Two Saturday ago, I had supper with a couple of UMNO people.
I prefer these meetings rather than chatting over the phone as it allows me to assess the value of information they share based on their body language.
They wanted to know if I still was confident that UMNO / BN could be denied getting to Putrajaya post the 13th GE.
“Yes”, I replied.
“Hang gilalah”, one of them retorted.
They insisted that based on information they were receiving, UMNO / BN would retain Putrajaya after the next elections, albeit with a a lower majority than that attained by Pak Lah during the last elections.
I inquired if they were on the ground themselves to gauge voter sentiment.
“No”, they said.
“How critical was the vote of the new Mykad holders ( understand this to mean foreigners granted citizenship ) to UMNO / BN getting to Putrajaya?”, I asked.
Both looked uncomfortable with the question.
Then one blurted, “Very critical”.
“What if we are able to effectively neutralise these new Kykad holders so that UMNO/BN do not have the benefit of their vote?”, I asked.
“Who is ‘we’?”, the same one asked.
“The rakyat”, I replied.
“Then UMNO will be in trouble”, came the short answer.
Time for a reality check, people.
Remember the 8 BERSIH demands?
Forget demands 4 – 8 for the moment.
Just keep sight of demands 1, 2 and 3.
Clean up the electoral roll.
Reform the postal vote.
Implement the use of indelible ink.
So indelible ink will finally be used? Trouble-free use? BERSIH does not think so. See HERE.
As for the postal vote, any real reform must firstly allow the military and police personnel to exercise that vote personally without any form of interference or intimidation by their superiors.
Secondly, the postal vote ought to have been made available to Malaysians residing overseas.
I’ve blogged recently about why I think talk by the EC about making this available will not happen.
As for a cleaned up electoral roll, EC has not and will not do anything about it.
“Definitely the few hundred thousand dubious names in the Selangor voter rolls is a worrying factor but as I have said earlier, we have exhausted all avenues. The problem has been brought up in the Parliamentary Select Committee for Electoral Reform and each time we from the Pakatan side raise this issue, the EC will say ‘Show us the evidence’ and each time after we have shown them the evidence, they will say ‘We will look into it’ and then the matter will just end there” - Kuala Selangor MP, Dzulkefly Ahmad, quoted by FMT.
The reality is that Najib, UMNO and BN are not going to give us any substantive reforms so as to make the 13th GE truly free and fair.
And the reality is that the EC will only do the bidding of UMNO, and not the rakyat.
If there is a BERSIH 4.0 rally once again calling on the government and the EC to effect reforms to allow for free and fair elections, I will not attend.
It is time for all civil society leaders, including those in the BERSIH steering committee, to candidly tell the rakyat the truth : the government and the EC are not going to give us free and fair elections and that we, the rakyat, are going to have to be proactive to try to ensure UMNO and BN’s cheating is kept to the minimum, if not eliminated altogether.
In fact, at the rally planned for 12th January, 2013, where the organisers hope to marshal 1 million Malaysians onto the streets of KL, I hope this truth will be presented and those in attendance be told what they can do to minimise the cheating on polling day, whenever that is.
What has ABU been doing in this regard?
We have, and will continue to do so until polling day, identified where the new Mykad holders are concentrated and are delivering and will continue to deliver a message to them : DO NOT COME OUT TO VOTE.
And on polling day, we will have teams deployed to polling areas where these new Mykad holders have been earmarked to vote to again deliver to them the same message : DO NOT VOTE.
You know foreigners who currently are working here?
You too can help to spread this message by getting those foreigners you know, whether they hold Mykads or not, to pass this message on.
Here’s a list of things that you can do from now until polling day to help thwart UMNO /BN’s cheating ways.
1. From now until polling day, check your name against the electoral roll on the EC website every 30 days to make sure you’re still listed there in the correct constituency. A famous trick is to quietly transfer unsuspecting people to another constituency, especially from opposition constituencies. They hope that these will go on polling day, discover they are not listed there to vote and give up. Meanwhile, at the constituency where that particular name has now been transferred, a ‘pengundi hantu’ gets to vote against that name, unless polling agents are vigilant. Get everyone you know to do this.
2. Tell everyone you know to go out to vote early, ideally, before noon. In the K. Terengganu by-election in January, 2009, they tried to send ‘pengundi hantu’ to polling stations where there had been low voter turnout in the mornings by first placing road blocks at strategic spots so as to cause a gridlock, thus making it near impossible for voters intending to go out to vote in the afternoon to make it to the polling stations. They then sent ‘pengundi hantu’ to those polling stations when it was nearing the end of the time for voting. Thankfully, PAS had caught on to their game and ghostbusters were on hand to deal with the situation.
3. Ask friends and relatives who are out of the country to come back and vote. This is probably our best chance to bring about the desired change. Every vote will count to offset any cheating that we cannot eliminate.
4. Get word to your friends and relatives in the armed and police force that they must insist on exercising their own choice when they vote by post. They must brave.