2 packages the SPR believed to contain ballot boxes in them. ANYBODY else saw this please CONFIRM here in CCWM Group on the thread…Thank You!”
Soon enough some relevant video footage arrived on the matter. BN will try to front out this evidence when it comes out in court, hoping they can bludgeon through to yet another ‘victory’ and continue their gangster rule of Malaysia for another 5 years, helped no doubt by a ‘crack down’ on freedom of information about activities like this.
Washed off in a trice with soap and water!
As for indelible ink? The whole of Malaysia is laughing about that one… and the excuse that has just come out, that the reason was it had to be ‘Halal’! This on the basis it is ‘Hudud’ for BN not to be allowed to break the law to win?
BN’s foreign voters
The voters many who can’t sing the national anthem or speak Malay have been filmed arriving at the stations…..
And then there were of course the imported voters. The buses duly drew up at polling stations around the country, protected by obliging police…. but filmed by outraged local people.
These matters will all be filed as reports, but what would a returning BN government, staffed with proven money grabbers do about it?
More dubious bus loads of voters arriving….
Then of course there was the foreign voter who made the mistake of presenting himself to PKR’s chief crook buster Rafizi Ramli, looking for money to pay for his vote!
The chap was questioned and could not sing the anthem or give a convincing account of why he had come from Sabah to vote in the Peninsular!
His suspicious IC is now up on the internet for all to see. Maybe he was just trying it on.
With the culture of corruption engendered by BN’s vote buyers you can hardly blame the poorer classes from trying to get rice money out of a process that has been netting ministers billions.
But, they were being identified and caught on camera all over the place. BN should hang its head in shame for exploiting the people they have kept poor in this way. But, it seems these vote riggers have no shame, just a sense of entitlement that allows a bunch of 3rd generation under-achievers to think they should continue to run the country.
Can you pay me for my vote please? I came over from Sabah!
And of course over in Sarawak, Taib’s money bags (and those of his side-kick Sgn Chee Hwa of the spurious Sarawak Workers Party) started arriving at the longhouses at midnight last night.
Poor rural voters were shown by helicoptered big wigs “who was boss” with piles of money such as they had never imagined could exist. RM500 to each of them.
If only those people could actually see the money piled up in the bank accounts of Taib Mahmud and his henchmen, then they would realise what a small amount they have received and how short a distance it will go towards repaying the vast natural resources they have thereby allowed Taib’s men to keep their hands on.
This evening opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim expressed his fears that the cheats would stop at nothing…
They are hijacking results….
And then of course, when BN really needed to force through a ‘victory’ they had to turn off the lights and shut down the comms!
Anwar’s latest tweet
Attempt to steal Nurul’s victory
Perhaps the most brazen attempted rigging at this election was the onslaught on Nurul Izzah’s Lembah Pantai seat. Not only was the bribery rampant, but as the count was being finalised in her favour this evening the Election Commission officials came up with an extraordinary request.
They needed everyone to clear the count, so that they could take a ‘rest’!
The 15 PKR observers refused to accept the proposal and stayed on. Shortly after a car drew up outside the count stuffed with ballot boxes inside! The Election Commission officials attempted to force this late entry of extra mystery votes into the count!
The car full of ballot boxes is stopped by the crowd
A human barricade prevented the ballot boxes from being illegally introduced at this late stage, which Federal Reserve Unit officers attempted to disperse. The people refused to leave and the ballot boxes are still the in car and were not were not allowed into the count.
Ballot boxes marked 120 found in EC car boot trying to enter 121 Lembah Pantai polling station. Blocked by public.
Nurul has been officially declared the winner thanks to the actions of the people who refused to allow their rights to be violated.
If you want to win an election against BN in Malaysia you have to stay put at the counting station!
How they tricked Wong Tack
The counts were all going the way of DAP through the evening, until suddenly last minute turnarounds went in favour of BN.
Listent to what happened to Wong Tack, who has lead the Lynas protest Bentong. He was leading by 3,000 towards the end of the count. When suddenly the lights went out!
During this dark period a new ballot box of ‘postal ballots’ was introduced, which were then counted. This is against election law for votes to be introduced at the last moment. After these were counted Wong Tack’s majority of 3,000 was turned around to a minority of 300.
