Feb 2, 2008

PM : Bersih Members' Action Disrespectful, Overboard

Looks like this is an early warning for BERSIH.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 2 (Bernama) -- Disrespectful and overboard.

This is how Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi described the tearing of the picture of Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman by members of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih).

They tore up Rashid's picture to vent their protest on the country's election system.

Saying that they had gone overboard in their action, Abdullah said such things never happened before.

"They're rude and disrespectful. There are other ways to air their protest," he told reporters after attending the Universiti Malaya Alumni Day.

The Prime Minister was asked to comment on the action by Bersih members to tear Rashid's picture as published in the New Straits Times today in protest against the election system in the country.

They claimed the EC's move to introduce the indelible ink in this election was merely a cosmetic change.

The Prime Minister said Rashid had discharged his duties well by conducting elections in a fair, clean, transparent and democratic manner.

He said Bersih members should not have resorted to such action as the EC had met the Opposition's demand to introduce the indelible ink and transparent ballot boxes to ensure this election was more open and transparent.

"If all these while, what it has been done is not good and the changes being made now (in this election) are also not good, bring the matter to court," said Abdullah in a stern voice.

The Prime Minister said the EC had constantly taken appropriate action to ensure the electoral roll was verified and updated and given prompt attention to complaints such as mistakes in voter registration.

Asked whether the government would take action against Bersih members for tearing Rashid's picture, Abdullah said: "We should take action if there are laws that provide for punishment for such actions."

* more from Malaysiakini

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