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Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Blatant abuse of power in the run up to Manek Urai by-election

We are facing yet another by election, this time in Manik Urai, Kelantan.Even before nomination day, already several controversies have begun to surface.Please read news Items 1 & 2 before proceeding to article below.

Item 1
MP seek clarification on Army abused for campaign in Manek Urai

Quote :
Apparently, the Defence Ministry has instructed the army to launch ‘projects’ at Manek Urai in Kelantan in order to increase support for the ruling BN coalition ahead of the by-election there on July 14.

Source :

Item 2
MANIK URAI, 23 Jun (Bernama) -- Seramai 187 guru dan warga pendidik yang layak mengundi pada pilihan raya kecil kawasan Dewan Undangan Negeri Manik Urai pada 14 Julai ini diseru supaya memilih calon Barisan Nasional (BN) bagi memastikan Pelan Induk Pembangunan Pendidikan (PIPP) berjaya dilaksanakan.

Timbalan Menteri Pelajaran, Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi berkata walaupun pemilihan calon merupakan hak seseorang individu, namun sokongan terhadap kerajaan akan memastikan PIPP dapat dilaksanakan demi faedah generasi masa depan.

"Kita berharap para guru dapat membantu menjayakan agenda pendidikan negara ini," katanya.

Puad berkata kerajaan kini dalam proses untuk membina negara bangsa yang cemerlang menerusi sistem pendidikan yang maju.

"Kita juga sedang meningkatkan taraf guru dan untuk itu mereka mestilah bersama kita," katanya.

Source :


On 22nd May 2009, PAS Elections Director Datuk Mustafa Ali said"Barisan will surely lose. So it might as well not bother to contest,"
I agree with Datuk Mustafa Ali, PAS has held the Manik Urai seat for 5 terms, when BN could not even retain its Kuala Terengganu seat
where it was the incumbent in a by election.

BN of course has decided to contest, that is their right, but the actions highlighted above are not within their rights.
After a hatrick of by election losses BN seems desperate for a win in Manik Urai.
Desperate is an understatement, more like blatant abuse.It is an election offence to use MINDEF and the Education Ministry.
What happened to Najib's statement that there will be no more "Maggi Mee" or instant projects that are rolled out just before elections ?
Or is the BN afraid that it cannot play its postal voter trump card owing to the fact that there are only 25 postal voter's in Manik Urai ?

The Deputy Education Minister has no business canvassing votes from teachers under a thinly veiled disguise of advancing the education agenda
then making a statement that implies that their status will be upgraded if the vote was given to BN.
In most developed countries the Minister of Defence and Education would have resigned in shame.

What is SPR doing about this ? Are they ignorant that it is an offence to use public facilities for election purposes ?
With all the hue and cry they made over "pondok panas" and reminders to stop campaigning on polling day,
have they now conveniently forgotten that campaigning can only start on nomination day on 06 July and stop at
midnight on 13 July ?
SPR should stop all campaigning and issue warnings to any party that flouts this rule whether Opposition or BN.

SPR will for the first time, be issuing coloured stickers to identify the party vehicles -- BN will have blue stickers, Pas green and independents orange.
Since this will be to control traffic for party vehicles ferrying voters to the polling center's, why discriminate by color codes ?
Does it matter from which party the vehicles belong to if their function is to ferry voters ? Or is there a hidden nefarious purpose ?

If SPR cannot do their job without fear or favor they should just step aside and allow MAFREL to show them how it is done.

While I am at it I also want to point out PDRM's misplaced sense of priorities, what is the big idea behind deploying a police
force of 1,000 to oversee a by election in a sleepy hollow with a population of 25,000 (of which only 12,293 are registered voters)
while high crime townships like Klang with a population of 1,000,000 is policed by a force of only 700 ?
The standard reply " to ensure security " will no longer fly, when time and again the police have been known to break up opposition
"ceramah" and intimidate supporters.

Another blunder is attempting to charge Kelantan menteri besar Tok Guru (Nik Abdul Aziz) under sedition for his chastizing of UMNO,
I suppose instead of engaging Tok Guru on what he said, once again they are bandying the sedition card, an act that has been thrown at
many dissenters but somehow was never used against blatantly seditious politicians who are alligned to BN.
In George Town, Kelantan Barisan Nasional secretary Datuk Md Alwi Che Ahmad said the state Barisan wanted Nik Aziz to make a public apology to the coalition or face possible legal action.
Alwi then goes on to say ‘‘Nik Abdul Aziz should also not travel in any MAS aircraft since it is a government-linked company.”
UMNO Penang factions seem to be the most vociferous and boorish but seem to shoot of their mouth without engaging the brain.
What has that got to do with anything ? Going by Alwi's rationale should he also leave Penang, as the state is ruled by the opposition ?

In the coming days we can expect the compliant mainstream media with its obedient spinwriters dishing out heavy doses of propaganda,
while insulting the intelligence of the general public with the worn out strategy of using psywar to coerce voters to back a perceived "winning horse".
Remember all those spinwriters who came up with a barrage of analysis on why BN will win in the Permatang Pauh by elections ?
Remember the NST front-page article "Blue wave sweeps over Kelantan" in the run up to the 12th General Elections ?
Well, we all know that not only BN lost, but were trounced after making those grandiose proclamations.
Read my lips : Psyway ala Khir Toyo's " zero opposition in Selangor" will not work.

Democracy is not just about free elections but fair ones, even if you are a BN supporter you should voice out these concerns
to your elected representatives, because sooner than you think the tables could be turned in the not too distant future.
I can assure you that I would lambast Pakatan Rakyat too if they condone similar abuses in the event they obtain federal power.

Vijay Kumar Murugavell

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