Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pak Lah take Dr.Mahathir’s advice, release Hindraf 5

*taken from *

I spoke at Au Long, Taiping on 30thJanuary2008.

Among the matters spoken were
1) Demand the release of the HINDRAF 5
2) SPR should ensure all the 17000 newly registered be eligible voters to vote in the coming elections

Malaysian former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday said the government should talk to the Hindraf leaders, not arrest them under the ISA.

He also said the corruption and vote buying will be rampant in the next election.

Dr Mahathir said BN coalition member the Malaysian Indian Congress was not properly representing the Indians.

The Hindraf rally was one of several streets demonstrations that have shaken the government in recent months, along with an election reform rally that drew more than 30,000 protesters.

These are very serious observation by the former Prime Minister who knows better to urge Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi to release the five Hindraf leaders.

He said the Hindraf protest happened because the government failed to listen to the Indian people grievances.

How true is Dr Mahathir’s observation.

Abdullah must heed this wise advice and release the Hindraf leaders immediately and without any condition. He should open dialogues with the Indian community based on the 18-points memorandum Hindraf had submitted to him in August last year.

We urge the Prime Minister to urgently set up a Parliamentary Select Committee to investigate this matter, release the Hindraf leaders and begin a proper study to help the Indian community based on the 18-points memorandum.

Only this action will ease the anger the Indian community is feeling and clearly expressed during the Nov 25 protest, boycott of Thaipusam at Batu Caves on January 23 and next will show their anger at the general elections expected din mid-March.

Are the 17000 who registered with the SPR in the last quarter eligible to vote in the coming elections?
The Elections Commission Chairman has announced that over seventeen thousand have registered as voters between the months of October-December2008 but these voters may not be eligible to vote in the coming elections as “investigations could not be completed by then”. This is really disappointing. Or are the 17000 new voters perceived as going to vote against the Barisan in the coming elections.

Why it takes such a long time to verify and gazette the new voters? We urge the SPR to speed up the process and gazette all the eligible voters so that they can vote in the coming elections. The SPR should if the need be employ more staff for this purpose.

The SPR wants powers to sue those who make “wild allegations” against the SPR. Instead of trying to shield from criticisms the SPR should come clean and do its primary work of gazetting eligible voters the soonest possible.The SPR spends over RM80 million a year to carry out voter registration exercise. All this is shear waste of tax payer’s money as all the particulars of eligible voters could be obtained from the National Registration Department and the data could be used to up date the records of the SPR.

In countries like New Zealand and in many other countries:

1. a voter can register as a voter a day before elections and why this is not the case in Malaysia;

2. can register as a voter by email but this not possible in Malaysia;

The SPR chief has traveled widely around the globe to witness the election process but the question is why the good practices in those countries are not implemented in Malaysia? Recently we met him in Ipoh and he had just come back after the Australian general elections but nothing has changed since then.

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