Suhakam to post its men at hotspots during polls

(From left) Suhakam commissioner Loke Yim Peng, commissioner Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Salleh, Suhakam chairman Razali Ismail, commissioner Aishah Bidin, and commissioner Jerald Joseph briefing the media.

KUALA LUMPUR: Human rights commission Suhakam will station its commissioners and volunteers at “hotspots” in the coming polls.

They will monitor the election process on nomination day and from May 6-9, said Suhakam deputy secretary in charge of complaints and monitoring, K Simon.

“On nomination day, we will be stationed at parliamentary constituencies, including Selayang, Bangi, Puchong, Sungei Buloh, Titiwangsa, Lembah Pantai and Kubang Pasu (Kedah).

“On polling day, our team will be deployed to Kelantan, Kedah, Perak, Perlis, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Sabah and Sarawak,” said Simon, adding that final arrangements would be made after nomination day.

Suhakam’s 50 representatives will monitor electoral misconduct, including vote inducement, intimidation of voters, problems with postal voting and advance voting, the electoral roll, and exploitation of racial or religious issues.

Suhakam’s chairman Razali Ismail hoped the elections would be carried out fairly and reporting by the media is fair and balanced.

He said Malaysians no longer considered the qualities of the election candidate but tended to instead vote for the political party.

“Don’t let the politicians decide for you. You decide who can do the job. When they are elected, you must hold them responsible for their promises.

“This is generally lacking in the current general election and must be restored,” he said.

Razali said he had heard that some states did not want foreign observers and could not understand why.

“When you turn away foreign observers, it only shows that you are trying to conceal something that isn’t good,” he said.

Earlier, several non-governmental organisations submitted a memorandum to Suhakam, calling for action against electoral offences.

It was signed by representatives of the G25 group, comprising mainly retired senior civil servants, National Human Rights Society (Hakam), Bersih 2.0, the missionary and welfare organisation Ikram, Muslim Youth Movement (Abim), and the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism.

Their complaints included alleged abuse of laws such as the Communications and Multimedia Act, Anti-Fake News Act and Sedition Act.

Suhakam urged the public to come forward and lodge complaints should they witness any electoral misconduct.

A post-general election complaint hotline will also be set up from May 14 to June 14 to address such complaints.

 

Large Suhakam team to monitor election campaign