Is this the opposition’s idea of clean and fair elections?

Johari Abdul

Syed Umar Ariff, NST

THE PKR electoral official who forgot to bring a stack of ballot papers for the Tenom division election in Sabah must have knocked his head silly or woke up on the wrong side of bed.

Or he was probably late and rushed to the polling station without remembering what he was supposed to do that Saturday morning.

Regardless of the excuses, one thing is for sure, the oversight was embarrassing since the party election committee was confident it did not need outside help to carry out the party polls.

“We have trained our staff to ensure that everything will be smooth sailing,” said PKR election director Datuk Johari Abdul a few weeks ago.

While Johari should be credited for his transparency in relating the problems to the media, the discrepancies did not stop there.

Neither the vote-rigging allegations raised by PKR Youth leader Badrul Hisham Shaharin against party deputy president Azmin Ali, nor the chaos in Nibong Tebal after the discovery of ballot papers outnumbering the voters’ turnout by more than 150, have been satisfactorily explained.

Most issues concerning the electoral process are said to be caused by inefficiency of the “trained” party workers, but then again, what can be said about the generous allocation of ballot papers at some divisions?

It should be noted that despite the differences of roles between the PKR election committee and the federal Election Comission (EC), the former should take heed of that popular idiom: “The pot calling the kettle black.”

For years, the EC has been labelled by the opposition as an incompetent Barisan Nasional lackey, although the results of the last two general elections gravely wounded BN’s pride.

“That is normal for PKR, or any of the opposition parties. To them, the EC is corrupt or unfair. Only they know how things should be done,” said EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof last month.

Well, Tan Sri, it seems that with all the goings on in the PKR polls, rest assured that they are likely taking the bitter pill by the dozens that will leave their tongues numb.

The tables have turned, eh?

At least one person has yet to learn from this incident, possibly because of a self-absorbed sense of authority, which can be seen from his Twitter handle.

The strawberry politician in DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, while easily bruised by criticism, did not spare even a modicum of decency for himself when launching a tirade against the EC.

At a meeting with United States National Security Adviser Susan Rice last week, Lim highlighted concerns over “electoral integrity in Malaysia”.

Lim probably forgot what transpired in his party’s central executive committee election at the end of 2012?

Remember that infamous technical glitch?

It resulted in party activist Vincent Wu being moved to 26th spot from his original sixth spot, clearing the  way for Zairil Khir Johari, who was originally placed 39th, to move up to 20th.

Furthermore, 753 party members complained that they were denied the right to attend the congress as delegates.

But of course, Lim is more adept at spotting electoral irregularities during general elections, simply because the opposition garnered more than 50 per cent of the popular vote; which by the way, is a useless fact to be raised considering he had agreed to participate in a first-past-the-post electoral system.

And the same goes for Pas.

In its fervour to hit out at the EC for similar reasons, the party’s muktamar last year was marred by flawed ballot papers used to elect its central working committee.

At least Pas election committee chairman Asmuni Awi halted the voting process and offered to resign over the mistake.

There was no real explanation on what defect was detected on the ballot papers.

No one really knows whether  something  had been scribbled or printed on the papers. However, Pas seems to have quietened its attack against the EC and many have forgotten that setback.

As of now, the party is busy with efforts to implement hudud in Kelantan while fending off DAP’s relentless criticisms and warnings.

Perhaps the attacks against Pas are a much needed distraction for DAP.

The CEC controversy has tainted its holier-than-thou image.

Above all, the opposition pact could not even pass muster in dealing with their party polls, yet they have the audacity to question others.

If the opposition opines that this article was rather crass for them to bear, than they should remember their wanton approach when it comes to raising issues.

Conceivably, that is the only way to crumble from their ivory tower.