KUCHING, Nov 10: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Political Bureau and Central Leadership Council member Sivarasa Rasiah is urging branch members to reject candidates and leaders who are behind the manipulation of the party’s membership roll.
“We must stay true to our party’s struggle for justice and democracy and to our reform agenda,” he said in a press statement today.
He reiterated that the PKR that started in 1999 and merged with Parti Rakyat Malaysia in 2003 stood for democratic reforms in the country.
“It championed clean and fair elections, a true democracy, and an accountable and equitable government protecting, in particular, the oppressed and the downtrodden,” he added.
Sivarasa pointed out that many aspects of the current party election showed gross disregard for these principles.
“Most of the weaknesses that have attracted public comments and criticisms have been administrative, and sincere attempts have been made by the party’s Election Committee to overcome these,” he assured.
He said running a one-member one-vote election involving some 800,000 members with a new e-voting system with limited resources was not easy.
“However, the current state of the membership roll in the Julau division in Sarawak is quite something else,” he said.
He lamented that such an affair entered the realm of “manipulation, fraud and illegality”.
“It displays the features of corporate capture, where dubious corporate figures use their wealth and influence to manipulate the election process. Proceeding with the election in Julau has serious implications for the party.
“The facts challenging the membership roll in Julau are compelling. Phone numbers of 6,474 out of the 13,178 members suddenly added to the roll on June 27 ,2018, were called over a 3 day period in October to verify how they became members.
“An 5,018 of those names in the roll did not respond to the call. What is shocking is that out of the balance who answered the call, 1,310 (almost 90 percent) said they had no knowledge of themselves joining the party recently.
“Furthermore, out of this group, 237 said they were interested in joining the party but had never applied. And finally, out of these 237, only 65 were actually long-standing members of the party who had `joined’ again without their knowledge,” he revealed.
Sivarasa said it was also alleged that the 13,000 plus new names were registered using only 11 addresses, which, again, reaffirmed the manipulation.
“These facts have not been rebutted in any credible manner. They indicate a gross and organised attempt to illegally register persons in large numbers as members without their knowledge,” he lamented.
Sivarasa said that on polling day, those responsible for this would probably attempt to round up these `members’, give them incentives and transport them to the polling centre to vote. — DayakDaily