EC identified 9 hot seats for the Sarawak state elections-an unprecedented move with dubious meanings! Firstly if there were to be security alert it should be the police’s job to highlight the hot spots. So far Sarawak’s elections are rather tame compared to West Malaysia-where there had not been any `hot seats’ identified by the EC. Wonder why? Is there any reasons to do this-could there be an intention to create an artificial security situation to scare the voters? Worse, the response proposed to the `hot seats’ is really a joke. The sending of `enforcement teams’ thus far has not shown them enforcing the Election Offenses Act on big items like vote buying, abuses of government resources (personnel, programs, allocations, media etc) to support incumbent party and Federal ruling party’s campaign, bias media etc. What has been `enforced’ are the minor items like where the posters and banners are put up! Worse there is no hot line for the public to reach these almost invisible `enforcers’! At the Sibu by-election SEW observers tried very hard before they can speak to 1 of these `enforcement teams’! So: is these enforcement teams window dressing or what? Similarly the accreditation of Mafrel as observers is given a downplay which show that EC only want a muted observer as window dressing. They are not into following international norms to allow observers to play their full role to give independent feedback to the EC to improve their election administration. So much for the `9 hot seats’ -may be just to show the toothless `enforcement teams’ relevance where there is little to show!
Report from Bernama:
Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) mengenalpasti sembilan kawasan Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) yang dijangka sengit pada pilihan raya negeri Sarawak bulan depan, kata Timbalan Pengerusinya Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.