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Election Watch

Appeal To PM to Step into the Breech

Date: 30 June 2011

Comments on the July 2nd Demonstrations

APPEAL TO PM TO STEP INTO THE BREECH

As a Malaysian and a senior citizen, I have like most Malaysians become gravely concerned with the escalating unhealthy developments and rising public anxiety over the impeding Demonstrations on July 2.

What are at stake are our basic human rights and the need to uphold our Constitution, in regard to our essential Freedom of Assembly and Speech. Malaysians now keep asking why it is so difficult for the powers that be, to agree to give Permits for peaceful Marches from any quarter to ask for Free and Fair Elections.

While it is true that we enjoy higher standards of Democracy and Electoral Practices than many less mature democracies, we have to honestly admit that our Electoral System is not the best and actually leaves much to be desired and improved.

After all why can't we seek to transform the Electoral system to become more efficient and to serve the rakyat better, with the concept of People First and Performance Now?

How can we move more purposefully to achieve our Vision 2020 goals, to become a Developed Country, with all its wider prerequisites, if we cannot have even peaceful marches to protest against any abuses in our electoral system?

Even if the Police cannot change their mind sets and provide Permits to have the Peaceful Assemblies and Marches, I ask whether they could give the public some fraternal and friendly assurances that they could allow demonstrators to walk peacefully, if the demonstrators undertake to help the Police maintain Law and Order and even cooperate to apprehend any trouble makers?

I don't think it’s beyond our innovative capacity and our ingenuity, nor is it too late, for the Police and the Leaders of the Demonstrations to work out some acceptable Modus Operandi? Together and in the spirit of national unity we can have a Malaysian Consensus, to ensure that the Demonstrations can be allowed, but with the full agreement for all to exercise restraint, moderation and patience on all sides?

In any case the electoral demands are fair and reasonable. I don't think the Government can be against the requests for instance for - clean electoral roles , the reform of postal votes , the use of Indelible Ink , minimum 21 days for campaigning, free and fair access to the media , strengthening the enforcement of electoral rule, the eradication of Vote Buying and the rejection of ``dirty politics``?

In fact the rising tensions are quite unnecessary. We are making a mountain of a mole hill. There is too much over reaction which can lead to ugly outcomes. Indeed we cannot risk mismanagement of this sensitive situation.

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