Recently UMNO/BN Chair Najib has been rebutting the Bersih’s criticism of unfair polls by putting up the little history in Kelantan in 2005 where UMNO was only 2 votes away from retaking Kelantan. He claimed that UMNO/BN could have come out with 3 votes if there were unfair polls. His story was however, as usual, a bad spin from the fact! What happened: In 2004 BN had its political tsunami-though it was never called that way. BN swept 92% of parliamentary seats where the Opposition only retain Kelantan state, with 3 seat majority. Come anther year one Assemblyman died-and PAS lost the seat by a small majority. Then there was only 1 seat majority left for PAS-including a seat, Kemuning, which was won in 2004 by a 2-vote majority! Why UMNO/BN didn’t try to `come out’ with 3 votes from somewhere? We need to know that during the nomination in 2004 the then UMNO chief Badawi and an Assemblyman in Kepala Batas constituency were caught without submitting their election expenses account from previous election! While he used his influence over EC then to allow him and his assemblyman candidate to run he had a problem that need solving after the poll.
After the poll he sent his son in law to speak to the weakened PAS. The proposal was for both parties not to challenge each other in the court whenever their election petitions come up. The trade off was for Badawi’s victory to be preserved-so he can go on to be a prime minister, while the Kelantan PAS state government will continue unchallenged. It was seen as a `fair’ deal for both sides-only the voters were denied disclosures of the hanky panky that went on in the elections! So: the reason for UMNO/BN not to challenge PAS in 2005 was not their unwillingness to do so-but their deal with PAS to safeguard Badawi’s PM-ship!
An update to this story: How did PAS ensure no Assemblyman frog to the other side and ask for a king’s ransom? Actually the PAS state government started to give each Assemblyman Rm250 000.00 yearly development allowance to keep the Assemblyman happy and faithful. Yet there was a small hitch in 2007 where 1 Assemblyman went to London ahead of the Budget seating, thus threatening the passage of the state Budget! He was unhappy because he alone missed out on the development allowance! Only after this was solved that PAS avoided a fatal near-frogging!
Najib: BN would have won Kelantan in 2004 if polls skewed
KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today shot down accusations that the country’s electoral process was unfair, and said that if Barisan Nasional (BN) could manipulate results they would have won Kelantan in 2004.The PAS-run Kelantan government, an opposition stronghold, suffered a near defeat during the 2004 general elections when PAS won the state with a slim majority of just three seats.
“If you think we (BN) can manipulate the ballot box, don’t you think it’s also possible we could have come up with three extra votes? If you say the Election Commission (EC) is not transparent, if you say we manipulate votes … we can do it but we have not done so.
“There are fair elections in Malaysia, you should not doubt that,” Najib said today during his speech to conclude the Malaysian Student Leaders Summit (MSLS) here.
The ruling BN coalition has garnered severe criticism over the way it handled the Bersih 2.0 rally, amid a long list of complaints over an unfair election process by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and civil society groups. The international community, from Singapore to the UK, has criticised the government’s handling of recent public dissent.
Najib stressed that his administration was fully committed to electoral reform in order to bring about an improvement to the current system.
“I’m committed to electoral reform. We will make sure there are no more phantom voters … If the biometric system goes ahead, there will be no chance of phantom voters,” he added.
The PM said he “refuted” allegations that there is no parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, before stressing that the only ones who determined the ruling government in Putrajaya was the electorate.
“There are no guarantees for anyone in the general elections. There is no way to fix the ballot box,” Najib said.
Bersih estimates that 50,000 people showed up at the July 9 rally for free and fair elections despite efforts to prevent it from taking place while police have said the number was closer to 6,000.
The protest turned chaotic when police fired tear gas and water cannon at thousands of demonstrators, resulting in nearly 1,700 arrests, scores injured and the death of ex-soldier Baharuddin Ahmad, 59.
The government has promised to investigate allegations of police brutality while the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will hold a separate public inquiry into police conduct during the rally.