Tuesday, March 11, 2008


PKR calls for Commission of Enquiry to probe poll irregularities


Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sabah, which failed to win a single seat in the just concluded 12th General Election, has urged the Government to form a Commission of Inquiry to probe on various irregularities during the election. The party’s Liaison Committee Chairman, Haji Ansari Abdullah, said they had conducted a preliminary post-mortem and discovered that the election was marred with various alleged irregularities that had somewhat caused the defeat of PKR candidates. “The formation of the Commission of Inquiry is important so that the new Government in Sabah in particular, and Malaysia in general, can gain the public trust and confidence in running the State administration with a clean mandate through a clean and fair election,” he said in a statement yesterday. Ansari also thanked the electorates for their support and added that the election results showed a big increase in PKR’s votes. “The support from the masses to the PKR will encourage us to work harder. The PKR accepted the votes of the people but not of ‘phantom voters’ in deciding the fate of the State and its people,” he added. In another development, Ansari reiterated that they were saddened by the fact that Sabahans were still not prepared to make the change in the State’s administration. He noted that PKR Sabah was assured by the strong ground support, but the last three days of the campaign period showed that money and other types of inducements were allegedly distributed to the voters all across the State by the BN. According to him, the manipulation of time of voting which was on Saturday, the Sabbath day of the voters belonging to the Seventh Day Adventist church, had somewhat caused hardship for them to exercise their duties because the closing time was 1pm which was before their activities ended. Ansari said that PKR workers also discovered instances of vote counting being done at the tallying stations, and not at the polling stations as required under the election rules and regulations. ‘In Kota Belud, the PKR Sabah’s candidate reported a win but because of a small winning margin, the BN candidate requested for a recount and it ended with the BN candidate’s win of about 3,000 votes. “The double standard practice of the Election Commission was blatant whereby the opposition’s request for recounting was rejected outright but the BN’s request was entertained,” he lamented. Ansari also accused the BN of exploiting religious and racial issues against the PKR Sabah’s candidates, namely PKR vice president Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan and him. “PKR’s counting agents were not allowed into the polling stations in some other places and the non-delivery of Form 14. And, in the Keningau parliamentary and Bingkor state constituencies, the EC officers took seven hours to count only 700 votes cast at the polling station,” he said.