June 28, 2013
UPDATED 10 July 2013
Today, the EC has stated (read here) that for the 24 July by-election for Kuala Besut, all voters are to dip their left index finger into the indelible ink bottle. It is believed that the EC thinks by doing so that more of the ink will be applied and the likelihood of the removal of the indelible ink will be reduced.
This seems to be a most illogical view of an honorable office of the EC who has no idea how the indelible ink and the silver nitrate works. Neither shaken nor stirred nor dipped will change the indelible nature of the ink if it is truly indelible and not food coloring. If it is food coloring, bathing the entire hand will not make it indelible.
“No chemical was used in the ink but it was instead replaced with permitted food colouring,” said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim in his reply to Segambut Member of Parliament Lim Lip Eng.
(read The Malaysian Insider and The Star).
This statement was made in Parliament and enjoys the full immunity accorded to parliamentarians and is intended for information to the Rakyat.
Many comments have been made regarding this fiasco by the Election Commission (EC). Right from the start, when complaints were made that the indelible ink can be washed off after the Police and Army personnel casted their votes in early voting, the EC retorted that perhaps the EC reps at the polling stations did not follow instructions to shake the bottle before use.
Note that AgNO3 or silver nitrate being the staining agent does not need to be shaken or stirred. It must be exposed to light to retain the stain or else it can be washed off. Some suggested to use a fixer like in photography development. In any case, there is no need to shake. Such reasoning is intended to fool the Rakyat at worst case or the EC is speaking in ignorance.
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June 19, 2013
It is certainly interesting to watch the public calls for no contest to Umno’s top two posts – President and Deputy President. Tun Mahathir made the most bewildering comment where he supported no contest for these two posts. But it was his reasoning that was bewildering.
“Going by the democratic practice, we should have contests but Malaysians do not really understand the practice. If they lose, they will quit the party and set up another, causing the Malays and Umno to split further.
“In this connection, I support contests, but not for the two top posts of president and deputy president.” (read here).
When Tun M referred to “Malaysians do not really understand the practice”, he really meant the Umno Malays since the context of his comments was on Umno election, not on the Malaysia General Election. His description of the following statement about quitting the party is probably the allusion to Tengku Razaleigh during the 1987 Umno election but it is not accurate as he did not quit the party because of losing. It was Umno which was deregistered and subsequently to that, Tun M registered Umno Baru and removed all of Razaleigh’s supports from the Cabinet, thus forcing him to form Semangat 46 in 1988 after an earlier rejection of the name Umno 46. It was Tun M’s vindictive actions to penalize Razaleigh and his supporters that caused the split. The then Umno President took immediate actions to prevent a repeat of a close contest to his top post.
This is probably a case of selective memory to build a supporting reason for Tun M’s comments to support a no contest for the top two Umno posts. Quite typical of Tun M’s style for speaking off the cuff and justifying what he says based on his own version of events.
PM Najib touted that Malaysia had the “best democracy” in the world. That is really a joke looking at now with the mooting of no contest for his Umno post. How is it that Malaysians can accept democracy in the country but Umno as a party cannot? Why is it that Najib can seek a mandate with Malaysians but cannot do the same within his own party?
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June 3, 2013
Najib dropped a major bombshell that Umno is planning to file at least 50 election petitions for parliamentary and state seats with another 37 under consideration (read here). This will beat Pakatan Rakyat’s 31 petitions being planned – PKR 20, PAS 8 and DAP 3. Filing petitions is an expensive affair and almost all the time, these petitions are thrown out because of technicality without considering their merits.
It is quite understandable for PR to want to file the petitions because they claim that they have been cheated of the results. It will be really awkward if they didn’t file enough petitions to demonstrate they can win at least 112 seats for a simple majority. Hence, the plan for 31 petitions. The #Black505 rallies have been conducted to expound on the displeasure of losing because of irregularities, foul play and gerrymandering which consequently had demanded for the dismissal of the SPR’s Chairman and Deputy and to restructure SPR to be placed under the jurisdiction of the Parliament, the original place in the Federal Constitution prior to the many amendments made over the years.
Now, for Umno and not even BN to file petitions will be surprising. To top it all, Najib said that Umno will file at least 50 petitions while having 37 more under consideration. This is the surprise of surprise. Just what is Umno displeased about the GE13 which they have never raised since the results were announced on the early morning of 6 May. They contended that everything was clean and fair and that all must accept the results and Najib called for a national reconciliation (besides blaming a Chinese Tsunami for losses of seats).
The question on everybody’s shocked minds is what points will Umno be raising for the Election Petition of a GE13 which they kept claiming was free and fair. Very strange indeed. Will Umno actually file those petitions or if this is just a Public Relations gimmick will be left for Malaysians to wonder for now. By 12 June, all parties must file their petitions with the High Court.
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