Tuesday, March 04, 2008

RM1 M Indelible 2008 Election Ink Scrapped; IGP: Confusion, Public Order & Security at Stake; AG: Amend Constitution 1st; Oppositions think Otherwise

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Believe it or not, IGP & Rashid Genuine fears & the Reports,

With more details released it is now more clearer what are the implications if the Ink is used. Apparently sabotage plans are to be implemented BEFORE Election day to "ink" the rural folks to create the confusion.

The gist of the cancellation and the implication if the Ink is used.

Musa: “uncovered an attempt by some irresponsible people out to create a confusion during Saturday's elections by having voters dipped their fingers in indelible ink BEFORE the polling day”. Rashid is worried this attempt might sabotage the Polls on 8th March and upset the result.; the activity occurring especially in the rural and interior areas, and the aim was to create confusion and suspicion on the status of the voters concerned.

Prevented from voting - Those with fingers marked can be regarded as having casted their votes when they go to the voting centres on polling day. There are also possibilities that those who have been cheated will not go out to vote as they are afraid of being deemed as having committed an offence, This would lead to a chaotic situation at the voting centres, which might be difficult to control as the candidates' agents and EC staff would get confused over the status of the voters= == == == =

UPDATE: March 05, 2008 00:28 AM

PM: EC'S Reversal Of Indelible Ink Decision To Prevent Voter Victimisation

KOTA BAHARU, March 5 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says that the move by the Election Commission (EC) to call off its earlier decision to use indelible ink on the nails or fingers of voters on Saturday is to avoid registered voters from being victimised. The Prime Minister said it was felt that such a decision by the EC was necessary to prevent certain parties from thwarting the electoral process by preventing voters to exercise their democratic right to vote. "There is a possibility of certain actions by certain quarters that could give rise to chaos and there is a likelihood that those who want to vote could not do so as their fingers were already stained with ink. "As such, this sort of victimisation should not be allowed," he told reporters after meeting leaders of the Kelantan Umno Liaison Body Tuesday night.

Among those who attended were the head of the body, Datuk Seri Annuar Musa, and his deputy, Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin, as well as a number of Kelantan BN candidates for the general election. The Prime Minister said he had also read a report prepared by various authorities in connection with the possibility of some groups wanting to thwart or sabotage the general election, especially in Kelantan, by bringing in the indelible ink. Abdullah, who is also the Internal Security, said that in facing that possibility, it was therefore appropriate for the EC to protect its integrity. "What is more important is that the rights of the people who had registered to vote must be upheld. "That must be the guarantee from the EC to all citizens and voters on March 8," he said.

ABOVE & BELOW: PM Abdullah has ordered EC to meet Opposition parties to explain the situation

Abdullah denied that the EC's move was as a result of instructions from him or Barisan Nasional (BN)."This was not our (BN's) work. This was a decision by the EC," he said. Abdullah said the EC should now invite representatives from all political parties and explain to them in detail why it called off the use of indelible ink in the general election. "I have informed Datuk Radzi (BN Secretary-General Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad) to get detailed explanations from the EC," he said.

In Putrajaya today, EC Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman announced the cancellation of its earlier decision to use indelible ink on voters in the general election following advice from the legal point of view and public safety. Abdul Rashid said investigations following a report to the police had confirmed that irresponsible groups had bought the ink from abroad to persuade and bribe those who were not so sure about the use of the ink by smearing ink on their fingers even before they voted. "The EC is extremely disappointed over the decision. But we need to make a firm and final decision to ensure our obligation and responsibility towards a smooth election process as well as public safety," he said.

= == = ==Scrapped Indelible Ink

The reason is given that it is for "public security & order". And the “bogus fear” tactic reared its ugly head in the face of a possible defeat of many seats for the Government. This last minute reversal of the use of the indelible ink would ensure the hanky panky can go once again so that the Government might not collapse and "public security & order" can thus be maintained. The announcement was made in the presence of the IGP & the AG. The EC has opted for the cheaper RM 1 million option to purchase this ink instead of the more expensive RM30 million biometric system working off the MyKad. It showed great fanfare in announcing its use and stated the Elections now would be fairer.

The immediate reactions of the Opposition parties were united in their indignant over the sudden decision by the Election Commission to cancel the use of the indelible ink. It is a clear proof of EC-BN collusion.

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March 04, 2008 23:27 PM EC Scraps Indelible Ink Plan

PUTRAJAYA, March 4 (Bernama) -- The Election Commission (EC) has scrapped the indelible ink plan for the March 8 general election following legal advice, its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said. He said that the decision made at a meeting today was also to ensure security and public order. "Police investigations reveal that there are irresponsible people who bought ink from foreign countries in order to persuade those not familiar with the procedure to have the ink applied (to a voter's forefinger or nail) before polling day," he told a press conference at the EC headquarters, here. "The EC is very disappointed. However, it has to make a firm and final decision to ensure a smooth polling process and for the sake of security and public order," he explained. Also present at the press conference were Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan.

Prior to this the EC had announced that it would use a special black ink from India to avoid cheating in the upcoming election. However, this would not apply to postal voters, who already had other declarations to determine the authenticity of their votes. The indelible ink plan, costing less than RM1 million, was to appease parties, who had pressured the EC to introduce certain procedures to prevent rigging in the voting process. Abdul Rashid said that the activity occurred especially in the rural and interior areas, and the aim was to create confusion and suspicion on the status of the voters concerned.

"They can be regarded as having casted their votes when they go to the voting centres on polling day. There are also possibilities that those who have been cheated will not go out to vote as they are afraid of being deemed as having committed an offence," he said. He said that if these voters presented themselves at the voting centres, it would result in a chaotic situation, which might be difficult to control as the candidates' agents and EC staff would get confused over the status of the voters. Abdul Rashid stressed that the voting process, security and public order could not be compromised. Abdul Rashid said that the plan was also scrapped because of the need to legislate a law allowing a voter whose nail or forefinger had been applied with the ink or one who refused, to be given the voting paper. He said that if the indelible ink was to be introduced it should not affect the rights of a voter to vote under the Federal Constitution unless he was no longer given this right under the law. Abdul Rashid said that the EC was not pressured by any political parties in making the decision and hoped that all the relevant parties would accept the decision.

"The EC wants to have this as part of the system, but it looks like circumstances do not permit, so be patient," he said. Abdul Rashid said despite allegations of cheating during a voting process, the EC has not received any evidence. "So, in order to convince these people, I have to meet their demand in a way that we are doing now, since other countries are doing, why not we," he said. Asked why the EC made the initial plan to use indelible ink, he said it was part of the commission's effort "because we were asked to do, whatever way we can in order to convince people that there is no cheating in the election." Commenting on other parties getting the ink, Abdul Rashid said: It is known to the whole world where to get this ink, even if we didn't tell them they would have known."

Meanwhile, Gani (ABOVE) when asked whether the indelible ink method could be used in future elections, said that the Federal Constitution needed to be amended first."The amendment can be made provided the government of the day agrees, and if parliament approves, and the Royal consent (is given), it will become law," he said.= == = = == = == = =

March 04, 2008 21:58 PM
Police Uncover Attempt To Create Confusion During Polls

PUTRAJAYA, March 4 (Bernama) -- Police have uncovered an attempt by some irresponsible people out to create a confusion during Saturday's elections by having voters dipped their fingers in indelible ink before the polling day. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan (ABOVE) said four individuals had lodged police reports alleging that there were people buying such ink from overseas and planning to persuade misinformed voters to use it before the polls. One report was received in Kelantan, one in Kedah and two in Perlis from Feb 16 to 21, and police had classified them as attempted cheating, he told reporters here today.

He said the allegation was found to be true but so far, no arrests had been made as the police were still identifying the people involved based on the statements recorded from by the complainants, aged between 30 and 50, who were traders and self-employed. Asked whether the complainants were from political parties, he said: "I don't know but they are locals." When asked how soon the case was expected to be solved, he said: "I am trying to get all the assistance on this. "We have interviewed the individuals. We want to know where they obtain the information." He said police were also trying to ascertain where the ink came from.

