Saturday, 28 April 2012

Press release: To be disseminated widely KINABALU: BERSIH Sabah 3.0 will go on as planned today at Padang Merdeka at 2pm – 4pm in spite of resistances put up by various parties as reported in the media.

“We are members of the public; therefore we are entitled to attend the programme if we wish to. Too much has been put at stake for fellow Malaysians. Civil liberties are being threatened, we must act now!” says BERSIH Sabah spokesperson Andrew Ambrose, also known as Atama.

“It is apparent that the government had not been serious about electoral reform, regardless of the fact that a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reforms was formed on 15th August 2011.”

A total of 22 recommendations by the PSC have been issued earlier this month, a number of which were seen as good. However, a few key issues were not covered by the PSC, including the instances of manipulation of the electoral roll by removing names, changing polling station boundaries and other obvious discrepancies; invitation of International Election Observers; among others.

“It was also with utmost shock to all of us when we discovered that amendments were made quietly to the Elections Offences Act, of which completely erases all the good that came from recommendations made by BERSIH and PSC. We are no longer assured of a transparent election process when Barung agents are no longer allowed, and Polling Agents and Counting Agents are only allowed in at the whims and fancy of the Election Commission.

“How can we trust that democracy is still alive and well in Malaysia?” queries Atama.

It is also publicly known that as of today, there has been no news whatsoever on the formation of a Royal Commission of Inquiry to address undocumented migrants, a long standing plight of Sabahans. The National Registration Department has not released any figures as to how many foreign aliens have been granted citizenship since 1970. However, it is estimated that there are 737,000 of them are recipients of 'Project IC' and 200,000 of them are eligible to vote.

Other figures to support the growing fears of Sabahans of being outnumbered comes from the Population Distribution and Basic Demographic Characteristics 2010 report published by the Department of Statistics, Malaysia which reveals that more than 1 in 4 residents in Sabah is not a Malaysian citizen, or 27.7%.

As such, BERSIH Sabah will no longer tolerate such dirty games and being ignored when it comes to very real and damaging issues.

“We want our future to be decided by Malaysians for Malaysians!” is a view echoed firmly by all supporters of BERSIH.

Whether this movement benefits only the opposition party is irrelevant. People should have the power to decide their future. We may vote for either party in the next GE and as easily vote them out if they don’t live up to our expectations. That is true democracy.

We love our country, therefore we want it to be better. We want a chance to be fairly heard. This is not a fight for just a select few, but for the millions of Malaysians worldwide.

Andrew Ambrose
Mewakili Jawatankuasa Pepandu
Gabungan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil (BERSIH Sabah 3.0)

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