Friday, January 12, 2007

PAS UNLIKELY TO WIN BATU DALAM DECIDES to BOYCOT IT Together with PKR; Impossible to Swing a Majority 2761; BN Slams PAS for Boycotting By-Election

With such a huge majority of 2761 in the last election, PAS and PKR must have done their calculation and came to the conclusion it is an impossible task to cause a swing of 2761 votes to their side and decided a “boycott” would be more effective in shaming the BN using the “discrepancies in the electoral roll” as an excuse. The electoral roll only “appears doubtful” to them now. Since they had participated in the last election using almost the same updated rolls then they had been a party to the abuse of the democratic process” previously. So why not this by-election? Saving their bullets for the coming general election?
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January 11, 2007 22:30 PM

BN Likely To Win Batu Talam Unopposed; By Mohd Shukri Ishak

RAUB, Jan 11 (Bernama) -- With PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) announcing a boycott and the DAP disinterested, the Barisan Nasional (BN) stands a good chance of retaining the Batu Talam state seat unopposed on Nomination Day on Tuesday. PAS and PKR have cited unhappiness with so-called irregularities in the electoral rolls for the constituency for staying away from the by-election while the DAP does not have much influence among the constituents. "Even if we enter the fray, we will end up losing our deposit," Pahang DAP Chairman Lip Tuck Chee told Bernama. Victory for the BN this time will be the third in a by-election under the administration of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The coalition won the Kuala Berang seat in Terengganu in August 2004 and the Pengkalan Pasir seat in Kelantan in December 2005.

For Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, the win in Batu Talam will also be the third in a by-election under his administration of the state. The BN had won in Sanggang in 2000 and in Ketari two years later. The Batu Talam seat fell vacant on Dec 27 last year after the death of BN assemblyman Datuk Tengku Paris Tengku Razlan due to cancer. In the last general election, in 2004, Tengku Paris beat Dr Mohamed Nilam Abdul Manaf of PAS by a majority of 2,761 votes.

Whatever the opposition has to say, Adnan (ABOVE), who is chairman of the Pahang Umno Liaison Committee and Pahang BN, is going ahead with preparations to face a contest in the by-election.

"That may be a PAS tactic. They may field an independent candidate and when they lose, it will not be so embarrassing," said Adnan. "I welcome their staying away. Let's meet in the next general election. I do not agree with their reason for not contesting. I am sure they have conducted a study and are not confident the voters of Batu Talam will support them," he told reporters at Felda Tersang 1, here. Whatever political parties may decide or say, the show must go on.

Batu Talam Returning Officer Abdul Kadir Abu Bakar said the nomination centre would be set up at the Raub District Office on Tuesday. Abdul Kadir, who is the district officer, said the 143 Election Commission (EC) staff to be deployed during polling on Jan 28 at the 12 polling districts and 23 polling streams were standing by. A total of 10,525 electors, 14 of whom are postal voters, are eligible to vote in the by-election, going by the electoral rolls gazetted on Nov 30 last year and verified on Jan 4 this year. Whatever the outcome on Nomination Day, it is hoped that the hordes of people descending on the constituency to help out in the by-election will not forget to taste the special traditional delicacy of Batu Talam -- "gulai asam rum".
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January 11, 2007 18:56 PM
BN Leaders Take Opposition To Task For Boycotting Batu Talam Poll

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 (Bernama) -- Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders Thursday took the Opposition, namely PAS and Keadilan, to task for boycotting the Batu Talam state by-election this Jan 28, describing them as play-acting and making a coward move due to fear of losing.
In MELAKA, Chief Minister and Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the Opposition was play-acting as they knew their candidate would lose in the by-election as Batu Talam had always been a BN stronghold. "They know they will lose. So they excused themselves to protect their image for the coming general election," he told reporters after presenting 6,000 books to the libraries of nine schools, at Seri Negeri in Ayer Keroh, here Thursday. Wednesday night, PAS and Keadilan announced that they would boycott the state by-election, alleging that there existed flaws in the Election Commission (EC)'s system in organising polls. Mohd Ali said the Opposition, however, could change their mind and decide to contest at the last minute similar to what happened in Melaka in the last general election.

