Monday 30 April 2012

Mat Sabu: 1mil for Bersih 4.0 if no polls reform

f Bersih organises another rally to push for electoral reform, one million Malaysians will come out in force to call for clean and fair elections, claims PAS.

mat sabu pc with salleh man 190811Its deputy president Mohamad Sabu (left) said today that the Election Commission (EC) had to clean up its act, as the people’s support for electoral reform was present and would manifest itself.

“If Bersih holds Bersih 4.0, I am confident that this time the people showing up will break the one million mark to express their dissatisfaction with the electoral system,” he said at a press conference today.

However, he conceded that it was up to the Bersih steering committee to decide if another rally will be held, adding that PAS would follow their lead on the matter.

Still, he emphasised how the Bersih 3.0 rally clearly showed the people’s desire for reform, claiming that there may have been up to 400,000 people at the rally.

He also condemned the police brutality at last Saturday’s rally, saying that it was “more brutal than the Israeli police when dealing with the Palestinians”.

Sarcastically, he commended Najib’s “transformation” efforts, quipping that he had managed to “change the police’s image...from brutal to more brutal”.

He was at the EC headquarters with PAS’ democratic mobilisation driver group today to deliver a memorandum, which was received by a public relations officer of the commission.

NONEThe memorandum demands fair media access for the opposition and the immediate resignation of EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Yusof and his deputy Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, who were revealed to be Umno members by PKR last Friday.

Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu, said that this was important as public trust in the EC had been compromised by the revelation, with people now doubting their ability to run elections fairly.

He added that the public was already wary when previous EC chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman withdrew the proposal to use indelible ink in the 2008 election by citing concerns about fake ink, only to admit after retiring that he was pressured to do so.

Voter influx in swing seats

Selangor PAS elections director Jaafar Samsudin highlighted the suspicious increase in the number of registered voters in Selangor, claiming it was part of a concerted effort to swing several seats.

He said that for Sabah-born voters registered in Selangor, there were 15,520 new voters added between 2008 and 2011, either by re-registration or by a change of address.

Meanwhile, the number of new Sarawak-born voters registered in Selangor numbered 8,585. The numbers were obtained from the electoral roll by checking voters’ IC numbers, which indicate place of birth.

The problem is that many of these voters do not even reside in Selangor, indicating that it is part of a deliberate effort by Barisan Nasional to win back seats.

He added that the distribution of these new voters across seats would potentially be able to swing seats won by slim majorities in the last election.

“This shows that there is a movement now to register them even though they do not reside in Selangor... to help Umno or BN,” he said.

IGP: Hishammuddin wrong, seizing reporters' cameras not police SOP

Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar has clarified that confiscating memory cards and cameras belonging to journalists is not part of the police standard operating procedure (SOP).

This contradicts Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s claim that the seizure of journalists’ equipment while covering Saturday’s Bersih 3.0 rally was part of police SOP.
NONE"There is no such thing. We act in accordance with the law," Ismail replied curtly when pressed on the matter at a press conference at the police headquarters at Bukit Aman.

Yesterday, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that the camera and memory cards belonging to journalists were seized as part of the SOP.

Hishammuddin was cornered on the harsh action by the police on journalists covering the rally and whether it was to "black out" claims of police brutality at the scene.

Although he urged the people not to speculate on the severity of the claims, Hishammuddin commended the police for controlling the situation.

Among the journalists who were roughed up was Radzi Razak, from TheSun, who claimed that he was beaten up by seven or eight police officers, despite displaying his media card.

Chen Shaua Fui, assistant editor of news site Merdeka Review, said four policemen tried to snatch her camera and when she showed her press card, it was thrown aside and she was threatened with arrest if she continued taking pictures.

Camera memory cards seized

Malaysiakini's photojournalist Koh Jun Lin was temporarily detained after taking photographs of police beating up protesters. Koh's camera and memory card were also seized but his camera was returned upon his release.

Arif Kartono, a photographer with The Malay Mail, reported that he was assaulted by six uniformed police personnel and his camera was smashed. His colleague, Ashraf Shamsul Azlan, was also threatened and had his camera memory card seized.

Makkal Osai photographer P. Malayandy also had his camera confiscated and said he was assaulted when he tried photographing police beating up protesters.

NONEAl-Jazeera correspondent Harry Fawcett had said he and the international news network’s cameraperson were shoved, causing their video camera to fall and be smashed, while Channel News Asia videographer Kenny Lew was allegedly punched by police and had his tripod seized.

Huang An Jian, a photographer with Chinese newspaper Guang Ming Daily, was arrested while taking photographs of protesters being arrested and The Malaysian Insider's Lisa J. Ariffin took a hit from a tear gas canister launched at the crowd.

Contrastingly, however, was the statement by Al Hijrah videographer Mohd Azri Mohd Salleh, who said he was by protesters when he tried to protect a policeman.