The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) is shocked that Special Branch police had sat in at the inquiry held by the Election Commission (EC) on its proposed electoral boundary for Miri.
According to Piasau assembly representative Alan Ling, he had recognised the four plainclothed police sitting behind the EC officials when he was presenting his objections last Thursday. The EC chairperson himself was taken aback when told of their identities, but decided that they could stay anyway.
BERSIH 2.0 is outraged by the EC chairperson’s decision, especially when taking into account the fact that stakeholders with legitimate interest in the process, such as lawyers, the media and members of the public, are barred from attending the inquiries.
Lawyers can help clarify any legal points that may be raised, the media can make the process transparent and educational for the public, and members of the public should be alerted on how a solution to other constituencies might affect theirs.
What legitimate stake does the Special Branch have in the process?
The fact that the police were in plainclothes showed that they intended to disguise their identity, which points to a sinister motive on their part.
The public should not stand for it if the EC were to allow plainclothed police again at the next round of redelineation held for Sabah and peninsular Malaysia.
BERSIH 2.0 reiterates our call to make the inquiries truly public and allow all legitimate stakeholders to be present.
The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0, which comprises –
Chairperson: Maria Chin Abdullah; Deputy Chairperson: Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan; Treasurer: Masjaliza Hamzah; national representatives: Assoc. Prof. Dr Abdul Halim bin Yusof, Farhana binti Abdul Halim, Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and New Sin Yew; vice-chairpersons: Jannie Lasimbang (Sabah), Ahmad b. Awang Ali (Sarawak), Abd Halim b. Wan Ismail (East Peninsula), Thomas Fann (South Peninsula), Simon Lee Ying Wai (Central Peninsula) and Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon (North Peninsula).