Apparently all the postal voters were unanimous for BN, whereas the non- postal votes had been fiercely in favour of Wong Tack. Where did these postal votes come from ?
Keeping out ‘prying eyes and public scrutiny’ at the count in Johor
Meanwwhile, the BN controlled TV stations kept up a night of saying that their party had won. By 1230am they were claiming a win and getting ready to swear themselves in and the TV was reporting the ‘fact’!
Ballot box mania
Observers of the election started to wonder why the delay on declaring so many counts where PR was leading by thousands? It soon became clear. At count after count illegal late arrivals of ballots boxes started being sneaked in under police escort.
Take a look at what happened in Johor.
Ballot ‘re-enforcements’ to help out flagging BN in Johor
The strategy had become clear. The media held off announcing the PR wins, while promoting the BN wins all evening until the seat where PR had been leading had been ‘sorted’ by the late ballot box arrivals.
Anwar Ibrahim who had announced an earlier victory was forced to announce there had been massive fraud. As dawn breaks tomorrow Malaysian will have to make up their minds if they are prepared to be fed up another pretend election charade at all this fuss and expense.
More vote buying
“SK Sri pandan this afternoon around 1.45pm” – more BN workers with no shame, handing out vouchers to voters.
The evening ended with seats bullied and wrested away by a stone faced Najib who could clearly not revel in a victory he clearly had not really won.
Next to him sat Muhyiddin Yassin, who is now wondering in how many days he can take over his job. The PR coalition parties have not accepted this bludgeoning. They are collecting their information from an evening of black outs and stray ballots and last minute bus loads of ‘voters’ escorted by police and they will contest Najib’s sour tasting ‘victory’.
Malays are registering their disgust at the UN…
Plenty more to come….
It is widely believed that a happy and contented Singaporean is one who has achieved the 5Cs – cash, credit card, car, condominium and country club.
In neighbouring Malaysia, the victorious Umno Baru leader is defined by the 6Cs; corruption, chaos, cheating, cronyism, cowardice and concubine.
BN head Najib Abdul Razak injected many millions of ringgit into the country to secure a victory, and unleashed a violent campaign of ‘blood, sweat and tears’ to defend Putrajaya. In the end, he only managed a ‘win’ by a handful of seats.
For many Umno Baru leaders, the effort has been worthwhile because the alternative is a long spell behind bars.
Ironically, the worst damage inflicted on Najib and BN, was Najib’s own ‘1Malaysia’ slogan.
Malaysians are fairly reticent people and not known for outward displays of public-spiritedness, but yesterday, in the true spirit of ‘1Malaysia’, Malaysians of all races were united in defending their polling stations against foreign ‘phantom’ voters.
Members of the rakyat blocked the path of buses suspected of carrying Bangladesh and Myanmar nationals to polling stations. Elsewhere, foreign-looking individuals at the polling centres had their identification papers scrutinised.
Outsiders are wrong to think that Malaysians are xenophobic. Malaysians were not targeting these foreigners as individuals; rather they were stopping an abuse of the voting system.
The rakyat’s apparent xenophobia must be blamed on Najib and the Election Commission (EC). The EC chairperson and deputy have obstinately refused to acknowledge voting irregularities and to complicate matters, Najib has allegedly bribed voters to secure a win.
He cannot be trusted to run his own bath but, in the last week, ran a rash of reforms, most of which were hurriedly plucked from Pakatan Rakyat’s manifesto. It is Najib’s self-inflicted wound which has given rise to our deep mistrust of institutions.
Despite the cries of fraud, the rakyat watched with incredulity when the EC went ahead with the announcement that BN had won.
What hope have Malaysians of a free and fair election if the leaders of the EC are biased and in denial? Shouldn’t they at least investigate the allegations of voting irregularities? BN stole the votes of the rakyat and the future of the country.
Najib’s report card
Najib’s tenure was an unremarkable one. He was out of touch with the electorate and did not know how to engage with the rakyat. For someone who has not known real hardship in his life, he has yet to discover that money is not what consumes most people’s minds.
He is unable to understand that people are concerned about their families’ well-being; security, education, governance, justice and fair-mindedness.
Najib’s rule was fraught with disaster and U-turns. He failed to act to control extremist views within his own party and he firmly believed that churning out acronyms like ETP, BR1M and KR1M would resonate with the rakyat.
