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Amanah wants poll reforms in before GE

 | March 15, 2012

Suggestions made to the PSC are not difficult to implement, says its deputy president, Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir.

KUALA LUMPUR: Angkatan Amanah Merdeka (Amanah) today reiterated its call that poll reforms be implemented before the 13th general election.

Its deputy president, Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, said several suggestions  to the Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reform were “not difficult” to implement and urged the government to speed up the process.

This included the demand that the Najib administration guarantees press freedom and ensures that equal access is given to media from both sides of the political divide.

This, said Kadir, would give space for both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat to promote their views to voters in what would be a positive election based on a contest of ideas.

“Amanah suggests, at least three or four months before the polls, let the press be free (so) there are free debates so that all parties can present their views.

“No country can truly call themselves democratic if they are controlling the media,” Abdul Kadir told a press conference at his office at the Mines Waterfront Business Park here.

Have debates

The former tourism minister said there was no need for the ruling coalition to fear a free press, reasoning that public debates would actually benefit Putrajaya.

He cited precedents where debates between government and opposition leaders were held in the programme “Forum Perdana” which he felt had a positive impact on the election process.

“The debates actually worked in the government’s favour because it drew everyone in to watch,” he said.

Kadir added that this is positive due to Putrajaya’s inability to reach out to all the electorate as many have lost confidence and are now avoiding the mainstream media.

Meanwhile, the former Umno supreme council member repeated Amanah’s demand that money politics during elections be stopped immediately.

He called it “a criminal act” and said that both giver and receiver were “committing a crime”.

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Kadir stands by ‘vote buying’ claim


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