Thean Poh and Meng Chuo went to see the Returning Officers (RO) of the various constituencies of Sibu on the 7th April. We received varied responses from them that worth one to ponder.
First, we went to the District Office of Sibu, we were told that DO Wong See Meng, the RO for N47 Bawang Assan was out of his office. About a month ago SEW members were denied meeting him when we wanted to deliver the Final Report on the Observation of the Sibu By-election. We turned to the Assistant RO, Awang Nisan, who was kind enough to give the name and phone number of the EC enforcement Officer (N47), Bradley 016 8618649. He also informed the other 4 ROs of the various departments in the same building of Wisma Sanyan, Sibu.
As we approached the Resident Office, we were straightly given the names of the two enforcement officers for N49 Nangka, Brian Anak Munsang, and Maria Nadjaak Jimmy. But their phone numbers were not available as both of them were out in the field. We were advised to call back for their numbers.
When we visited the Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) Office, we were met by the Assistant RO for N48 Palawan, Yusli who asked for our contact number and told us that the enforcement officer will call us back (and we will be waiting).
Lastly, we went to Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) Office to see the ROs for N45 Bukit Assek and N46 Dudong. The Secretary of SMC, Hii Chang Kee is the RO for N45. He told us that he was instructed not to respond to any election observer groups, since the Election Commission (EC)does not accredit any observation body in this 10th Sarawak State Election. Hii explained that enforcement team responds to the contesting parties only. Any query from the public should address to the EC directly. He said he is not supposed to reveal names of the enforcement team members to the general public. He commented that there were hardly any public calls in the previous elections. We argued, how could the public make complaints if enforcement team is not revealed to them? However, he gave his handphone number (012-8869290) and promised to take public query. He claimed that ROs would ensure transparency of the election procedure.
We took Hii’s words and left without looking for the RO for N46. The questions left with us are: why the ROs and AROs response so differently? Which advise can we take? How can the complaints of the various constituencies throughout the whole state report to EC of Sarawak which is based in Kuching?
– uploaded on belalf of MC