UPDATE: Donations collected so far : RM3900.00. Target : RM9000.00. Disbursed: 4K. Please donate generously to empower Iban observers to keep the elections free and fair!
5 reasons here for you to consider donating towards the Batang Ai by-election observation fund:
1. Of the 3 by-elections Batang Ai is most isolated -which translate into higher chances of hanky panky by all parties involved to secure their desired outcome; How isolated: According to SPR: 9 of the 24 polling centres need to be reached by boats; Similarly according to Sim Kwang Yang, ex-Kuching MP, `56 of the 123 longhouses still cannot enjoy access to the towns by land transport’; Most part of the fund is for transport subsidies of Mafrel’s observers-in simple terms : to fund the observers to move around to find out about the hanky panky!
2. Batang Ai has severe communication problems, with many areas without handphone and internet or even electricity services-thus aggravating the conditions for electoral irregularities; In some areas with severe communication problems we will only get to know their observation findings in a report back session to be specially organised 2 days after the polling;
3. Sarawak has the 4th highest poverty rate though it enjoy the 6th highest household incomes among Malaysian states-thus hampering poor voters in rural constituency like Batang Ai to take action to fight votes frauds.
Quoted from Anil’s blog:
`Below are the numbers for 2004 as
published in the 9th Malaysia Plan, and sorted by average household income
from highest to lowest:
Income / Poverty rate
Selangor 5,175 / 1.0
WP KL 5,011 / 1.5
Penang 3,531 / 0.3
Johor 3,076 / 2.0
N9 2,886 / 1.4
Melaka 2,792 / 1.8
Sarawak 2,725 / 7.5
Sabah 2,487 / 23.0
Pahang 2,410 / 4.0
Perak 2,207 / 4.9
Kedah 2,126 / 7.0
Perlis 2,046 / 6.3
T’ganu 1,984 / 15.4
Kelantan 1,829 / 10.6′
4. Geographically Batang Ai is a very big constituency and difficult to monitor. As noted by Kah Seng:
`More than 1/2 of Batang Air is mountainous, and very difficult for MAFREL observers to cover.
Batang Air is also a huge area. We crudely estimate it to be over 2,000 sq km; Batang Air looks about 80km wide and average about 25 km deep, based on WikiMapia.org satellite map, Wikimapia.org terrain map (right), and constituency map. This will make Batang Air DUN about 2x Penang state (1,046sqkm), 2 and 1/2 times Perlis (810sqkm), 40x Putrajaya, and 8x KL FT. That is 1/3 the size of Brunei (5,765sqkm), and 3x of Singapore (710sqkm)!
Mostly hilly and jungle area, with about 100km of winding border adjoining Indonesia too!’
5. Malaysians will have to start thinking as Malaysians-we cannot simply ignore Malaysians on hypocritical excuses that some areas in Malaysia is `too far’ for our concern. Batang Ai voters deserve as much free and fair elections as any other voters!
Some West Malaysian bloggers felt motivated to visit Batang Ai recently to look into what they can do to help in this by-election. Congratulations!
So we appeal to all Malaysians who support free and fair elections to consider donating generously towards the fund for Batang Ai election observation mission, which will empower the trained Iban election observers to keep a close look on the going-ons in the hotly contested election campaign in their own backyards.
Can they do their job? In Bukit Bangunan State Assembly election in 1997 Independent Iban candidate Donald Lawan managed to prove massive votes buying in long houses by his opponent, by using photographic evidence. His election petition was upheld by the court , which nullified the victory of his opponent! This brilliant precedent should encourge more support for empowering Ibans to fight votes frauds! DON’T LET THE FRAUDSTERS STEAL ANOTHER ELECTION!
The target of donation is minimum Rm9000.00. Collection so far is at Rm3300.00, with only Rm100.00 from internet sources(Thanks to the 2 readers for banking in their donations!). Hope netizens can make some meaningful changes here!
Please donate to the following May Bank bank account and notify us how you like to be acknowledged: