Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 18th August 2011:
“Passing the buck” to Parliamentary Select Committee of all allegations of a flawed electoral system such as foreigners given the right to vote is completely unacceptable
The “passing the buck” to the Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms of all allegations of a flawed electoral system such as foreigners given the right to vote is completely unacceptable and would be proof that the PSC is mere political ploy and diversionary tactics.
Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said yesterday that Pakatan Rakyat allegations of foreigners being given the right to vote will be addressed by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reform.
Why should this be the case. Shouldn’t serious allegations like the issue of citizenship to foreigners to give them the right to vote, which is a most treasonous action, be addressed and resolved immediately by the Election Commission, instead of deferring action and “passing the buck” to the parliamentary select committee which could only be formed in October?
An efficient and professional Election Commission would report to the parliamentary select committee what measures it has taken to address and resolve the serious allegations of a flawed electoral system instead of “passing the buck” to the parliamentary select committee in October to start from scratch to deal with them.
Hishammuddin said the government has nothing to hide and that the allegations of foreigners issued with citizenship to give them the right to vote is “baseless”. Why then is it not possible for the Election Commission and the National Registration Department to here and now prove these allegations as “baseless” instead of having to wait for the establishment of the parliamentary select committee?
There are enough matters to occupy the parliamentary select committee to propose a free and fair electoral system without having to be tied down by these specific allegations.
The latest statement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz have reinforced doubts that the parliamentary select committee is more political ploy and diversionary tactics than a sincere and genuine measure to address the flawed electoral system in the country.
Only this morning, Muhyiddin again likened the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 to the UK riots when he congratulated the police for their handling of the Bersih rally after citing the UK riots as a “clear example” of how a country can descend into chaos if “elements that threaten peace and security” are not stopped.
If the top government and police leaders refuse to concede the great difference between the Bersih rally where the organisers and tens and thousands of Malaysians regardless of race or religion were fully committed to a peaceful assembly to demand free and fair elections and the UK riots where the troublemakers set out to riot, who can be convinced that the Barisan Nasional leadership have undergone a real change of heart as to expect meaningful electoral reforms before the next general elections?
Najib cannot be more wrong when he said yesterday that his decision to introduce electoral reforms was to “satisfy” the opposition as the call for free and fair election system is the demand not only of the opposition but also the civil society and all patriotic Malaysians and for the good of the future of Malaysia.
However, what is most fatal about public confidence in the parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms is the refusal of the Barisan Nasional to consult with the Pakatan Rakyat leadership before unilaterally and arbitrarily deciding on the composition, terms of reference, timeline, the role of Bersih 2.0 and other aspects of the committee.
Without an agreed time-line and clear-cut assurance from the Prime Minister himself that the report and recommendations of the parliamentary select committee for free and fair elections would be fully implemented in time for the next general elections, the deliberations of the parliamentary select committee would be moot if Parliament is dissolved earlier – in fact, the parliamentary select committee is automatically dissolved when the present Parliament is dissolved.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor