Invitation to the 1st training of Sarawak State Elections Observation Mission(Mar 5th, 2.00pm-6.00pm, SADIA Office-Kota Sentosa)
Intro: The state elections are coming soon.Much is at stake for Sarawak’s future and democracy, and there will also be much pressure on the conduct of the elections. We as the civil society need to get prepared to observe the election conduct to provide the counter-pressure against frauds and foul plays.
Election observation: is a global citizens movement now and it has played significant role in the successful democratisation process in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.
Who can join? Every citizen who are concern about election conduct can lend a hand, ears and eyes to this voluntary movement. No one is too weak or too low to join! In our neighbouring countries hundreds of thousands of citizens join to keep an eye on their elections which they take very seriously. Workers, market sellers, illiterates and teachers, trisha puller, nuns, monks, girls guides, artists etc etc have joined this participatory movement! Knowledge, courage and a healthy sense to seek justice is all it ask from the observers!
Why election observation: the conduct of elections in Malaysia has been noted by various observers as badly in need of improvement, to catch up with our regional neighbours. Eg Commonwealth observers judged that Malaysian elections were `free but not fair’ in 1991. After that no international observers were allowed to give us badly needed feedback, reflecting a not so positive official attitude to improve our fundamental democratic process. Faulty elections may lead to not-so good leaders to be chosen and the effect on the country’s future can be grave, if it is not already.
What do you do to be effective to improve election conduct? You can join hundreds of volunteers to keep an eye on election ( which has a straw man/deterrence effect) and to document frauds( James Bond effect-for want of a glamorous name!) The collective impact of a massive observation movement cannot be underestimated -it has been credited as a key contributor to the over-throw of Marcos the murderous Philippines dictator!
Ong BK, international and local election observer and organiser from 2004. Involved in election observation mission to Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mission coordinator for numerous local election observation missions including 2006 Sarawak state elections and Batang Ai by-election.
Malaysian Election Observers Network(MEO-Net): a network started from 2009 to link all election observation and voter education groups in Malaysia. Currently it has 6 network members: SEW, SAFREL, MEW, MALVU, KOMAS, NIEI.
Next activity: launch of Sibu by-election observation report(Mar); more trainings will be conducted at key constituencies.
Training Programs: talk, powerpoints,discussion and role plays.
All welcome: Feel free to pass this on and bring friends. All except party campaigners are welcome to just come to find out about election observation, and decide if they want to take active part later. Election observation is a non-partisan voluntary citizens movement.
How to join: just inform us of your name and contacts(phone no, email etc) 1 days ahead of the training for us to make good estimate on catering to your attendance.
Malaysian Election Observers Network(MEO-Net)
63 Weld Quay 10300 Penang
web site: https://sarawaknews.wordpress.com