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Maria Chin slams ‘appalling’ practices in Sarawak elections

Bersih leader says citizens' right to representation 'doomed' if next general election follows same pattern.

maria chin

PETALING JAYA: The Bersih electoral reform group has described the recent Sarawak state assembly election as being the most “shocking and appalling” election ever carried out.

Maria Chin Abdullah, Bersih 2.0 chairperson, claimed that election laws and standards of political financing had been flouted.

“Sarawak went through an increase of 11 new seats and an absolutely unfair delineation which apparently, according to Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem, was purposely done to please particular groups of communities,” she told FMT.

“Then, of course, as political scientist Bridget Welsh said, it rained, in fact poured, millions in terms of kindness, cash and promises from both Federal and State resources. All for the sake of buying votes for Adenan’s team and to ensure a “sure win” formula.”

Maria also criticised the Election Commission’s (EC) lack of intervention on electoral violations. “The Election Commission, like a meek puppet of those in power, did nothing to stop the violations,” she alleged.

She mentioned bribery, unfettered cash distribution, undue influence and threats, bias delineation as some of the violations that took place and which she claimed had: “tainted the integrity of the results.”

“It gravely tarnished the democracy in this country. If the present set of SOP of bribery, unfettered cash distribution, undue influence and threats, bias delineation are used in GE14 then our right to determine our representatives is doomed.”


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