Tuesday, March 4, 2008

EC cancels use of indelible ink - The Star

By Raphael Wong

PUTRAJAYA: The Election Commission has cancelled the use of indelible ink in polling this Saturday, citing public order and security reasons.

Its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said following a meeting held Tuesday, the EC was obliged to make a firm and final decision to ensure the smooth conduct of the 12th general election.

He said provisions to the law needed if the ink was to be used still could not affect the constitutional right of a voter to cast his vote, even a person whose fingernail had been marked with indelible ink or one who refuses to have his or her fingernail marked this way.

"From a practical point of view, the issuance of a ballot paper to such a voter would render the EC's proposal meaningless and will not bring about a positive result, whilst having the potential to create misunderstanding as well as altercations and arguments at polling stations," he said.

The Federal Constitution gives you the right to vote, and a black mark on your fingernail should not bar you from exercising this right, he said.

Abdul Rashid said there were also reports made to the police confirming that certain irresponsible quarters had purchased indelible ink from abroad with the intention of creating confusion and suspicion as to the status of voters.

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Election a snooze for Malaysian PM - AP

By Anil Dawar

Politics bores many people but one would at least expect a prime minister to be interested.

However, days before a general election, the Malaysian PM, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, has been accused of dozing off in cabinet meetings and political gatherings.

Anti-government websites are circulating pictures of the politician yawning or sitting with his head bowed and eyes closed in various high-level political sessions.

Opposition politicians have urged voters to reject Abdullah's bid to retain office in the election on Saturday, citing the photographs as evidence of a weak and failing leader who has allowed corruption, crime and racial and religious tensions to mount.

The embarrassing pictures, however, are unlikely to hurt the incumbent's chances of re-election for another five-year term, as opposition parties struggle to match his National Front party's spending power.

Abdullah today denied claims that he snoozed through important meetings.

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‘Disaster if Anwar is PM’ - The Star

By Jane Ritikos and Lisa Goh

PETALING JAYA: If Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim becomes Prime Minister, it will be an “unmitigated disaster” for Malaysia, a former Parti Keadilan Nasional (before they joined forces with Parti Rakyat Malaysia to become PKR) deputy-president said at a forum yesterday.

Dr Chandra Muzaffar said that while the former deputy prime minister was a good speaker, he was not the sort of leader the country needed as he was now singing a different tune from when he was in the Government.

Dr Chandra, who was the party's deputy-president for two-and-a-half years, said it was sad that many non-Malays in the country were taken in by Anwar’s multi-ethnic stand.

“Today, he is portraying a totally different image and it is sad that quite a lot of non-Malays believe in this man. He is saying today that he wants to abolish the NEP (New Economic Policy) and that is music to their ears.

“We are so communal that we cannot evaluate a person objectively,” said Dr Chandra, who was one of five speakers at The Star-Asian Centre for Media Studies Public Forum on the 2008 Malaysian General Election at Menara Star yesterday.

Dr Chandra recalled that when Anwar was Education Minister, he had compelled schools to switch from using (the term) Bahasa Malaysia to Bahasa Melayu.

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