KUCHING, May 21: Bersih Sarawak, an independent election observer, recorded a total of 32 alleged election offences during the recently concluded 14th general election (GE14).
Announcing their preliminary findings today, Bersih vice-chairperson Ann Teo said the most number of cases recorded was ‘undue influence’ such as giving gifts to voters during nomination day and over the campaign period.
Many programmes such education and ‘Sejiwa Senada’ events were also organised in which lucky draw prizes were given where Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian appeared on stage, which is against Section 9 and 10 of the Election Offences Act 1954 for ‘undue influence and bribery’, she said.
With a team of only five people, the group had concentrated their efforts on the Stampin parliamentary seat and covered 25 out of the 32 polling centres, and recorded 22 offences in the area.
“Even though Pakatan Haparan won in the election, it does not mean that this election is clean and fair,” Teo told reporters, adding that the report will be compiled by BERSIH at the national level. The final report will be given to the government of the day and the Election Commission (EC).
Additionally, Teo claimed she saw voters who had voted gathered in a convenience store to have their names checked in exchange for an envelope which she suspected contained cash.
However, no photos were taken as the small team dared not expose their cover.
Other alleged offences included using government machinery to campaign, problems on polling day, problems with postal votes. Details on all of these incidents together with the videos and photos taken will be included in the BERSIH main report to be submitted to the EC for their further investigation.
Moving forward, Teo urged more volunteers to come forward so they could have a bigger team to observe the next state election. — DayakDaily