He refused to deal with corruption, injustice and racial intolerance. He chose to alienate the rakyat by underestimating their needs and by declining to engage with them.
Najib and Umno Baru should see if they can retain their popularity without flashing any money. When Umno Baru arranges a ceramah, it is alleged that the participants receive money, buses are used to transport them and food is provided.
Kelab Umno Baru meetings at overseas locations, operate with the same modus operandi. If Umno Baru stopped the food, transport and money handouts, would attendance at these events diminish?
Anyone who has attended a Pakatan event is aware that coaches are not laid on, no food is distributed and when the donation box is passed around, people give freely and generously. Money goes from the rakyat to its machinery, and not the other way round, as with Umno Baru events.
In the final days of campaigning, we looked on in bewilderment when Najib claimed that reducing petrol prices would only benefit the rich. Is he out of his mind? The poor cannot get by without a car; even a decrepit Proton held together with duct tape is better than nothing.
The greatest manipulator of all, Dr Mahathir Mohamad wanted funds for his pet project, Proton, and billions of ringgit have been pumped into the Proton car industry, while he neglected the development of an efficient public transport system.
Today, car prices are artificially inflated and we waste our money on the Proton. Our suffering does not end there. We waste more money feeding Mahathir’s cronies, the toll operators.
If you talk to the graduates who went overseas to study, they will tell you that, when they were abroad, they moved around easily on public transport,;but when they returned home to work, a car is needed for mobility.
Again Najib’s stupidity astounds us. When in Kuantan he said the public transport system was marvellous.
But has Najib tried to emulate the daily journey of a worker who lives in one part of KL but works across the city? The majority of Umno Baru leaders have the roads cleared by outriders and know nothing of our suffering.
When Malaysians voted yesterday, they wanted a change for themselves, but more so for their children and future generations. They despise corrupt politicians, but they are also weary of the inappropriate behaviour of the children of these politicians.
Abdul Taib Mahmud’s daughter gave editors at a Sarawak newspaper a dressing down, making them sit for several hours until while she raged on about a report which portrayed the chief minister in a negative light.
Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz’s son impersonated a member of royalty and then beat up a security guard who dared challenge his authority. Other ministers’ children get preferential treatment at school and their exam papers are isolated for lenient marking. Malaysians have no faith in the BN leadership, particularly, Umno Baru leaders.
By condoning cheating and promoting violence, Najib, Umno Baru and the EC chairperson and his deputy, have disgusted and humiliated the Malays, and betrayed all Malaysians. Umno Baru must not be allowed to get away with cheating, not this time, nor ever.
Our votes have been stolen and if we sit by and do nothing about this, Umno Baru will have us in their evil clutches forever. Cheating is the last straw and we must not sit idly by and give up.
We must demand that the wishes of the electorate be respected and the result of the electoral fraud be reversed, so that DAP, PAS and PKR can form the government that the people of Malaysia voted for.
If Najib is allowed to form a government despite ‘winning’ by fraudulent means, Umno Baru will stay in power by cheating for another 56 years.
Umno Baru would not have organised and perpetrated fraud on a massive scale if they had known that they would have the support of the rakyat to win GE13.
“Somewhere in the world there is a defeat for everyone. Some are destroyed by defeat, and some made small and mean by victory. Greatness lives in one who triumphs equally over defeat and victory.”
- John Steinbeck (The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights)
COMMENT “Mohd Najib terkejut dengan keputusan itu dan menjanjikan perubahan kepada partinya Umno. Tetapi prestasi BN yang lebih buruk daripada 2008 menjadikan kedudukan beliau goyah.
Juga, apakah keputusan PRU kali ini berupa ‘Chinese tsunami’ seperti yang Mohd Najib ungkapkan atau ia adalah sesuatu yang lebih besar dan menyeluruh iaitu ramai pengundi tidak lagi menerima BN dan kerajaan BN seperti yang wujud sekarang?
Adakah tidak mungkin bahawa ini bukan tsunami Cina atau cauvinisme kaum, tetapi tsunami Malaysia yang berpaksikan aspirasi dan realiti baru, khasnya di kalangan pengundi muda?
Walaupun BN berjaya merampas semula Kedah, tetapi kekuatannya dalam semua DUN merosot. Ia hampir-hampir kehilangan Terengganu dan menyerahkan banyak kerusi kepada Pakatan di semua negeri.
