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Posted by Penarik Beca Sunday, May 18, 2008

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Semakan undang-undang pilihan raya sepatutnya sudah lama dilakukan (Bernama 17/5/08)
EC chief: Cabinet rejected indelible ink (Malaysiakini 17/5/08)
SPR: Kabinet batalkan dakwat kekal (Malaysiakini 17/5/08)
Keputusan batal guna dakwat khas satu pandangan, bukan arahan, kata Abdullah (Bernama 17/5/08)
PM: Batal dakwat budi bicara SPR (Malaysiakini 18/5/08)

SPR hanya disyor kaji batal guna dakwat
Berita Harian (18/5/08): Kabinet tidak mengarahkan sebaliknya mencadangkan kepada Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) untuk mempertimbangkan supaya membatalkan penggunaan dakwat pada pilihan raya umum lalu, kata Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Perdana Menteri berkata, keputusan itu dicapai jemaah menteri selepas menerima beberapa maklumat berkaitan tindakan pihak tertentu yang dikatakan membeli dakwat berkenaan walaupun tidak mempunyai kuasa berbuat demikian.

“Kabinet curiga, mungkin dakwat yang dibeli itu untuk mengelirukan dan menimbulkan masalah sepanjang proses pengundian pada pilihan raya umum lalu.

“Bagaimanapun, keputusan itu hanya cadangan serta beberapa alasan yang disampaikan kepada Pengerusi SPR dan terserahlah kepada beliau memikirkan sama ada hendak melaksanakan pandangan kerajaan atau tetap berpendirian mahu menggunakan dakwat itu,” katanya selepas mempengerusikan Mesyuarat Panel Penasihat Antarabangsa (IAP) Malaysia ke-11, di sini, semalam.

Beliau mengulas kenyataan Pengerusi SPR, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, bahawa Kabinet memutuskan untuk tidak menggunakan dakwat pada pilihan raya lalu walaupun SPR bersetuju menggunakannya bagi menjamin ketelusan.

Abdullah berkata, antara alasan Kabinet adalah SPR perlu menimbangkan pelbagai kemungkinan yang berlaku jika mahu meneruskan penggunaan dakwat itu, atau menerima cadangan kerajaan untuk membatalkan penggunaan bahan itu bagi menjamin tidak timbul masalah ketika rakyat mengundi.

“Alhamdulillah, tanpa penggunaan dakwat pengundian berjalan dengan baik dan elok, malah keputusan sudah diumumkan. Semua pihak pun sudah menerimanya dan apa pula kita nak jadikan isu mengenai perkara ini.

“Keputusan pilihan raya pun kita semua tahu dan menerimanya. Kenapa pula hendak pertikaikan lagi,” katanya yang mengakui mendapat maklumat mengenai ada pihak membeli dakwat itu seminggu sebelum pilihan raya.

Sementara itu, Abdul Rashid pada sidang media selepas melancarkan `Seminar Kebangsaan Pilihan Raya 2008: Amalan Demokrasi’ di Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia di Gombak berkata, Kabinet tidak meluluskan pengguna dakwat tetapi tidak juga menolaknya berikutan masalah perundangan dan keselamatan.

“Kabinet tak tolak tapi tak meluluskannya, mereka tak luluskan atas alasan kukuh dan saya setuju dengan alasan yang dikemukakan kerana ia membabitkan aspek keselamatan dan perundangan. Tetapi kita tetap setuju jika kerajaan mahu melaksanakannya bagi memastikan ada ketelusan dalam pilihan raya.

“Mengikut Fasal 119 iaitu hak asasi bagi seseorang untuk mengundi, malahan jika pengundi itu enggan jari mereka dicalit dengan dakwat itu, kertas undi masih perlu diberikan kepada mereka. Ia termaktub dalam undang-undang,” katanya.
It was only a suggestion, says PM
The Star (18/5/08): The Cabinet had merely suggested to the Election Commission (EC) to not use the indelible ink for the general election. It was not a directive, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The Prime Minister disclosed that a week before Parliament was dissolved, the Cabinet had made the suggestion, giving its reasons why it did not want the ink to be used.

“We had received information that some quarters had bought the ink although they had no authority to do so and we were suspicious that it could be used to cause confusion and complications during the voting process,” he told reporters yesterday after delivering his closing remarks at the end of the 11th MSC Malaysia International Advisory Panel Meeting.

Abdullah said the Cabinet believed that the election process would go on smoothly and all eligible voters could cast their votes if the indelible ink was not used.

“It was only a suggestion we made to the EC chairman. It was up to him to think it over and agree or to proceed with the original decision to use the ink,” he said.

When the decision to scrap the ink was announced at the eleventh hour of the general election, Barisan Nasional leaders, including Abdullah, had said that they wanted an explanation from the EC on why it was doing away with the indelible ink.

On why the Government did not come clean on the indelible ink in the first place, Abdullah said that if anything tainted the voting process it would be the Government that would be blamed.

Earlier, EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said the Cabinet decided not to approve the proposal to use indelible ink “on the day of Parliament dissolution, on Feb 13”.

