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Bersih Sabah, NGOs to monitor general election
Published on: Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Bersih Sabah announced it is launching its Pemantau campaign for the 14th General Election (GE14) which will be held on May 9.

Bersih 2.0 Sabah Vice Chairperson Beverly Joeman said Bersih Sabah, together with several other Non Governmental Organisations, including My Move, Hijau 2.0 and Sekretariat Anak Muda Sabah will be monitoring the elections in Sabah.

"Monitoring is a people's initiative to prevent fraud and intimidation in the GE14. The monitor will observe the Election Commission's behavior, political parties, and candidates throughout the election period.

Any misrepresentation or fraud will be reported and court action will be taken if necessary," she told a press conference by Bersih Sabah, Monday.

Beverly said the monitoring team will focus on these 10 points:

(1) Corruption and purchase of votes: eg. offering money for votes
(2) Food and gift for votes
(3) Empowerment and improper influence by the government ( government agencies or ministries) to influence voting.
(4) Use of government assets for campaigning (including government machinery eg. transportation)
(5) Excessive election expenditures (in excess of RM100,000 for State and RM200,000 for Parlimentary)
(6) violence and harassment (of voters, candidates or their supporters)
(7) Behavioural bias by public sector officers and local authorities
(8) Early voting and postal ballot
(9) Problems of electoral registration and phantom voting
(10) Problems on polling day.

"Bersih Sabah also reminds all political parties, especially component parties from the Barisan Nasional who have been leading the government, to adhere to the principle of democracy of a Provisional Government until the new party to lead the state and federal government is elected after the 'polls' on May 9 2018."

"The government has ceased to have a mandate from the legislature and must act accordingly.

It will only exist for minimal government administration.

"Bersih Sabah thus urges all political parties to act in accordance with the interim governmental ethics as listed in the Australian Capital Territory 2012 General Election on Guidance on Caretaker Conventions and London Cabinet Office on General Election Guidance 2010."

She said from the date of the dissolution of Parliament or State Legislative Assembly until the new government takes over, the Federal Government and the State Government shall be a temporary government and shall not:

(a) make policy and key decisions that are likely to tie down the government to be chosen;
(b) make important appointments;
(c) sign major contracts or undertakings ;
(cl) announce any new financial grants in any form or any undertaking in connection therewith;
(e) laying down the corner stone or, project or scheme in any form; or
(f) make any new promises to build infrastructure or implement public projects.

She said previous elections in Malaysia have been tainted by abuse of government assets for their party use, thereby creating an uneven match field between incumbent and other candidates.

"In Sabah to date, there has been reported misuse of government machinery for campaigning by Barisan Nasional. Bersih Sabah has received a number of reports covering two offenses in the election, which is an improper gift and influence by the government and the use of government machinery."

Pemantau Sabah coordinator Asraf Sharafi said currently they have 40 Pemantau agents in four Zones in the state i.e. Kota Kinabalu, Kalabakan, Kota Marudu and Keningau but hope to expand this soon.

Members of the public are also encouraged to be pemantau volunteers and record evidence of any offences or cheating cases during the elections via pictures or video and report to Pemantau at its website/e-mail aduan.pemantau.org or telephone/ whatsapp 014-5724007 or private message the Bersih Sabah facebook page.

The details of all complainants will be kept confidential.
Those interested to be Pemantau volunteers can also register themselves at www.pemantau.org/daftar. - Neil Chan

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