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Pemulihan sistem piliharaya sedang berlaku, BN

Pemboikotan Batu Talam memberi kesan. Tekanan harus diteruskan supaya BN berasa kepanasan untuk memperbaiki sistem pilihanraya dan SPR Buat masa ini, suasana masih berpihak kepada mereka, tetapi dengan tekanan yang sesuai dan berterusan, mana tahu kepanasan yang membara akan membakar mereka.

'Electoral reforms being carried out'
Sun2Surf, R. Surenthira Kumar and R. Manirajan

PETALING JAYA (Feb 1, 2007) - Electoral reforms are constantly being carried out based on the changing political environment and this will continue irrespective of whether reforms are called for, Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said.

Commenting on a statement by Monash University Malaysia lecturer Wong Chin Huat that the conduct of Sunday's Batu Talam by-election reinforced the need for electoral reforms, the Umno information chief said the Election Commission (EC) has carried out the necessary reforms.

"Feedback is provided by the people and the government, and if in the EC's re-evaluation, it finds it necessary to carry out reforms, it will be done," said Muhammad.

It was, therefore, unfair for anyone to say that further reforms were needed.

Wong, who is reading his PhD at Essex University on electoral systems and who has taken part in a Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia election project, told theSun on Tuesday reforms were obviously needed when it was impossible to monitor if an election candidate spent within the legally-stipulated amount for the campaign, and Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders could make development promises to influence voters.

"We are on the right track and the reforms will not cease with time," Muhammad said, noting that the present electoral system, which the Opposition said was lopsided, had allowed them to win seats before.

He also said the Opposition, namely PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat which said they were boycotting the by-election, had in fact "participated" in it by organising meet-the-people sessions to explain the boycott.

MCA Youth secretary-general Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said one should not blame the BN candidate in the by-election, Abdul Aziz Mat Kiram, for getting the BN machinery's full support.

"We are not abusing anything, if they (the Opposition) have weak machinery, they should blame themselves," said Liow. He said the EC has carried out reforms over the years and improvements, if deemed necessary, are often implemented.

Liow added that election candidates were careful not to infringe the Election Offences Act because both their and the BN's reputation were at stake.

"Unless the Opposition can prove the candidate spent more than what is allowed (RM100,000 for a state election), their allegation remains unsubstantiated," said Liow.

However, Wong had said the law does not provide a proper mechanism to monitor a candidate's total expenses because "donated monies", "volunteer work" and party expenses do not need to be accounted for.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the current election system has been in place since Independence.

"The same election system resulted in the BN losing several states and (parliamentary) seats in the past, and is a system inherited from the United Kingdom which has been in use for hundreds of years," the Umno supreme council member said.

Nazri said there was no need for electoral reforms, adding that those who lost at the election and then called for reforms were trying to cover up their weaknesses. Sun2Surf


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