Mafrel has been slammed by the Minister Noh Omar for neglecting Opposition’s breaking of election laws. It is regrettable that the numerous media that carried this report didn’t give Mafrel a right to reply-except 1, which is a shame. To put the record straight Mafrel’s report from 2005 (Pengkalan Pasir by-election) already highlight election faults by the Opposition PAS party who happened to be the ruling party then(and still, now). Later Mafrel’s web site also highlight, to PR’s embarassment, that a Selangor and Kedah State Exco used government vehicles to attend campaigns in Permatang Pauh. Compared to the extent of law breaking by PR the BN’s breaking of the election laws can be likened to a mad cow in a china shop! Thus they deserve regular condemnations and reminder by non-partisan election observers.
Noh Omar accuses Mafrel of being opposition mouthpiece
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal(Malaysian Insider)
KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — Barisan Nasional (BN) Hulu Selangor election director Datuk Seri Noh Omar today slammed election watchdog Mafrel (Malaysians for free and fair elections) for speaking out against the BN’s campaign efforts in the upcoming Hulu Selangor by-election.
Noh told reporters in Parliament that Mafrel had no jurisdiction to make statements against BN as he claimed that they were “mouthpieces of the opposition”.
His remarks come as a response to Malay-language newspaper Sinar Harian which carried out an article today titled “BN going against the rules”.
The article quoted Mafrel chairman Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh as accusing BN of “not respecting the democratic election process of the country”.
“Why is Mafrel being a mouthpiece for the opposition? When I read this, firstly, I felt Mafrel is not qualified to be an independent body to monitor any election.
“I ask EC to review its decision to allow Mafrel to monitor the election. From the statement by Mafrel, it shows they are no longer independent,” said Noh.
Noh, who is Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, said if Mafrel wanted to slam BN for going to the ground, campaigning and giving allocations to the people of Hulu Selangor before the campaign period started, it should be “fair and unbiased” about it as Pakatan Rakyat had done the same.
“If it is true, that BN broke rules because ministers turun padang, didn’t he (Syed Ibrahim) read the newspaper on Sunday. If he didn’t then he is not qualified to be a president.
“In the same paper, it listed the allocation given by the federal and state governments. If they are truly independent, why not question the allocations given by the state government?” asked Noh.
Mafrel had criticised the federal government for approving various housing and school projects in Hulu Selangor although the campaign period had not officially started yet.
“What has this got to do with Mafrel? The election has not started yet, Mafrel doesn’t understand their jurisdiction. They also don’t understand the EC’s regulations on the authority of the police and local government.
“Why is Mafrel asking EC to take action when the election has not started yet?”
Noh said Mafrel was biased in its critique of BN, adding that nothing had been said of Pakatan Rakyat’s campaign efforts where Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim had given out grants.
“Why didn’t Mafrel say anything about the state government? Is this a fair body when it only criticises what the federal government has done. Whatever done by BN is all wrong. Whatever done by the opposition cannot be reprimanded!” he said.
Nomination for the by-election is set for April 17.
PKR’s Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad was the incumbent until his death last month, which triggered the by-election.
There are 64,500 voters in Hulu Selangor, with the Malays making up 52.7 per cent of the total while the Chinese constitute 26.3 per cent, Indians approximately 19 per cent and other races at 1.7 per cent.