In PENANG, Chief Minister and Gerakan deputy president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon (ABOVE) echoed Mohd Ali's sentiment, saying that the Opposition was play-acting in the Batu Talam issue. "They announced that they would boycott the election but we do not know whether the situation will change in the eleventh hour. They could be play-acting. We have to wait for the nomination day," he said. Dr Koh was speaking to reporters after witnessing a Memorandum of Understanding signing-ceremony between the Penang Skills Development Centre and the Wawasan Open University, here Thursday.

In SEREMBAN, Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Mohamad Hasan said the Opposition's action showed that they had lost confidence in the country's democratic system. "This election is in accordance with the democratic system. Winning or losing is part of a contest," he told Bernama after chairing a meeting with leaders of Negri Sembilan Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties, here Thursday. Mohamad said the Opposition's excuse for not contesting because of flaws in the EC's system in handling elections did not hold water. "There is no need to use the EC as an excuse for not upholding the country's democratic system," said Mohamad who is also Negri Sembilan Umno Liaison Committee chairman. Negri Sembilan Umno Youth chief Datuk Jamlus Aziz said the movement would deploy its election machinery to Felda Kesang Raub this Saturday regardless of the Opposition's action.

In KOTA BAHARU, Kelantan Umno viewed PAS' and Keadilan's decision to boycott the Batu Talam by-election as a "coward decision" to avoid defeat. Its Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Seri Annuar Musa said it was normal for the Opposition to give various excuses after they knew they had no chance of winning an election.
"By right, PAS should have boycotted the Pengkalan Pasir state by-election in Pasir Mas last year if it has doubts over the country's polling system," he told reporters after presenting contributions to students from poor families, here Thursday. Kelantan Gerakan Youth chief Ong Kang Woon said the movement was not surprised by the decision of PAS and Keadilan to boycott the by-election as they knew they could not win. "The Opposition must agree that the country practises democracy, where the elected representatives must be appointed through the polls," he said.

In KUALA TERENGGANU, Terengganu Liaison Committee chairman and Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the Opposition's action showed that they knew they were no longer relevant when it came to championing the people's interests. "It goes to show that PAS no longer has an election machinery as the people has lost their confidence in the party," he told Bernama, here.
In SHAH ALAM, Selangor Umno Youth chief Abdul Shukur Idrus said the Opposition decided to boycott the by-election as they knew they had no chance of winning it.
He said their action of pointing faults with the Election Commission was merely an excuse for not contesting.

Selangor Umno Liaison Committee chairman and Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo (ABOVE)said Umno Selangor would send between 2,000 and 4,000 of its members to help in the Batu Talam by-election.
In KOTA KINABALU, Sabah Wanita Umno chief Datuk Armani Mahiruddin said PAS' and Keadilan's decision to boycott the by-election showed that they had admitted the overwhelming strength of BN. "We are glad that they decided not to contest. It will give BN an easy victory," she said.
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January 11, 2007 01:04 AM

Pas And PKR To Boycott Batu Talam By-election

RAUB, Jan 11 (Bernama) -- Pas and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Wednesday night announced that they would boycott the Batu Talam by-election scheduled for Jan 28.

Pas deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa (ABOVE) said the decision was taken following the discovery of discrepancies in the electoral roll for the constituency. "The electoral roll appears doubtful. Coupled with postal votes that are never transparent and prejudiced, we decided that it was best we boycotted the by-election," he said before 1,000 Pas and PKR supporters at Pas' constituency headquarters here. Also present were Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Nasharudin also said that the biased attitude of the Election Commission chairman favouring the Barisan Nasional (BN) was also a factor in the boycott decision. "If Pas and PKR participate in this by-election, it would mean we too are party to the abuse of the democratic process," he added. The seat fell vacant following the death of its BN state assemblyman Datuk Tengku Paris Tengku Razlan, 65, of cancer on Dec 27. In the last general election in 2004, he beat Dr Mohamed Nilam Abdul Manaf of Pas with a majority of 2,761 votes. The EC fixed Jan 16 as the nomination day.
January 04, 2007 14:07 PM Batu Talam Nomination On Jan 16, Polling Jan 28

