Polls live stream idea just icing on ‘rotten cake’, says Bersih


(The Malay Mail Online) – Putrajaya’s proposal for live coverage of the ballot-counting process is nothing but “icing on a very rotten cake”, Bersih 2.0 has said, joining other electoral reforms groups in criticising the idea mooted for the coming Kuala Besut polls.

Activist Maria Chin Abdullah said minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek had missed the point when he made the suggestion yesterday, as it is major reform steps that should be taken to ensure the polling process is clean and fair.

She noted that the government and Election Commission (EC) are allegedly missing out on the major improvements that can be carried out on the polls.

“While these measures are useful but the govt, SPR & [Shabery] missed the major reform. Cleaning the electoral roll & having a more equal & transparent delineation are some of the major changes for clean elections.

“The govt has to be brave, honest & take bold steps — otherwise these actions are just icing on very rotten cake,” the member of Bersih’s steering committee wrote in a text message to The Malay Mail Online yesterday.

Yesterday, Ahmad Shabery mooted the idea of placing government-owned Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) cameras in vote-tallying centres to provide real-time coverage of elections.

Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel)’s president Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh similarly said the live-coverage was only for the government’s “image-building” purposes, indicating that it is not effective in preventing electoral fraud.

“Basically to say that you can see for your own what’s going on, no blackout,” he said.

“I think the question is what purpose does it serve for the live coverage of counting? So what is the purpose? Is it just for transparency or to ensure no hanky-panky going on?” he asked earlier on.

Syed Ibrahim, whose NGO trains election observers, pinpointed the correct and careful conducting of the polls as the critical issue, appearing to suggest that Ahmad Shabery was missing the point.

“The issue is not live coverage, the issue is the integrity of the EC in conducting the election process,” he told The Malay Mail Online yesterday.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/polls-live-stream-idea-just-icing-on-rotten-cake-says-bersih