Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Election Commission is not only trying to steal GE14 by gerrymandering constituencies to UMNO’s advantage, it is systematically impeding the registration of new voters

We have statistically and empirically proven that there is only one “winner” in the newly proposed re-delineation of parliamentary and state constituencies by the Election Commission (EC).  Wherever possible, marginal UMNO seats are strengthened while marginal opposition-held constituencies are weakened by shifting in core BN supporters from neighbouring constituencies.

However, the EC who is also the only institution which can register new voters in the country is also proactively stalling and impeding the registration of new voters.

As at April this year, there are 17.6 million qualified voters in Malaysia.  However, only 13.4 million of them are register while 4.2 million remained disenfranchised.  This means that nearly 1 in 4 voters are not able to exercise their rights enshrined in the constitution if an election is called today.

Instead of making concrete and concerted efforts in collaboration with all parties to increase the number of voters registered, the EC is doing its utmost to slow down new registrations.

Firstly, the EC has stopped the appointment of Assistant Registration Officers (AROs) from political parties to assist with the registration exercise since 2013.  In 2011 and 2012 before the last general election, there were 5720 and 4777 appointed AROs.  Today, the numbers are negligible and they have not been replaced with any other institutions to perform the same task.

The impact and difference is telling.  In 2011 alone, 1,023,170 Malaysians were registered as new voters.  However, the 3 years from 2013 to 2015 only saw a total of 617,254 voters registered, or an average of 205,751 voters per annum.  At this rate, the number of unregistered voters will only increase exponentially as there are more than 500,000 new qualified voters every year (and increasing!).

As political parties are unable to have AROs to register voters, we have been told by the EC that they will be able to assign their officers to assist us with our voter registration campaigns.

However, such assistance comes with many conditions attached – such as no scheduled campaigns in the evenings and no “pasar malams” or open-air markets.

Despite the restrictions, the DAP cooperated and focused our joint campaigns with EC in the air-conditioned comforts of shopping malls.  However, to our disappointment and despite repeated formal and informal reminders to bring sufficient forms, the EC officials – under instruction, bring only limited number of forms.  As a result, our voter registration booths at the malls had to close early and hundreds of qualified voters were left disappointed.

Now, the EC has officially informed us to cancel all our planned voter registration campaigns after 3rd October purportedly because they now have to focus on handling the objections to the proposed re-delineation exercise.

Even when we then ask the unregistered voters to head to the nearest post office, we have often heard the inexcusable complaints of the lack of forms.

At best, the actions of the EC show that they are incompetent and abdicating their responsibilities to ensure qualified voters are able to exercise their constitutionally enshrined right to vote.  At worst, they are clearly sabotaging the electoral process by denying these voters their basic rights.

This is because, younger and newer voters as a whole have no loyalty to UMNO and BN.  A substantial majority of them have proven in past elections to be inclined to vote for the opposition.

We call upon the Election Commission to be serious about the registration of new voters since they have persistently refused the proposal for the automatic registration of voters.  If it is unable to carry out its responsibilities on its own, then it should start using its powers to appoint thousands of AROs across the country.

The EC would do well to remember its own “mission” stated on their malware-infested website, that is “mendukung sistem demokrasi berparlimen dan menjamin hak rakyat untuk memilih wakil mereka” and “mengurus, mengawal selia dan mengendalikan pilihanraya secara bebas dan adil”. Hence it should stop acting like UMNO’s henchmen to rig the electoral outcome.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

DAP Selangor will hold an emergency state committee meeting today to discuss impact of re-delineation plans on the state's Pakatan Harapan for GE14

As analysts within DAP, political parties and think tanks across the country digest the proposed re-delineation plan by the Election Commission, it has become clear that the exercise is the most brazen attempt to gerrymander a victory for UMNO in the next general elections.

Perhaps it should not come as such a surprise in the light of the fact that the Najib administration is facing the worst political crisis in the history of the country.  All surveys and studies showed Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s ratings to be the lowest ever recorded by any Prime Minister as a consequence of the 1MDB financial scandal and the impact of the GST on ordinary Malaysian’s cost of living.

If in 2013, Barisan Nasional received less than 48% of the popular vote then the only logical conclusion will be that the ruling coalition will receive lesser votes in the 14th General Election.

Hence the trump card for BN was to redraw the election constituency boundaries to the extent that BN will be assured of a thumping victory even if their popular votes continue to decline.

The simplest way of doing so would be to bundle opposition inclined voters into super-constituencies with more than 100,000 voters while breaking up hard-core pro-ruling party supporters into smaller multiple constituencies.

The clearest example was in the seat of Petaling Jaya Utara which was enlarged from 85,401 voters to 150,439 voters.  The newly enlarged constituency, renamed “Damansara” is projected to achieve a super-majority of 73,533 based on the 2013 voting records, as opposed to the actual majority of 44,672.