= = = == Statement from PKR
Dr Syed Husin Ali, Deputy President of Parti KeADILan Rakyat, issued this statement :

Withdrawal of use of Indelible Ink
With the decision of the Elections Commission (EC) to cancel the use of indelible ink, there is no need for further proof that the EC is colluding with Barisan Nasional (BN) to allow cheating in the coming General Elections.

ABOVE: Abdul Rasid making the U-Turn announcement in the use of Indelible

Despite all assurances and false gestures, it is now clear the Tan Sri Rashid is content to conduct the 12th General Elections in an atmosphere completely bereft of integrity. Citing 'public order' and 'security' is also nonsensical reasoning that is perfectly consistent with the language of forces around the world who seek to supress democratic freedoms.
BERSIH, which represents not just political parties but a wide swathe of civil society, has campaigned tirelessly for indelible ink to be used to battle the scourge of phantom voters. Candidates have observed irregularities in postal voting, and revealed hundreds and thousands of false addresses, dead individuals and voters over 100 years old in the electoral roll. The EC has ignored BERSIH's demands to address these problems and now the third of BERSIH's core demands has gone unfulfilled.
At a moment where the eyes of the entire world are upon us, the EC has now conclusively and irrevocably shown that any overtures towards reform that it had made previously were in bad faith, and that in decisive moments, the EC will yield to every demand of its political masters.
KeADILan notes one positive outcome of this development however. BN intelligence must clearly be showing a swing towards the Opposition, thus forcing them to resort once again to phantom voters and other forms of cheating to minimize the electoral losses they must clearly be anticipating. BN is clearly taking no chances. We are encouraged by this trend and call upon all Opposition sympathisers to strenghten their resolve and their efforts as we enter the final stretch of our campaign for a better

Dr. Syed Husin Ali; KeADILan Deputy President

= = == == =, STAR has a more detailed explanation
Tuesday March 4, 2008; MYT 5:55:31 PM; STAR

EC cancels use of indelible ink; By RAPHAEL WONG

PUTRAJAYA: The Election Commission has cancelled the use of indelible ink in polling this Saturday, citing public order and security reasons. Its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said following a meeting held Tuesday, the EC was obliged to make a firm and final decision to ensure the smooth conduct of the 12th general election. He said provisions to the law needed if the ink was to be used still could not affect the constitutional right of a voter to cast his vote, even a person whose fingernail had been marked with indelible ink or one who refuses to have his or her fingernail marked this way. "From a practical point of view, the issuance of a ballot paper to such a voter would render the EC's proposal meaningless and will not bring about a positive result, whilst having the potential to create misunderstanding as well as altercations and arguments at polling stations," he said.

The Federal Constitution gives you the right to vote, and a black mark on your fingernail should not bar you from exercising this right, he said.Abdul Rashid said there were also reports made to the police confirming that certain irresponsible quarters had purchased indelible ink from abroad with the intention of creating confusion and suspicion as to the status of voters. "The EC views these issues seriously as the election process and public order and security cannot be compromised," he said.

The use of indelible ink was first proposed last June to safeguard against multiple or phantom voting. Abdul Rashid then said that the system would be subject to amendments to the Election (Conduct of Election) Regulation 1981.He said indelible ink had been chosen over other measures, such as a biometric system working off the MyKad (chip-based identity card carried by all Malaysians above the age of 12) because such such smartcard readers would have cost about RM60,000 each, and every voting stream would have to be equipped with one. Using such a system would have cost in excess of RM30mil. The commission bought about 47,000 bottles of the indelible ink, manufactured in India, for RM2mil.

= == = == ==March 04, 2008 17:10 PM

EC Scraps Indelible Ink PlanPUTRAJAYA, March 4 (Bernama) -- The Election Commission Tuesday cancelled plan to use indelible ink in the upcoming general election.

= == = ==Watch the Video Clip - The Fear, the Confusion and the Constitution Amendment

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being compiled & edited and loading later

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