The Election Commission should implement automatic voter registration, not hand out freebies — Bersih 2.0 Press Statement

Source: Bersih

BERSIH 2.0 notes the Election Commission’s (EC) new campaign with AirAsia and Sinar Harian in offering newly registered voters a chance to win free flights. However, we question the need to offer gifts to entice people to register to vote when it is the EC’s basic duty to do so in the first place.

Instead of offering freebies, the EC should focus their resources on implementing automatic voter registration thus eradicating the need for voter registration drives completely. Automatic voter registration will be electronically linked with the National Registration Department (NRD) and will eliminate lack of addresses, duplicate entries, as well as remove deceased persons, and other dubious entries from the electoral roll. The EC has yet to engage with BERSIH 2.0 on this issue which we have been pushing for since our inception.

Furthermore, the EC is playing Jekyll and Hyde in their actions. They allow baseless objections against new voters, revoked political party’s Assistant Registrar Officers (AROs) after GE13, and complicate and lengthen the process of acquiring ARO status making them a scarce resource. They have placed obstacles and restrictions in the way of registering new voters, yet now they are giving rewards to coax more people to register to vote. Read more

US court gives immunity to Bush for war crimes — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

THE Iraq War – declared illegal by the then UN secretary-general, and unauthorised by the Security Council – started on March 19, 2003. But its ramifications linger on; as does the clamour for justice by the victims.

An Iraqi woman – Sundus Shaker Saleh – filed a suit against former US President Bush and his war cabinet – Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz and 10 other former high-ranking officials.

Read more

Bipartisan action needed on independent police commission

Source: FMT News

Issue of custodial deaths continues to take centrestage says lawyer who does not believe police should investigate their own staff when detainees die in lock-ups. Pic from FMT News.

Issue of custodial deaths continues to take centrestage says lawyer who does not believe police should investigate their own staff when detainees die in lock-ups. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: MPs from both sides of the political divide must persuade the government to set up an independent oversight body to check on custodial deaths, a lawyer said today.

M Visvanathan said the establishment of a body like the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) was vital to restore confidence in the police force.

“The police cannot investigate itself when detainees die in their custody,” he told FMT.

Visvanathan said this in response to a private member’s bill submitted by Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang to establish the IPCMC to check corruption, misconduct and abuses of power in the force.

The lawyer said MPs could use the Royal address during the current Dewan Rakyat session to impress upon the cabinet the urgency to set up an independent body, especially with the recent spate of deaths in police lock-ups. Read more