As a result, the neighbouring constituency of Subang (renamed “Sungai Buloh”) becomes a very marginal seat with only a projected 3,037 majority as opposed on 26,719 achieved in 2013.

What we have since discovered to be even more audacious however, is the plans by the Election Commission to return the Selangor state government to BN via aggressive gerrymandering.

Based on 2013 voting patterns alone, at least seven state assembly seats will be won back outright by BN in the next election.  They are Sabak, Hulu Kelang, Sementa, Selat Kelang, Pelabuhan Kelang, Sijangkang and Morib.

At the same time, at least another ten seats had their majorities vastly reduced to place them within reach of the BN candidates.

With brazen gerrymandering coupled with an aggressive campaign based on race and religious rhetoric, there is now a very real possibility that Selangor will indeed fall to BN.

The DAP Selangor state committee will meet later today discuss the findings of our studies and formulate our position as well as the next steps which we need to take to ensure that the people of Selangor will not be robbed of their mandate in the next general elections.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Election Commission conducts single-biggest gerrymandering exercise in the history of Malaysia to steal victory in the next General Election for Barisan Nasional

The Election Commission (EC) has officially published its proposed redelineation of electoral boundaries today.  As highlighted previously, there will be no increase in parliamentary seats for the whole country, and no increase in state seats for Peninsula Malaysia.

A simple cursory review of the proposals will confirm the fears of all Malaysians that the EC has made it its primary objective to ensure Barisan Nasional (BN) victory for the Federal Government.

In the proposal, my constituency, “Petaling Jaya Utara (PJU)”, to be renamed as “Damansara”, will become the single largest constituency in Malaysia with 150,439 voters, an increase of 76.2% from the 85,401 registered voters as at the 2013 General Election.

Damansara will displace Kapar as the single largest constituency, with the latter’s number of voters reduced from 144,159 to 100,456, a reduction of 30.3%.

The discretionary treatment in the two seats epitomises the completely arbitrary and brazen gerrymandering exercise the EC is carrying out to the advantage of BN.

How can the EC justify or rationalise the increase of 76.2% of voters in my constituency, making it the largest in the country while at the same time reducing the existing largest constituency by 30%?

EC has increased the size of Damansara mainly by appending 54,902 voters from Bukit Lanjan state assembly seat, previously part of Subang (now renamed “Sungai Buloh”) parliament.  As a result, the number of voters in Subang/Sungai Buloh is also reduced from 128,543 (2013) to 73,448.

There is only one reason one can deduce from the EC actions. It was to add to the majority in the seats BN is deemed unlikely to win, while reducing the majorities for seats where BN sees the opportunity to re-capture.

PJU had the 2nd highest majority of 44,672 in the 2013 general election and is in all probability deemed unwinnable by BN.

Bukit Lanjan on the other hand contributed a 17,200 vote majority to the Subang parliament overall winning majority of 26,719 by Sivarasa Rasiah of PKR in 2013.

With the proposed redelineation, Subang/Sungai Buloh will be left with a much reduced estimated majority of only 9,519 votes.

By shifting Bukit Lanjan to Damansara, the EC has made Subang a much more winnable seat for BN, despite increasing the potential majority for Damansara to a whopping 61,872 (based on 2013 results)!

The similar situation applies to Kapar, when its state seat with the largest majority, Sg Pinang (renamed “Bandar Baru Klang”) is shifted to the Klang parliamentary seat which faced an increase of voters from 97,073 (2013) to 141,025.

In doing so, Kapar, which is currently held by Manivanan Gowin of PKR becomes much more vulnerable.  It’s 2013 winning majority of 23,790 is approximately halved as a result of the proposed redelineation.

The absurdity of creating a monster Damansara seat with more than 150,000 voters is even more outrageous when contrasted with other seats in Peninsula Malaysia with only a fraction of the voters.

Putrajaya remained the smallest constituency in the country with only 17,627 voters (11.7% of Damansara).  Perak remains the state with the highest number of low voter seats with Lenggong at 28,078 (18.7% of Damansara), Padang Rengas at 28,727 (19.1%), Kuala Kangsar at 33,113 (22.0%), Parit at 33,638 (22.4%) and Gerik at 33,832 (22.5%).

Even within Selangor, which has 2.08 million voters and 22 parliamentary seats, the disparity is unjustifiably huge, with the smallest constituency of Sabak Bernam having only 37,126 voters (24.7% of Damansara).  The discrepancy in the number of voters for constituencies within Selangor itself is repugnant, when the average number of voters per seat should be approximately 94,500.

Effectively, a vote in the redelineated Damanasara is not worth even a quarter of a vote in the above gerrymandered seats designed to give the advantage to BN.

We call upon all voters in Damansara, as well as all other affected voters in Malaysia to protest vehemently at the proposed election rigging exercise by the EC which deny them of their equal rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

Friday, September 09, 2016

The Royal Malaysian Police and Bank Negara must investigate latest allegations that Ambank officials actively conspired with Jho Low to launder funds into Dato’ Seri Najib Razak's personal bank accounts

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) had on 6 September 2016 made very specific allegations against Ambank Malaysia and its officials of facilitating and abetting money-laundering when billions of ringgit was transferred into the bank accounts of Dato’ Seri Najib Razak.

