Press Statement, 8 January 2013
Pemantau Pilihan Raya Rakyat – A Citizen’s Initiative for GE13
As the new year begins, Malaysians are preparing for what is undoubtedly the most significant general elections our country has ever faced in recent decades. GE13 will be a milestone for the nation as a clear shift in the electorate has become apparent ever since 2008 elections.
The shift towards a two-party system is a significant stride forward for greater democracy in this nation, but first and foremost, a democratic electoral system is a must. BERSIH 2.0 has relentlessly outlined the numerous flaws in the current system, yet the Election Commission (EC) and the government itself have done little to address these in a meaningful way.
As such, with elections looming in the next few months, BERSIH 2.0 together with Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (MAFREL) and Pusat KOMAS wishes to launch a citizen’s campaign that will play a big role in keeping GE13 free of fraud.
PEMANTAU, or Pemantau Pilihan Raya Rakyat in full, is aimed at further enhancing the people’s aspiration of a free and fair elections by mobilising citizens to be present during GE13 to observe the electoral process, deter and minimise the instances of cheating and fraudulent practices that may take place during the elections. This will not intervene with the EC’s conduct of the elections or the accredited observer group’s task of observing the elections. In fact, this shall complement them and help to deter fraudulent practices such as vote buying, violence, undue influence and intimidation, abuse of public resources, media bias and more. PEMANTAU shall observe the electoral processes during the campaign period as well as on polling day and will also conduct media monitoring. These will be done in a non-partisan manner employing methodologies that are compliant to international standards and practices .
BERSIH 2.0 wishes to call on Malaysians who have shown great courage to improve the state of democracy in Malaysia to come forward and contribute in a meaningful way towards attaining that goal. We are citizens of Malaysia and have the right to act responsibly for a better Malaysia.
This inaugural effort will require sincere and brave volunteers who are willing to give their time during the campaign period and on polling day itself. The task at hand is to become impartial observers of any instances of electoral fraud that may take place in GE13.
The 222 parliamentary constituencies throughout the country would require large numbers of observers, but PEMANTAU aims to cover as many seats as possible based on the number of volunteers we manage to mobilise and high priority will be placed on seats anticipated as hot seats, marginal, high number of new voters or high incidences of irregularities. A conservative minimum target of 5,000 volunteers would be required for an effective observation on the ground.
In the coming weeks, training and recruitment sessions will be conducted in each of the states and major cities throughout the country. A full list of dates will be announced soon but the schedule for as of now is:
- Sibu – 19 January
- Kuala Lumpur and Selangor – 30 January
- Johor Bahru – 2 February
To enable this campaign to run smoothly, we need to appeal for generous financial support from the public, who have come out so strongly in support of the BERSIH cause in the last two years. As we head towards GE13, this is one more crucial time for those who are willing to step forward. We urge the public to donate RM10 (or more) for this project, as per the details below:
Support the “RM10 for PEMANTAU” campaign by donating to BERSIH 2.0 :
Account No: 12380000661-10-0
Account Name: Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor
Bank: CIMB Islamic, Section 52, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Steering Committee Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0 (BERSIH 2.0)
The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0 comprises: Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan (Co-Chairperson), Datuk A. Samad Said (Co-Chairperson), Ahmad Shukri Abdul Razab, Andrew Ambrose, Andrew Khoo, Anne Lasimbang, Arul Prakkash, Arumugam K., Awang Abdillah, Dr Farouk Musa, Hishamuddin Rais, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Matthew Vincent, Niloh Ason, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Subramaniam Pillay, Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Dato’ Yeo Yang Poh and Zaid Kamaruddin