KUALA LUMPUR: The Bersih 2.0 coalition for clean and fair elections has urged voters to take two steps to mitigate fraud in the upcoming general election. The first is to deliver the largest ever voter turnout in the 13th general election and the second is to actively help to detect, report and stop any fraud during the election campaign period and on election day.
The coalition said new evidence of fraud continues to emerge without concrete remedies being taken. Bersih 2.0 said it is working with the citizens group Tindak Malaysia and the Jom Pantau! initiative to organise training for volunteers to act as election monitors, polling agents, counting agents and postal voting polling agents.
“We call on all supporters of free and fair elections to actively take action against fraud by taking on important roles of election monitors, polling agents and counting agents,” Bersih 2.0 said in a press statement yesterday.
Tindak Malaysia has been organising training sessions for polling agents, counting agents and barung agents (PACABA) across the country. Barung are the Election Commission’s booths at polling centres. Volunteers for PACABAs are important as they play the frontline role of detecting any fraud and ensuring election officers abide by election laws, said Bersih 2.0.
Jom Pantau! is an election monitoring initiative carried out by with the Malaysian Election Observers Network (MEO-Net), Southeast Asian Centre for e-Media (Seacem), the National Institute for Democracy Electoral Integrity (NIEI). Bersih 2.0 said that all citizens could take part in monitoring the electoral process and reporting any fraud, abuse or irregular practices which will consequently be made public on www.pru13.info.
This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, May 17, 2012.