By Hakim Joe

Regardless of how well other branch elections may have fared, PKR party election committee chairperson, Molly Cheah, must bear the sole responsibility of those few “fiascos” whereby rampant hooliganism and outright rigging of votes and were evident.

How else does one explain the fact that candidates were beaten up, three different receipts were issued at different locations, photocopied voting slips being permitted, two different voter rosters in circulation, legitimate application for recounts being turned down, counting of votes being delayed because “the workers were tired”, polling boxes being left alone without supervision, certain candidates physically being disallowed to witness the counting of votes, to name just a few?

It is a known fact that this Election Steering Committee had sent their “impartial” observers to every polling station nationwide but judging from the one I witnessed at the Pandan polling station, it becomes painfully obvious that this person is woefully incapable of understanding how an election is supposed to work, let alone completely comprehend what the rules and regulations governing such an exercise should be or how this person should behave.

The fact that a losing candidate demanding a recount when the actual majority is less than five votes (two to be exact) is deemed within his/her rights is apparently lost on this “observer” when he disallowed it based on whatever illusions of grandeur he may harbor.

The fact that one of the other candidates announced his “victory” after the official results pronounced a tie (105 votes each) when this same candidate stated that one of his supporters had voted for him belatedly after the voting has been completed is also incomprehensible to this same “observer”.

That both the official results for the Ketua Cabang and the Timbalan Ketua Cabang were unresolved, it becomes apparent that another voting exercise was desperately required to sort this mess out but during the subsequent nominations for the divisional positions, the same candidate who had claimed victory put his name down for nomination in the divisional elections by virtue of being the Ketua Cabang Pandan – all completed without much ado until a protest was lodged against him by
people who knew the situation to be otherwise.

And how did he manage to be the Ketua Cabang Pandan when the vote was unresolved after a tie? It was then exposed that the PKR party election committee chairperson, Molly Cheah had backed this candidate. One would now ask the illustrious Molly Cheah “by what authority does she possess to elect a candidate and not allow the democratic process to take its course?”

The fact that Molly Cheah backed this decision is astounding! When questioned, the hostile PKR party election committee chairperson stated for a fact that under such circumstances whereby there exist a tie, the former Chairman of that branch has the absolute right to choose who becomes the winner and it just happens that the candidate who was chosen was in fact the former Chairman. It becomes a farce when it was revealed that the so-called “supporter” who voted him in belatedly
after the polling has been completed is in fact himself.

As for the protest, it was discovered that there could not be another recount because the polling boxes went “missing”. So, if there cannot be a recount, would there be another voting exercise to settle this issue once and for all? The answer is “gua tak tahu” because up and until today, there is still no decision and no indications that it will be forthcoming any time in the near future.

Did the PKR Election Steering Committee know about what actually transpired at one of their branches? Apparently not, as the “observer” was only then hauled in for questioning. That he admitted accepting an application of protest right after the announcement of results were abandoned, together with the RM50 fee, is not completely lost on everybody. Did the PKR Central Committee have a clue as to what is happening? Apparently not. Did the PKR Central Committee even know about this issue? Apparently not.

The decision for a new vote should have been decided there and then when the situation becomes evident but the failure of the PKR Election Steering Committee to do anything proves the level of experience is miserably short and the level of incompetence is remarkably high. How then can this same group of people hope to contest against the masterful Umno War Machinery in the next election with this kind of sorry attitude?

However, I wish I could believe that all this is due to inexperience and incompetence but that is not the case. It becomes apparent when it was discovered that the “winning” candidate is working at the PKR HQ and that the decision of having the previous chairman “decide” the winning candidate in the event of a tie was “kept secret” (so said Molly Cheah).

The question now becomes apparent whether the PKR Central Committee members are aware of what is happening at their branch levels or not or whether this is pure ignorance or merely a “Gua Tak Tahu” mentality, but it spells doom for a political party that endeavors to position themselves in Putrajaya. Even worse, that these people who purportedly champions a free democratic voting system is in fact manipulating their internal polls just shows how the BN mentality is ingrained into their system of belief.

How can PKR hope to govern the nation when they are incapable of governing themselves?

And by the way, I am not one of the candidates but I might be becoming a former PKR member.