There are a lot of politicking going on which distracted the demands of the Bersih Rally. Some updates here can clarify it:
* Penang police try to stop PAS meeting on Bersih in Kepala Batas which attracted about 1000 attendants; no arrests; earlier the state government was forced to cancel 2 briefing by the state government on Bersih because the state police chief obtained court order to stop the meetings;
*UMNO youth and PERKASA held demonstrations on the street and try to forcibly enter KOMTAR; 6 persons arrested; PERKASA threaten to hold gathering in Penang bridge on July 9th to block traffic; This is a illogical argument since a gethering need not block traffic-PERKASA is simply trying to impose its will on the others; violent logic expose violent intention that exploit the police’ s reluctance to act on them;
*Deputy police chief close door on further negotiations with the groups who want to rally on July 8th; hinting loudly to use ISA;
*PM Najib boast he can bring 3mil UMNO members to do its rally; what has that got to do with Bersih rally-except if they also want to support its aim?
*Government media and politicians are warning students, syariah lawyers to stay away from Bersih rally-while Bersih supporters try their best to rebut their arguments from all angles; BN so far had used numerous reasons to stop Bersih supporters: christian funding; Communism infiltration; foreigners interference etc. Almost all are make up reason just to stop the rally no matter what; Only they don’t take the Bersih demands seriously-which could more effectively address the Bersih’s agitations;
* arrests continue -nabbed a few more PR politicians eg William Leong of Selangor;
The effects of overwhelming politicking -which centre on freedom of assembly, means that the original substantive issues have been sidelined. The BN almost succeeded-but civil society should not be going along. More pressures should be put on the electoral weaknesses/unfairness that require urgent corrections ahead of the 13th GE!
On the substantive electoral reform front-some small headways:
*EC announce its consideration to welcome international observers; good start after Wan Ahmad refused to entertain the idea;
*NRD’s new Director General will look into sharing database with police and EC to stop multiple voting;
*EC announce it will look into Biometric system to stop multiple voting; but the system is costly and untested;
*EC start to allow voters to check if there are others who abuse a voter’s address to register themselves as voters there; a check by a reporter confirm that you need to have the IC no of the abuser to be able to check-meaning it is useless because you won’t know the abusers in usual cases; Only when you check the electoral roll then you can find out; but since electoral rolls are updated every quarterly and it is expensive to access most people will not be able to check such abuses; A simple way is simply to allow EC’s voters roll to be checked with multiple parameters rather than only with Mykad no; If tenaga, handphones bills and otehr utilities allow checking of account with multiple parameters the EC should be willing and able to allow such checking of personal information; It should not be costly to just improve the software; if the voter can check all the voters in his/her address by inputing his/her address then many address abusers can be exposed in one go!