DATE FIXED… EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman (right) at a press conference to announce the nomination day for the by-election in the state constituency of Batu Talam, Pahang, in Putrajaya. With him is his deputy Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 4 (Bernama) -- Nomination day for the by-election in the state constituency of Batu Talam, Pahang, has been fixed for Jan 16 and in the event of a contest, polling will be held on Jan 28. This was announced by Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman at a news conference here Thursday.

A total of 10,525 voters comprising 10,511 ordinary voters and 14 postal voters are eligible for voting based on the last electoral roll gazetted on Nov 30, 2006 and verified today. The Batu Talam seat fell vacant on Dec 27 after the state assemblyman, Datuk Tengku Paris Tengku Razlan, 65, died of rectal cancer. In the 2004 general election, Tengku Paris won by a 2,761-vote majority after securing 5,414 votes, beating PAS candidate Dr Mohamed Nilam Abdul Manap who obtained 2,653 votes.

Abdul Rashid said the EC was officially informed yesterday by the Pahang state legislative assembly Speaker on the vacant seat in Batu Talam. Raub district officer Abdul Kadir Awang Bakar has been appointed the by-election's returning officer, effective today. A total of 143 EC staff will be deployed for the by-election which involves 12 polling stations and 23 polling booths. Abdul Rashid said the commission had set up a task force to monitor and enforce the election procedures. "There's no problem with logistics in this constituency. Roads are good, accessible to vehicles and without difficulty. We don't expect any problems in managing the by-election," he added. He said the EC had deliberately chosen Sunday as polling day to facilitate voters residing outside Batu Talam to return to their constituency and exercise their voting rights, thus allowing voter turnout to reach the targeted 80 per cent. The by-election results are expected to be announced by 10pm.

The EC will also issue a code of ethics which has been agreed upon by political parties and applicable to contesting parties, to ensure an orderly by-election. Abdul Rashid said each candidate would be given a spending limit of up to RM100,000, but the election procedures did not allow the EC monitoring team to check how the money was being spent. "The election law does not allow the Election Commission to examine how the money is spent. That's not our function. "After the election is over, each party has to account for what it has spent and submit to us. We'll gazette the expenditure, and this is for the other parties to examine - not the EC," he said. Abdul Rashid said the number of registered voters in Batu Talam was reduced to 10,525 from 10,866 previously after the Election Commission removed the names of the deceased from the list based on records from the National Registration Department. "As far as we are concerned, there is no such thing as phantom voters. And we hope (some) people would not disturb the election process. For example, don't stop a bus for fear (it may carry) phantom voters," said Abdul Rashid. He also reminded contesting parties not to display too many posters as "people know all the political parties which are vying in the by-election." "This is a small constituency. Just hang them (posters) where people live. Don't hang everywhere like on top of trees in the jungle. And don't hang posters around Raub town," he said.
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January 04, 2007 20:19 PM

Election Commission Ready For 12th General Election

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 4 (Bernama) -- The Election Commission (EC) is ready for the 12th general election anytime, said its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman Thursday. "We are making preparations. If there's going to be a general election, parliament will be dissolved, meaning which the general election will be held this year, no problem, we can do it," he told a press conference here. The Umno Supreme Council's decision to defer the party election which was originally scheduled this year, prompted many analysts to forecast the general election to be held anytime between this year and early 2008.
According to schedule, the 12th general election will be held before April 2009. Abdul Rashid said the EC had removed the names of 180,000 deceased voters from the electoral roll. "Our staff went to look out for the village heads to identify the deceased (voters). We had previously depended on the National Registration


Anonymous Anonymous said...

of course BN will say that la. but i think it's a good move to boycott cos the process needs much improvement :D
great stuff again, tks.

5:26 AM  

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