Di pihaknya pula, Pakatan hendaklah menerima keputusan pemilih dan sebarang ketidakpuasan dan pertikaian hendaklah diselesaikan mengikut peraturan dan undang-undang dan bukan dengan protes jalanan.”
The above is the last few paragraphs of A Kadir Jasin’s blog post on the results of the concluded general election and on the issue of the so-called ‘Chinese tsunami’ that seem to have engulfed Umno thinking in Putrajaya.
The narrative in most pro-establishment blogs is one of retribution to the Chinese community for abandoning the social contract of racial give-and-take of Umno. I am neither shocked nor perturbed by this because seeing the way how pro-opposition partisan operate in cyberspace, especially some DAP supporters (apparatchiks) who engage in the politics of hate, all the while decrying that of Umno’s and the vitriol they heap on pro-establishment partisans, all this is to be expected.
MCA’s Chua Soi Lek’s threat to the Chinese community that the MCA will not participate in the new BN federal government remains to be seen but what the MCA is doing is merely fuelling the retribution narrative of pro-establishment forces.
In other words, there will be no real reconciliation but merely an extension of Umno benefice to Chinese plutocratic interests to maintain the multiracial facade which is important for various economic and propaganda reasons.
Umno can rule alone
While I have never been in the habit of quoting Kadir to bolster any of my arguments, the themes of this particular post of his is something I can get behind. Anyone who had any real knowledge of the mood on the ground would have paid attention to William Case’sperceptive article on the chances of Pakatan Rakyat claiming the throne in Putrajaya. Optimism usually gets the better of us.
The Chinese/Malay dialectic although it plays well in the race discourse is really a minor narrative in the goal of ‘ubahing’ Malaysia. The greater story is the class divisions in the Malay community that translates to the rural/urban divide of the voting patterns in the Malay polity.
The one thing Umno has proved with this election is that it can retain the federal government without the aid of the ‘others’. Until the others lose the demographic game, the best we can hope for is that urban areas will always be the base for a supposed multiracial alliance.
It is pointless to warn against “racialising” Malaysian politics as long as a greater minority group is aligning itself with a faction of the Malay polity whose aspirations are at odds with the racial dogma of the current ruling Malay elite that holds sway with the rural Malay population.
The moral and intellectual bankruptcy of 1Malaysia and Bangsa Malaysia demagoguery is demonstrated with the reality that people have always voted across racial lines when supporting the alliance of their choice and of course the agendas of opposition political parties and their targeted racial demographics.
However, the reality is that the aspirations of a sizeable section of a multiracial urban population are in conflict with a dominant Malay rural electorate. Therefore, it is a racial game played on many levels but which always revolve around the Malay community. In fact I would argue that barring the possible retributive design of the federal government on the Chinese community, what this election has done is once and for all define the conflict in the context of the Malay community.
Simmering class tensions
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad knows his audience well. This is why he was screaming his head off stirring the racial and religious pot and throwing his support behind racist candidates like Ibrahim Ali and Zulkifli Noordin.
The fact that these two lost, is something any right-thinking Malaysian can take comfort in but I do wonder if Zulkifli had stuck to his Kulim-Bandar Baru seat, would he have delivered it to BN since BN did win this seat? I hope that even if he stood there, voters there would have rejected him as they did Ibrahim Ali in Pasir Mas for whatever reasons.
However, it all goes back to the simmering class tensions within the Malay community that Umno has managed to keep a lid on by its use of gerrymandering, creation of instant citizens, racial/religious fear-mongering and of course the handout culture. Ironically, these are the very measures that would break the camel’s back in the eventual class struggle that would spill onto the streets in the near future.
It is pointless for Umno to attempt reconciliation with not only the Chinese community but also anyone who voted for Pakatan merely because the aspirations that divide the various Malaysian communities are the very ones that Umno seeks to propagate.
Unless Umno manages to reconcile the aspirations of those Malays who have rejected Umno and those who believe in the system Umno continues to propagate, eventually Umno will face a Malay tsunami.
Malaysians vote on Sunday in an election that could weaken or even end the rule of one of the world’s longest-lived coalitions, which faces a stiff challenge from an opposition pledging to clean up politics and end race-based policies.