In making the allegations, the prestigious financial paper substantiated the claims with private conversations between senior Ambank officials with Low Taek Jho, who was carrying out the transactions on behalf of the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister gave Low access to his accounts, according to investigative documents sighted by WSJ. His primary contact at AmBank was Joanna Yu, the banker he had warned via BlackBerry to communicate discreetly. Cheah Tek Kuang, a senior AmBank executive and adviser to the bank’s chairman, handled the account personally, the BlackBerry messages indicate.

On the assumption that the messages were genuine, they clearly indicated a conspiracy by the above parties to at best hide the transactions from scrutiny, and at worst, blatant masking of the illicit transactions as legitimate ones.

According to WSJ, Low sent hampers of food to Yu and lunched with her at noodle shops, according to the phone messages. He kept reinforcing the need for secrecy: “v v important no one should know in ambank besides u or cheah or get hold of statement,” one message said. “Cause if it gets on internet where funds were from then headache.”

Yu even made recommendations on which US correspondent bank will raise less questions involving the transfers.  They discussed whether to use Wells Fargo & Co. or J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

“Can do JP, but may raise ques too…suspect better keep to wachovia,” Ms. Yu wrote, referring to a unit of Wells Fargo.

“Okay, wachovia then,” he replied. The transfer went through the Wells Fargo unit.

The above conversations raises major concerns of a high-level conspiracy to enable the money-laundering transactions to take place without being questioned or detected.

As the parties responsible for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Act (AMLA), the Royal Malaysian Police and particularly, Bank Negara must take immediate actions to investigate the above very serious allegations.

They must be investigated, and if found true, concrete actions must be taken to protect the integrity of our banking institutions and financial system.  Otherwise, the hard-earned reputation of Bank Negara and Malaysia will take a severe beating.

Instead, Malaysia may become an infamous haven for the rich and powerful criminals to abuse our banking institutions to hide and launder their ill-gotten wealth.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar proven as the most incompetent and irresponsible Inspector-General of Police in Malaysian history

The Minister of the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan has now officially confirmed that the “Malaysian Official One” (MO1) named in the United States Department of Justice suit to seize more than US$1 billion of 1MDB-funded assets, is none other than Dato’ Seri Najib Razak.

MO1 has been identified as the party who has received proceeds amounting to US$731 million between 2011 and 2013 which were laundered by parties who have defrauded 1MDB.

With the confirmation by Datuk Seri Rahman Dahlan, Malaysians who have just celebrated our 59th Merdeka anniversary in the most subdued manner, would have hoped that the relevant authorities will finally commence actions against the Prime Minister, albeit belatedly.

However, all such hopes were immediately extinguished by Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who gave the most incredulous and most unacceptable excuse as to why there will be no action against Dato’ Seri Najib Razak.  This is inspite of the irrefutable and unrefuted evidence which has been presented by the US DOJ to the whole wide world.

“I've said this before: that whatever action taken in the US is a civil action. We don't get involved in civil suits.  I don’t want to meddle in political matters. Don't drag us into politics,” he said.

How in the world is it “politics” when Malaysians ask Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to investigate the “world’s largest financial scandal” which has enriched Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s bank account by a mind-boggling US$731 million or nearly RM3 billion based on today’s exchange rates?

In fact, if there is anyone indulging in politics, it is the IGP himself, who is clearly acting to protect the Prime Minister incriminated of grand larceny and support the Barisan Nasional ruling party.  The IGP is failing Malaysians by failing to act without fear or favour against all criminals, regardless of their status and positions.

Tan Sri Khalid had further added that “Let them (the US) solve the civil action. Why are you so nosy wanting the police to investigate this and that,” at a press conference at the Bukit Aman police headquarters today.

The IGP should be thoroughly ashamed of himself for dismissing the US action as a mere “civil action”.  It is disgraceful that Malaysians now have to rely on the impartiality of foreign jurisdictions to recover billions of dollars stolen and laundered from Malaysians via fraudulent means in 1MDB.

Instead of springing belatedly into action to salvage Malaysia’s pride and honour, the IGP appears to be conspiring with the alleged crooks by feigning ignorance.

The US DOJ suit might be civil in nature as they were attempting to seize the laundered assets, but the allegations contained in the suit are completely criminal in nature.

Why is the police completely disinterested in investigating the fact that more than US$4 billion has been misappropriated by 1MDB and the fact that US$731 million has been pocketed by the Prime Minister?  The IGP must answer as to how is such misappropriation and grand larceny not a crime under Malaysian laws?

Is not being “nosy” the job of the Malaysian police when it comes to criminal activities?

Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar’s clear cut abdication of his duties has marked himself as the most irresponsible and most incompetent in the history of Malaysia.