Rodziah Ismail Ticker's Blog

Bagan Pinang: Pakatan Rakyat tak perlu bergantung pada undi pos (updated)

Posted in Bagan Pinang, Election, Malaysian Politics, Pakatan Rakyat, Pilihan Raya, Politics by rodziahismailticker on October 5, 2009
Making sense of postal votes in Bagan Pinang
Oct 5, 09 5:17pm

With three army camps and eight army outfits in the Bagan Pinang state constituency, postal votes play a crucial role in the by-election on Oct 11.

Political observers believe that votes from the soldiers which accounted for 4,571 of 4,604 postal votes in the constituency are critical for contending candidates. Bagan Pinang has 13,664 voters.

The Barisan Nasional wants to retain the seat with a bigger majority and postal votes were perceived as its safety net.

bagan pinang by-election nomination 031009 candidate shake hand frontimagePAS president Abdul Hadi Awang admitted that it would be an uphill task for the party to win the seat due to the sizeable number of postal votes and urged for transparency in postal voting process.

Does Hadi’s apprehension has any merit or is it merely a ploy to send the BN into complacency and to create a victory through surprise?

An observer feels that not all postal votes will be in BN’s favour.

“They (postal voters) are flexible and not rigid. They are open,” political analyst Wan Abdul Rahman Wan Abdul Latiff told Bernama.

Wan Abdul, who was former Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) lecturer, said as such, postal votes would not give BN the upper hand.

In the 2008 general election, BN’s Azman Mohammad Noor obtained about 3,000 postal votes against about 1,000 postal votes polled by PAS’ Ramli Ismail. Azman won the seat with 2,333-vote majority.

Since Azman’s death on Sept 4, which necessitated the by-election, the opposition had been harping on the BN’s unfair advantage over postal votes to gain the sympathy of the constituents.

Non-Malay votes

Assoc Prof Mohamad Agus Yusoff of UKM said a change in the status quo of the postal votes would have a far-reaching impact to the political landscape – whether the soldiers would continue to back BN or otherwise.

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said he wanted BN to win with a bigger majority and as it would be the yardstick that the BN was regaining the support of the people.

bagan pinang by election nomination 031009 isa samadHowever, the BN and Umno deputy chief, reminded the coalition campaigners not to be overconfident although BN candidate Isa Samad was a popular figure in the constituency and they should not overlook the non-Malay votes.

According to Wan Abdul, his recent analysis showed that the majority of non-Malays were still supporting the opposition while the Malay voters were in favour of BN.

In the last general election, the opposition garnered 80 percent of the Indian votes, 65 percent of the Chinese votes and merely between 10 and 15 percent of the Malay votes, he added.

The Bagan Pinang state constituency, which is the Teluk Kemang parliamentary constituency, has 30 percent non-Malay votes.

azlanTwenty percent or 2,834 of the voters are Indians in four estates and 10 percent or 1,498 are Chinese scattered in the constituency.

The Malays accounted for 62 percent or about 8,500 of the voters, including postal voters.

Isa, who was former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar, grew up in Bagan Pinang and this is his trump card against his contender, PAS state commissioner Zulkefly Mohamad Omar, who admitted that he is an outsider.

While Isa is very popular in the Bagan Pinang polling district, his popularity in seven more polling districts – Atherton estate, Pekan Siliau, Bradwall Estate, Sua Betong, Taman Eastern, Si Rusa and Teluk Kemang – is about 70 percent, said Wan Abdul.

The BN election drumbeat to retain the seat with a bigger majority will pay dividends if the coalition continues to enjoy the support of the Malays, including the postal voters, as well regaining the confidence of the non-Malays.

Bernama


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kemaskini 3.19pm Seorang bekas sarjan hari ini mengakui pernah terlibat memangkah BN bagi pihak anggota-anggota tentera dalam dua pilihan raya umum – pemalsuan undi yang selama ini hanya digembar-gemburkan oleh ahli-ahli politik pembangkang.

Abu Kassim, yang bertugas sebagai “sarjan gaji”, berkata beliau dan beberapa kakitangan tentera dalam bahagian pentadbiran, seperti ketua kerani, mendapat arahan bagi memanipulasikan undi pos daripada pegawai pentadbir kem.

Beliau, kira-kira 10 tahun menyertai PAS, bagaimanapun tidak ingat tarikh tepat dan tempat peristiwa itu dengan alasan ia “sudah lama” berlaku tetapi ia didakwa terjadi semasa bawah pentadbiran perdana menteri waktu itu Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Saya tidak ingat. Lama sudah. Tetapi dalam pilihan raya besar (umum), zaman Dr Mahathir dulu,” katanya kepada Malaysiakini.

Anak kelahiran Kuala Pilah itu menganggotai tentera darat selama 23 tahun sehingga 1989. Beliau paling lama berkhidmat di Markas Stesen Staf Port Dickson.

Pengakuan depan pengerusi SPR

Abu kini seorang ahli jawatankuasa undi pos Pemuda PAS yang diketuai oleh ketua penerangan dewan itu Suhaizan Kaiat.

“Setiap pilihan raya, saya diminta memantau pengundian pos. Mungkin sebab saya bekas askar, mereka pilih saya,” katanya yang kini menetap di Bandar Tenggara, Port Dickson.

Jumaat lalu, Pemuda PAS mendedahkan pengakuan Abu, yang didakwanya bersedia tampil membongkar perkara itu, menjelang pilihan raya kecil DUN Bagan Pinang pada 11 Oktober ini.

Suhaizan sebelumnya berkata pengakuan Abu itu juga dibuat di depan Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof dalam satu pertemuan rombongan PAS, yang diketuai naib presidennya Salahuddin Ayub, pada 28 Ogos lalu.

Menulis di blognya Bila Kentong Berbunyi, pemimpin Pemuda itu berkata, Abu terpaksa berbuat demikian atas arahan pegawainya, yang berdiri di belakang dan memerhati kertas undi dipangkah.

Dihubungi pagi ini, Abu berkata walaupun pernah mengundi untuk orang lain, beliau langsung tidak pernah mengundi untuk dirinya sendiri.

“Sepanjang berpuluh-puluh tahun menjadi askar, saya tidak pernah memangkah bagi pihak diri sendiri, tetapi tolong memangkah bagi pihak orang lain,” katanya, dengan mendakwa seramai empat sehingga lima kakitangan pentadbiran kem turut terlibat dalam proses itu.

Diugut dibuang ke laut

Tambahnya, pemalsuan undi pos itu melibatkan sekurang-kurangnya 400 anggota tentera.

Beliau bagaimanapun tidak pasti sama ada pemalsuan undi pos masih berlaku di kem-kem tentera walaupun masih mencurigai amalan itu.

Abu juga berkata, akibat mendedahkan perkara itu secara terbuka kepada umum, beliau pernah “diugut hendak dibuang ke laut” melalui mesej SMS daripada pihak yang tidak dikenalinya.

“Banyak SMS macam itu saya terima,” katanya.

Ditanya apa yang membuatkannya berani tampil kali ini, Abu berseloroh berkata: “Takkan sekarang mereka (kerajaan) hendak potong pencen saya.”

Dalam setiap pilihan raya, perjalanan pengundian pos sentiasa mendapat bantahan pembangkang kerana dicurigai wujudnya penyelewengan yang akan memenangkan calon BN.

Dalam pilihan raya kecil di kerusi ini, jumlah pemilih pos sangat besar – 4,620 daripada 13,664 orang yang layak membuang undi.

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