“They did not approve because of two very strong reasons, and I agreed with them over those reasons.

“One was security and the other was law, relating to Article 119 of the Federal Constitution, which states that it is the fundamental right of a person to vote,” he told the press after opening the National Seminar on Elections 2008: Democracy at Work here yesterday.

Asked if he tried to convince the Cabinet otherwise, Abdul Rashid said “he could not” , adding: “But I took responsibility for it.”

“I was told that the Cabinet had been briefed about an attempt by PAS, that they had bought some ink from Thailand, and were going around to mark old voters. And when Umno came to know, they also went and bought the ink. This was given to me in black and white by the police,” he said.

On May 6, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said in a Parliament reply to DAP’s Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan that police did not find evidence of smuggled indelible ink and statements made by complainants and witnesses were rumours.

Meanwhile, the Opposition said the revelation that it was the Cabinet that did not approve the use of the indelible ink was the “best proof” that the EC was not independent or neutral.

DAP national adviser Lim Kit Siang said it was unacceptable for the Cabinet to have made such a decision and that it went against the spirit of the Constitution of having an independent EC.

PAS research centre director Dr Dzulkifly Ahmad, said: “This is shocking. With this revelation, we come to realise the reasons and rationale why the indelible ink was withdrawn at the eleventh hour. His remark vindicates our claim all along that this is the underpinning reasons. The jigsaw puzzle is now complete.”

Transparency International Malaysia president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said he was not only surprised but confused by the conflicting statements.
Cabinet only 'suggested' scrapping use of ink in polls
NST (18/5/08): The decision to scrap the use of indelible ink during the March 8 general election was only a suggestion and not a directive from the cabinet.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that while the matter was discussed by the cabinet, no order was given to the Election Commission to drop an earlier plan to use the ink.

"It was not a directive. The cabinet only gave its views to the EC, and the EC was the one which made the final decision," Abdullah said after chairing the 11th Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor International Advisory Panel meeting here.

He was responding to reports quoting EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman as saying that the cabinet had rejected the use of indelible ink on the day Parliament was dissolved.

Bernama quoted Abdul Rashid as saying: "If there is anything that we can do to assure the people that the electoral process is transparent, then we should do it.
"We had agreed on the indelible ink."

Rashid said this at a press conference after launching the national seminar on "Election 2008: Democracy at Work" at the International Islamic University Malaysia yesterday.

He added: "The cabinet did not approve (nor) reject. They did not approve because of two strong reasons and I agreed with them over those reasons.

"The first, because of security, the other is the law.

"Article 119, which is the fundamental right of a person to vote, states that even if voters refused to be stamped with indelible ink on their finger, the ballot paper must still be given to them."

The EC had agreed to use the ink last year but the plan was cancelled four days before election day.

Abdullah said the authorities had received information a week before the polls that certain parties had bought the same type of ink.

This was despite them not having the authority to do so, he added.

He said the cabinet had suspicions that the ink could have been used to confuse voters.

"If it was true they had bought the ink, what did they need it for?

"Maybe they wanted to use it, and if true, how?

"The cabinet was left with a tough decision on whether to make these possibilities known to the EC."

Abdullah, who said everything went well (in the election) and that everyone had accepted the results, questioned why the matter was being turned into an issue.

"It's not as if by not using the ink, the whole (election) process would have been nullified."

He said he hoped the media would drop the issue as the elections were over.
Bukti kecekapan dan kehebatan polis
Deputy IGP takes up issue

Malay Mail (18/5/08): “I am not happy about it and I will bring it up.”

Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Datuk Ismail Omar, said this after Weekend Mail told him about a woman and her children’s experience in an open identifi cation parade at the Sungai Buloh police station.

“By right, most police stations should have one-way mirrors, but due to time and logistic problems, there may be some stations without one.” Ismail, however, could not provide details on how many stations have yet to be equipped with such a facility.

He said even though the Sungai Buloh police station does not have a one-way mirror, the offi cers could have arranged for the identifi cation parade to be done at another station equipped with it.

“We understand how the victims feel and they must be protected.” In the incident, legal adviser Devi (not her real name) was made to identify — face-to-face — three car repossessors who allegedly threatened her and her family after their attempts to take her car failed.

It took place in an open room at the Sungai Buloh police station on March 4.

“I felt like I had been thrown into the lion’s den.” She said there were 17 people lined up for the identifi cation parade — and they were talking as if they knew each other.

Among them were the three men who had earlier threatened and hurled abuses at her and her children.

“The only thing that kept us apart was the big long table in between. What if they come after us?” Devi, 44, said the ID parade was held after they lodged a police report on March 3.

“We felt threatened by their behaviour and they threatened to kill my son.” Devi said it started when she sent her husband to a bank in Bandar Baru Sungai Buloh at 2.40pm to cash a cheque and pay for her car payment, which was two months overdue. She was accompanied by her daughter, son and a friend, an Indian national.

While driving around to wait for her husband, a car overtook them and blocked her car. Devi said the men came out and told her to alight as they were going to repossess the car.

When she refused, the men hurled abuses at her.

