Update : 1 reader called, and two sent in comments, to clarify that Malik Hussin is no longer wtih MAFREL.
I listened to Anwar pontificate at the dialogue organised in London yesterday by Friends of Pakatan Rakyat (UK) last night on the virtues of Pakatan Rakyat and the need for the rakyat to help carry them to Putrajaya come the next general elections
As I listened to him, I also had to contend with information I was receiving from the ground of two PKR divisional elections.
First, Kelana Jaya, and then Hulu Selangor, both in Selangor.
Whose state leadership was, some several months ago, unceremoniously wrested from Selangor MB Khalid and placed in the laps of Ketua Umum’s favoured one, Azmin.
According to the list of party members as at 28th June, 2010 as declared by the party HQ, Selangor commands the largest number, of PKR members, standing at 108,000.
He who commands Selangor, as such, has at his disposal a healthy vote bank, and the opportunity to manipulate these numbers.
Like what happened at Kelana Jaya yesterday.
Some 300 members, all pro-Zaid, whose names appear in the 28th June, 2010 list as members of the Kelana Jaya division, turned up for the Kelana Jaya divisional AGM and elections.
The election committee reps in attendance informed those 300 members that they were not on the list of members that was being used for the purpose of yesterday’s election.
The list of members used by the election comittee rep at Kelana Jaya yesterday differs with the master list of 28th June, 2010!
How has this happened?
Remember the recent debacle of the Election Commission acting unilaterally to relocate voters from one constituency to another, without any notification to the voters?
What is particularly disconcerting about this is that whoever thought to try and pull this off could not possibly have hoped to get away with it unless he or she had the co-operation of party HQ to make the necessary adjustments to records.
Is that the case?
Anyway, I’m told that the two conflicting lists are in the hands of the disenfranchised members who are right-royally pissed off and who are not going to let this matter end here.
In Hulu Selangor, voting concluded just before midnight.
Around midnight, after counting had commenced, the election committee reps said they would have to relocate to another premise as the sports hall in Kuala Kubu Baru they were then in had only been booked until midnight.
Candidates were unhappy with this move, but relented.
Having moved to another premise not too far from the sports hall, there was now a suggestion to move the counting to Batang Kali.
This time the candidates protested, and the election committee reps relented.
The attendance list showed that there were present a total of 1,583 members.
When the ballot papers were first retrieved from the ballot boxes and counted, the number declared was 1,623.
At this juncture, divisional head candidates Naza Yakin, who is understood to be aligned to Zaid, and Radzali, protested at this serious discrepancy.
The counting of the ballots, nevertheless, continued, under the watchful eyes of Malik Hussin, of MAFREL, who headed the election committee reps, and is known to be close to Ketua Umum and Azmin.
At the end of counting, Naza emerged the victor, having secured 376 votes, whilst Azmin’s man, Khalid Jaafar, polled 323 votes.
Only after the victor was known, did Malik then decide to declare the election null and void.
Why did he wait for the outcome of the election before nullifying the proceedings when it was already known earlier that the number of ballots cast exceeded the official record of the number of members in attendance?
A decision lacking good faith?
To the best of my knowledge, this is the first divisional election result that has been declared null and void.
Will the election steering committee (ESC) under Molly Cheah now apply the same standards and review the results declared in the other divisions?
To quote Sivamurugan Pandian of Universiti Sains Malaysia, reported in FreeMalaysiaToday :
“ESC’s credibility would be undermined by any prolonged delay. PKR says it despises money politics and other underhand practices and it’s time for it to walk the talk. Or else, it would lose its moral authority to question others”.
For now, all that Anwar said in that dialogue rings hollow.