24 November 2007
Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia / Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) strongly supports the Joint Communique issued yesterday by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (BERSIH), a coalition comprising civil society actors and Malaysia’ s main political parties.
We believe that the Joint Communique’s 8-point long term electoral reform agenda and 3-point immediate working goal reflects longstanding aspiration of Malaysians of all religious and social backgrounds for a free, clean and fair election in this country.
It is very unfortunate that after each and every election we hear of complaints and grievances from voters and political parties alike of all sorts of irregularities allegedly occurred during the conduct of the election.
These comprise, among other things, involuntary transfer of voters’ names to other constituencies which resulted in the denial of their legitimate right to vote, cases of multiple voting, the use of money and other material benefits to lure voters into voting certain candidates, unfair media reporting of the election and, not the least, the use of government machineries to help facilitate campaign activities of certain political parties.
All this, coupled with lack of transparency in de-limitation of electoral boundaries exercises, and in some instances gerrymandering, resulted in incessant public questioning of the legitimacy of the elected government. This certainly does not auger well for our effort at building a genuine democratic and fully developed nation by 2020.
In view of the urgent need for a comprehensive electoral reform to take place in Malaysia , ABIM calls upon the Election Commission and the Government to take seriously the suggestions and demands put forth by BERSIH as contained in the joint communique. While ABIM reiterates its stance as a non-partisan non-governmental organization, it will be unhesitant to support any sincere initiatives for political and social reform in this country.
Azril Mohd. Amin
Vice President (International), ABIM