monitoring the election

on 20 jan, i attended a workshop organised by MAFREL. as you can see from the file cover picture here, the name of the workshop. translated to english, it is ‘workshop on monitoring works for the 12th general election, northern region’. (or simply ‘election watch…’ instead of ‘monitoring works’)

it was held from 9.00am to 5.00pm with 3 breaks (morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea). it was held at the jamaah islah malaysia (JIM) centre at sg. nibong, penang. there were about 28 participants, i think – more than 10 from penang and less than 10 from kedah and perak.

3 staffs from MAFREL in KL came to conduct the workshop, a lady, hasnah, who was acted sort of the secretariat but who also gave a presentation, a young man i forgot his name and the chairman of MAFREL, abdul malek hussin (picture left). abdul malek, if you recall the name is the ‘RM2.5 million man’.  yes, he was the ex ISA detainee who was awarded RM2.5 million for wrongful arrest and detention. he had recalled how he was humiliated and tortured in court.

wow! he was such a dynamic, interesting speaker, i tell you. very humorous, full of jokes and wisecracks. speak very clearly – both in bahasa and english. there was never a dull moment when he was speaking.

ok back to the workshop. each of us participants were given a thick file that is filled with many informative documents (colour coded too). of course what were presented via powerpoint were also there. very professional looking! (tell you about the rest of documents later as i go along).

the first session on the agenda was a presentation by syed ibrahim on ‘the process of election and role of SPR’. this will be, as syed himself admitted, a boring session since it is full of facts and data. he presented the session entirely in bahasa. (more than half of the participants were malays). contents of the session were malaysian political system, boundaries, electorate registrar, election writ, nomination, election campaign, polling day and election petition.

indeed the input were a lot of facts and data but it was in a way interesting to learn about them because each topics covered were in details and many of them, which i don’t know anything about.

next speaker was malek hussin, who was to talk on ‘the policies, dynamics and issues of the 12th general election monitoring’.

before he began his presentation, he gave some small talk here and there and particularly on 2 issues caught my attention.

1 – on the allah controversy. he said allah belongs to everyone… why deny the christians to use allah? he also informed that recently he had an interview with fr. o.c. lim, the editor of catholic asian news at fr. o.c’s office. think his interview might come out during the feb. (or maybe march) issue.

2 – on ‘ketuanan melayu‘ (malay supremacy). he said that ketuanan melayu is all nonsense. islam never allows ketuanan melayu, because when you mentioned. ‘ketuanan’ means you are  high above the others, and islam never said that. islam said we are all equals, thus nobody should be ketuanan over  others. "we don’t want ketuanan melayu. what we want is keadilan melayu (malay justice) – that certainly sounds better" he said.

hmm… very wise words coming from him, a malay muslim himself.

as now is close to my bed-time (2.00am!), i have to stop and continue tomorrow… on malek’s presentation.  do come back to read as malek’s presentation was very interesting indeed. he explained about the different kind of election and how if one kind was used, barisan nasional (BN) would never ever get the 2/3 majority! he also explored some interesting frauds during the counting of votes. i will tell about them all tomorrow.

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