Led by former finance minister Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition is aiming to build on startling electoral gains in 2008, when the Barisan Nasional (BN) ruling coalition lost its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority.
The historic result signalled a breakdown in traditional politics as minority ethnic Chinese and ethnic Indians, as well as many majority Malays, rejected the National Front’s brand of race-based patronage that has ensured stability in the Southeast Asian nation but led to corruption and widening inequality.
Under Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, the blue-blood son of a former leader, the coalition has tried to win over a growing middle class with social reforms and secure traditional voters with a $2.6 billion deluge of cash handouts to poor families.
He can point to robust growth of 5.6 percent last year as evidence that his Economic Transformation Program to double incomes by 2020 is bearing fruit, while warning that the untested three-party opposition would spark economic ruin.
Najib, who is personally more popular than his party, has had some success in steadying the ship since he was installed as head of the dominant United Malays National Organisation (Umno) in 2009. Formidable advantages such as the coalition’s control of mainstream media, its deep pockets and a skewed electoral system make it the clear favourite.
But opinion polls suggest a tightening race that could further reduce the coalition’s majority and lead the opposition to dispute the result over claims of election fraud.
The opposition alliance has been buoyed by unusually large, enthusiastic turnouts at campaign rallies in recent days. It says its “X factor” may be a surge in young, first-time voters who are more likely to be attracted to its call for change after 56 years of rule by the BN coalition.
“The momentum is far greater in 2013,” Nurul Izzah, Anwar’s daughter and an opposition member of parliament, said at a meeting with journalists and foreign diplomats on Friday.
“I’ve never enjoyed so much support everywhere. That’s our only hope, to ensure a good turnout.”
A failure to improve on 2008′s performance, when the BN won 140 seats in the 222-seat parliament, could threaten Najib’s position and his reform programme. Conservative forces in Umno, unhappy with his tentative efforts to roll back affirmative action policies favouring ethnic Malays, are waiting in the wings to challenge his leadership.
Anwar’s last stand?
The election represents possibly the last chance to lead Malaysia for Anwar, a former rising UMNO star who was sacked and jailed for six years in 1998 following a feud with then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who remains an influential figure.
The 65-year-old former deputy prime minister says his corruption and sodomy conviction was trumped up. He received a new lease on political life last year when a court acquitted him of a second sodomy charge.
His alliance, which includes an awkward partnership between a secular ethnic Chinese party with an Islamist party, is riding a growing trend of civil-society activism, which has been most evident in a series of big street protests in recent years calling for reform of the electoral system.
A clumsy police response to a rally in 2011 led Najib to roll back draconian colonial-era security laws, though critics say he did not go far enough and demands for electoral reform have not been fully addressed.
A narrow victory for the ruling coalition on Sunday would almost certainly spark opposition complaints of voter fraud, which could spill over in street protests. Anwar has accused the coalition of flying up to 40,000 “dubious” voters across the country to vote in close races.
The opposition, which can present a viable alternative from its record of governing in four states it took over in 2008, is running on a platform of transparency and integrity, saying it will break down an entrenched network of patronage that has grown up between UMNO and favoured business tycoons.
It pledges to replace policies favouring ethnic Malays in housing, business and education with needs-based assistance.
It can bank on ethnic Chinese voters, who make up about 25 percent of Malaysians and who abandoned the ruling BN coalition in 2008. Maintaining its momentum among ethnic Malay voters may be more difficult amid warnings from the BN that they would be at risk from Chinese economic domination if the opposition won.
“We’ve seen a consolidation of Chinese support. I think the question for us to a large extent is how the silent majority of Malay voters will go,” said Ong Kian Ming, who is running for a seat in an ethnically diverse constituency near Kuala Lumpur.
He rose to the top, then ended up in jail. Now Malaysia’s opposition leader stands on the verge of a remarkable election victory
On Sunday, Malaysia goes to the polls in what experts have called the closest and most hotly contested election since the country secured independence from Britain 56 years ago.
“All the surveys, including the government of Malaysia’s, have shown we are leading,” Mr Ibrahim told The Independent, speaking by phone from Kuala Lumpur. “But we have to take care to look for bias and fraud in the electoral process. We are appealing to the international community and the media to follow the election very closely.”
