Bersih 2.0: Penang snap polls for what?


(MMO) – DAP must explain rumours that it is planning to hold an early election in Penang and justify what would be a costly exercise to public taxpayers, electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 said today.

Responding to the speculation that DAP planned to hold the snap polls to demonstrate public support for Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who is facing two corruption charges, Bersih 2.0 said that a state election was not a move that should be considered so trivially.

It said that while the country’s democratic system permitted DAP to conduct such an early election, there is no apparent purpose to show why the exercise was necessary.

“We strongly urge DAP to take more time to consult and rethink about holding a snap election when the nation is presently crying for clear statemenship in dealing with issues of governance and resolution for economic burdens.

“Voter’s support should not be taken for granted and there must be a public explanation from DAP to state their reasons for the state elections. In any elections, it not only use public funds but are time consuming and frustrating when voters do not know what the election is for,” it said in a statement.

Failure to satisfactorily explain why an early election was needed in Penang should prevent DAP from continuing with the exercise, it added.

On July 11, sources told Malay Mail Online that Penang leaders were looking to have snap polls in the state to gauge public sentiment after DAP secretary-general Lim was charged with corruption.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail confirmed this evening that her party’s political bureau will discuss the move tonight in a meeting that Lim is also expected to attend.

Lim was charged with abuse of power and corruption at the Penang High Court last month over the alleged approval of a rezoning application by Magnificent Emblem to convert agricultural land to residential and over his purchase of his RM2.8 million house from businesswoman Phang Li Koon at below market value of RM4.27 million.

He is facing a jail term of not more than 20 years and a fine of five times the value of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if convicted for the first charge and up to two years’ imprisonment, a fine and forfeiture of property upon conviction for the second charge.