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Open Letters To President Obama#1, #2
By Zaid Ibrahim
1. Every citizen has a fundamental right to vote. But this right is meaningless if he is not able to exercise it because his name is removed from the electoral roll without his knowledge; or if he is intimidated, or bribed or given all kinds of inducements to influence his choice.
In the recent Hulu Selangor by-election, we witnessed all of the above. We have witnesses who will come forward with the necessary evidence of blatant bribery starting from the Barisan Nasional (BN) party worker right up to the Prime Minister (PM) himself. The conduct of the Prime Minister is shameless and without precedent. More importantly it is illegal. In these circumstances, we will file an election petition as soon as my legal team is ready to do so. Any voter from Hulu Selangor who wants to volunteer relevant information to any of the PKR, DAP or PAS offices.
2. The conduct of free and fair elections is the constitutional duty of the Election Commission. I maintain that they have violated that duty in the recent by-election. They have allowed intimidation, false information, and unfair and illegal electoral practices by the BN machinery without any attempt to stop them. In fact, it was obvious to me that the Election Commission was on the side of BN and wanting BN to win. I will therefore institute appropriate legal action against the Election Commission, in hope that future elections will be conducted fairly to reflect the will of the people.
I will also sue Utusan Malaysia for calling me kaki botol. I was never an alcoholic. Whatever I consumed was no more than whatever Mahathir and other UMNO leaders had consumed. The Election Commission should not have allowed for such a malicious and false campaign.
3. Pakatan Rakyat will mobilize a fresh campaign to make free and fair elections a reality in this country. We will never be able to reflect the will of the people and form the next Federal government if BN can conduct the elections as they see fit, as they are doing now. Our Election Commission must conduct elections that conform to international standards. Our country must allow for international observers to attend the Sibu by-election and all other elections in the future. I ask the PM if he is as popular as he claims, then why is he so afraid of a free and fair fight with the Opposition?
4. A Pakatan International Support group will be launched in London in July. This is to garner international support for free and fair elections in Malaysia. Malaysians residing overseas are eligible to be members of this group. They will make representations and provide information to other countries and international organizations on how elections are conducted here and what the ruling party in Malaysia has done to stay in power. By exerting international pressure so we hope this BN government will one day allow for free and fair elections.
Hulu Selangor By-Election Candidate
Central Leadership Council Member
Parti Keadilan Rakyat