“The men were big and aggressive. Frightened, I drove home as it was not far from town.” She said the men followed her, even driving past the security guard stationed at her residential area.

Meanwhile, another car joined the ‘convoy’.

Devi called her husband who then contacted the police for help. Both cars left after being chased by the guard.

“My son went to the security booth and told me the two cars were still there.

When they saw him, they threatened to beat and kill him. He was so frightened he didn’t walk home but jumped over the fence to get in.” She said a patrol car came and the policemen advised her to lodge a report.

“That’s what we did after I picked up my husband from the bank.” While her daughter and 16-year-old son fi led a report on the incident at the Sungai Buloh police station, her husband lodged one against the bank for leaking their personal information to the other party as they suspect the three men were not authorised repossessors.

“If the repossession order was out, the account would be blocked, but it was still active when my husband banked in the car loan payment.” Devi said when she took a breather outside the police station, she bumped into the same men who entered the premises. She claimed that one of them indirectly threatened her by telling someone over the cell phone to “carry” in Tamil after giving her car registration number.

She informed the investigating offi cer of the men’s presence. The inspector took their identifi cation cards and other documents from them.

“It seemed that they also lodged a police report.” Devi said they were told to come for the ID parade the next day. The family waited in a hallway and Devi was called in fi rst.

“When I entered the room, I was shocked to see about 17 men, including the suspects, lined up in front of me. I was asked to point my fi nger at the suspects.

“When I was done, one of the men made a call and told the other person on the line that I’ve identifi ed them.” She said she was asked to leave the room through a door close to the suspects.

“One of them said to me, ‘You are going home after this, right?’” Devi claimed that her daughter and son got similar remarks from the suspects.

When she complained to the IO, she said the offi cer told her that it was the procedure, and raised his voice.

She said they encountered the three suspects again outside the station.

“They hurled abuses at us.

No one at the station came out to check the commotion although they could see it clearly through the glass entrance.” Devi said she and her family now live in fear.

“I went to the right channel and thought that I would be protected, but I didn’t feel that at all.”

Operasi Silap Suspek

Harian Metro (10/5/08): Seorang pengurus bank mendakwa dibelasah sekumpulan anggota polis daripada Bahagian Jenayah Berat (D9) Ibu Pejabat Polis Kontinjen (IPK) negeri hingga mengalami keretakan tulang pinggul dan bengkak paru-paru, dipercayai akibat tersilap identiti suspek kes jenayah.

Kira-kira jam 4 petang Isnin lalu, sekumpulan 10 hingga 15 anggota polis didakwa memecah masuk ke rumah mangsa di Taman Pasifik Selatan, di sini, kerana mengesyaki mangsa terbabit dalam kes jenayah.

Abd Razak Abd Samad, 34, mendakwa ketika kejadian, dia sedang memasang serta menala set televisyen dan radio yang baru dibeli di sebuah pusat beli-belah di bandar ini sebelum terdengar ketukan kuat pintu rumah.

“Saya ketika itu di tingkat atas turun untuk menyiasat bunyi itu tetapi tiba-tiba beberapa orang bersenjatakan pistol menyerbu masuk selepas memecahkan pintu kedua rumah itu.

“Sambil mengacukan pistol, mereka mengarahkan saya meniarap di lantai, sebelum digari. Ketika itu saya berasa bahagian tertentu badan ditendang serta dipijak beberapa kali,” katanya.

Abd Razak berkata, dia kemudian dibawa naik dan beberapa anggota polis terbabit bertanyakan mengenai kandungan kotak di atas rumah itu.

Menurutnya, seorang daripada anggota polis itu membuka kotak berisi radio, manakala yang lain terus menggeledah di tingkat atas.

Katanya, dia dibawa turun dan diminta menyerahkan kad pengenalan, telefon bimbit serta kunci kereta.

“Mereka membawa saya keluar untuk memeriksa serta melihat apa yang terdapat dalam but kereta tetapi tidak menemui apa-apa. Selepas berbincang sesama sendiri, seorang pegawai dipercayai berpangkat Cif Inspektor memaklumkan mereka tersilap suspek satu kes culik dan memiliki senjata api.

“Saya kesal kerana mereka tidak menjalankan siasatan lebih tepat sehingga menyebabkan orang seperti saya menjadi mangsa keadaan.

“Kejadian itu menyebabkan saya trauma dan tidak dapat bayangkan jika isteri yang sarat mengandung serta anak berusia setahun lebih ada bersama dan melihat peristiwa itu,” katanya.

Sementara itu, Ketua Polis Johor, Datuk Mokhtar Mohd Shariff, berkata polis akan menubuhkan jawatankuasa bagi menyiasat dakwaan itu.

Katanya, jawatankuasa siasatan itu bakal diketuai Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah negeri, Senior Asisten Komisioner II Amer Awal.

“Polis mengesahkan ada menerima laporan daripada pengurus bank terbabit mengenai insiden dia diserang sekumpulan anggota polis di rumahnya, Isnin lalu.

“Kita beri jaminan siasatan akan dilakukan secara telus dan polis tidak berkompromi dengan anggotanya yang terbabit dalam insiden itu,” katanya.

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