The 65-year-old heads the Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance) opposition coalition, which is trying to defeat the ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front) bloc, which has held power in Malaysia since 1957. He is doing so by highlighting alleged corruption, authoritarianism and laws that favour ethnic Malays over their Indian- and Chinese-origin countrymen and women.
Since independence, the nation has emerged as a success story of economic growth and development (after a brief recession in 2009, its GDP is once again on the rise). It has also avoided the worst of the turmoil that has affected other countries in the region. But critics say it has done so at the cost of human rights, openness and freedom of expression. They also say corruption is rife.
“It’s such an authoritarian system. We need to transform the country into a vibrant democracy,” said Mr Ibrahim. “There is no independent media, we have racist policies. We need to have a more transparent system that recognises the value of all relationships, irrespective of race.”
The veteran opposition leader has been speaking at rallies across the country at which he highlights what he says is widespread nepotism within the government, headed by the British-educated Prime Minister, Najib Razak. He believes the mood in the country suggests the public is ready to back him and he talks of a “Malaysian spring”.
He has also been making repeated claims that the ruling party is engaged in efforts to rig the election; earlier this week he issued a statement claiming the Prime Minister’s office was hiring charter planes to fly in up to 40,000 “ghost voters” from its strongholds to vote in close races elsewhere in the country. A government spokesperson did not respond to The Independent’s request for a comment. Beating the National Front coalition is no easy matter for Mr Ibrahim. It holds 135 of the parliament’s 222 seats, compared with the 75 held by Mr Ibrahim; and ahead of the elections, Mr Razak, the son of one of Malaysia’s founding fathers, has also introduced a series of populist measures designed to win votes. Agence France-Presse recently reported that Mr Razak is also motivated by the knowledge that if he loses the contest, he will likely face a leadership challenge within his own party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).
Opinion polls last month suggested the race was too close to call, or else gave a narrow edge to the ruling party. But a survey published last week, conducted by the University of Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections, suggested the opposition was slightly in the lead.
Should Mr Ibrahim achieve victory, it would represent a remarkable turn-around. In the early 1990s, the son of a hospital porter rose through the ranks of one of the ruling National Front parties to be the protégé of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Widely hailed in the West as a reformist, Mr Ibrahim held a series of government portfolios, including the finance ministry, before being appointed deputy prime minister in 1998. But the two men, who had been described as being like father and son, fell out over Mr Ibrahim’s repeated calls for reform.
Sacked from office, he was then accused of sodomy, which remains a crime in Malaysia. The allegations were contained within a book – 50 Reasons Why Anwar Cannot Become Prime Minister – written by the editor of a government-controlled newspaper. Despite many seeing them as politically motivated, Mr Ibrahim spent six years in jail. He was released in 2004. In 2008, the opposition leader challenged the government at the polls, for the first time threatening its simple majority. In the aftermath of that election, fresh allegations of sodomy were made, this time by a former aide. Mr Ibrahim again insisted he was innocent, and in January 2012, following a trial that lasted two years, he was acquitted.
The opposition leader said the time he spent in jail had not been easy. “After I was released in 2004, I was invited by Nelson Mandela to spend time in Johannesburg,” he said. “I joked that my release had been a ‘short walk to freedom’ [a reference to the title of Mr Mandela’s autobiography]. We have faith and conviction that the country can be freed from authoritarian rule and the economy can be changed to serve the country and the masses.
“Of course, at times, during solitary confinement you think about your wife and family,” he said. “And you think that there might be other options and the political leadership might be more open too. But the fact is that if you want to dismantle a country’s system, they are not going to give up power easily. You have to be prepared – it’s a long battle.”
Dr Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman, head of the Malaysia programme at Singapore’s S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said he believed Mr Ibrahim could tap into growing public dissatisfaction about corruption and “crony capitalism”.
He said his coalition would also draw support from ethnic Indians and Chinese fed up with what they see as inequalities, such as reservation of university places for ethnic Malays. And yet, he said, should Mr Ibrahim lead the opposition coalition to victory at the weekend, it would represent nothing less than a remarkable achievement. “To come back once from a political death is remarkable, but to come back two times would be a feat very few leaders have achieved,” he said. “It’s amazing. No one would have thought that prior to 2008, Anwar Ibrahim could be the next prime minister of the country.”