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Archive for April 6th, 2011

Sarawak Election Nomination Day 2011 Apr 06
N49 Nangka Voters Were Denied Their Rights to Objection

Three SEW (Sibu Election Watchers) volunteers Lau, Ooi and Wong were at the nomination centre of N49 Nangka from about 0940 h to about 1020 h. The nomination centre was at Dewan Kelab Melayu Kg Nyabor (MUC), Jalan Bandong, Sibu. The road in front of the dewan leading to the entrance was cordoned off from both sides.

Nomination period was a mere poor 1 hour from 0900 h – 1000 h. Right at 1000h on the dot, an announcement was heard in the air that nomination period was closed with two nominations received and objection period started for (another mere poor) 1 hour from 1000h – 1100h. At this point in time SEW volunteer Wong walked past the cordon line towards the dewan with the intention to view the nomination papers. He made it to the gate where he was stopped by the police. The photos attached showed him arguing with the police without success. Then Wong was basically escorted from the gate to outside the cordon line again by the police.

 

 

SEW observers then left for Sibu public library where N45 Bukit Assek nomination was held and to their pleasant surprises, everyone was freely allowed to past the line to examine the nomination papers put up on the notice board outside the library entrance. After that they proceeded to Sacred Heart Schools where N48 Pelawan nomination took place. Again they found public had no restrictions to access the nomination papers which were posted at two spots outside the schools. It was real puzzling why voters of N49 Nangka were treated differently. (How does this fit into 1-Malaysia?)

Though at Sacred Heart Schools, some people might want to criticize the heavy police presence that formed a line in front of the schools before the two boards displaying nomination papers, as some members of public might have felt intimidated. But the author, throughout the whole morning and been to three nomination centres, found the police on duty were rather pleasant and friendly, when making eye contacts some would give a smile and most of time they would return a smile or nod.

Final thoughts: it might be more deadly dangerous to deal with MACC (?) now that another person had fallen to death from MACC office again.

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After days of inquiries at the EC Kuching office the 4 missing electoral rolls are finally available for sales today. However we can only collect them tomorrow because the receipt cannot be produced due to the relevant clerk leaving the office after 5.00pm. The EC office open till about 9.00pm for the election period.

The 4 seats may well end up as the focus of attention because the Baleh seat belong to PRS president James Masing-believe to be the most likely candidate to jump should PR come close to achieving power. Similarly the Pelagus seat can be a target for sabortage because its famously rich previous rep is denied the candidature this time!

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MEO-Net had conducted a voter education program in Rh Lingga, Sebuyao 2 weeks back and intend to send observers to stay there for election observation. When we called back last night the friendly Tuai Rumah told us that we cannot go there because the SAO (local government officer) there claim that the CDs showing demolition of Rh Nor Nyawai prove that the observers are partisan to the Opposition and thus the long house should not welcome the observers back there! When the story was told to Numpang Suntai who is from there and well known for the NCR land struggle he said that the tuai rumah here often get pressure from the local government officers. So MEO-Net will look for other long houses to host the observers. The long house was chosen because of the NCR struggle there which involved 14 long houses. 7 villagers had been arrested for land rights protests-and Numpang Suntai was arrested for `criminal initimidation’ charge. He has recently been released. The idea of observing there is to see if the experience of the court cases will bring any change to the natives.

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Multi-cornered fights break out across Sarawak -eg 6-cornered fights in Belaga, 3 corner fights in Batu Lintang(PKR’s See Chee Hau vs Lina Soo Vs SUPP), Padungan(Dominic Ng Vs SUPP Vs DAP), Sadong Jaya etc etc. 1-to-1 fight can still be seen in Pending (DAP’s Violet Yong Vs SUPP), and Lawas (PKR’s Baru Bian vs SPDP). The more multi-cornered fights there are the easier for the incumbent to hold on to power. However in view of the candidates going for multi-corner fights it cannot be said that they have any link with a Taib link-with a number coming from the party which send a candidate in the same constituency.

A number of issue arose during nomnation: a number of Returning Officer refused to exhibit the nomination papers to the public, as required by law. They are the ROs from Padungan, Pending & Bengoh. In sibu our observers reported similar situation in Nangka and Bawan Asan. MEO-Net will file official complaint to the EC, after message to EC chariman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz got no response. Under the law the voters have a right to view the nomination paper and to raise objections.  The RO above only exhibit the nomination paper in side the compound of the nomination center where only party supporters and media with SPR pass can enter. So only a couple of hundreds of people can see the nomination paper-thus denyng the rights of majority of the voters of their rights. This is the 1st black mark of the elections which other wise is well run and peaceful.

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