KJ pukul Ambiga dari mula sampai habis
Spark the Debate 2 - live feed
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2012 - 22:12
by The Malay Mail Team
Before the battle
PETALING JAYA: Three days to the scheduled Bersih gathering and The Malay Mail has organised the second installation of Spark the Debate featuring Bersih 3.0 co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.
Yayasan Orator CEO Muhammad Yunus Zakariah will be moderating tonight's event entitled 'Electoral Reform: Is enough being done?' at The Club@Bukit Utama, Bukit Utama Golf Course in Bandar Utama.
7.30pm - Guests arrive at The Club, filling up the empty seats very quickly. A long queue is outside as guests patiently file up for registration.
7.50pm - Ambiga has arrived and we are awaiting KJ's arrival.
7.57pm - Almost full house and guests are still walking in. Quite a number wearing yellow t-shirts.
8.11pm - Seats are all taken up and some lucky ones who managed to get into the hall are standing at the back just so they won't miss out on the action.
8.16pm - Khairy has arrived. The entrance doors have been closed and News Editor Ahmad Najmuddin Najib takes the mic to ask the attendees to take a seat.
8.18pm - UStream feed and The Malay Mail website may be experiencing slow feed because online traffic to both websites are at its peak.
8.19pm - Ahmad Najmuddin makes announcement that both speakers are making their way to the hall.
8.22pm - Crowd gives a big round of applause to both speakers as they make their way in.
8.24pm - Ahmad Najmuddin welcomes everyone with a little background of Spark the Debate. As he introduces the speakers, the crowd responds as if to compete in how loud they are and who they support.
8.27pm - Managing Editor Terence Fernandez says a few words saying "we are all friends ... Good evening friends". The Malay Mail was turned away by many who were uncomfortable with subject of debate, Fernandez says. Thanks the crowd for supporting this cause and staking "your claim as Malaysians who care a d***".
8.34pm - Crowd outside still wanting to come in the hall but because the hall is full, they are turned down.
8.38pm - Moderator Muhammad Yunus is introduced
8,40pm - A little bit of a comedy moment as both speakers take their positions at the podium
8.40pm - Ambiga: Neither the PM nor Bersih 2.0 is going to get there in the 13th GE (clean electoral roll). Ong Kian Ming's three-month research is just the tip of the iceberg - uncovering 10 things wrong with the electoral roll.
8.42pm - Some of the points she raised in Ong's research are more than 1,000 voters are aged 100 and above. 15,855 voters whose IC numbers indicate a different gender than EC's roll. Shows that a possibility that a person of a different gender registered to use the IC. There is much speculation that non-Malaysians given citizenships and hence voting rights. Cases highlighted under the 10 categories looked at covers 100,000 cases. Ong did another piece of research that shows 3.1 million voters whose IC addresses shows different constituency in which the voter is actually voting in. "Someone's IC shows he is voter of A constituency but he's voting in B constituency". Information was given to EC by NRD in the year 2002 and the EC has done nothing about it. 65,000 foreigners were found in electoral roll and people who have been removed or added. EC seems to be giving the impression only 42,000 doubtful voters. When they downplay it saying "it's a small number" it is a highly irresponsible statement. PSC did not even scratch the problem. EC also never raised them with the PSC. I would have thought that the EC would have had full disclosure with the PSC with these. Postal voters is another big issue. It is vulnerable to election rigging. There has been cases of ballots being sold - also a problem with postal voting. In Sibu by-election - postal votes made the difference. PSC did not study this issue. Our quarrel with PSC is that they didn't study the issue of security. To date we haven't seen any regulation for Parliament laid by the EC in relation to these. Overseas voters (last point). How can we deprive people of their right to vote because of logistics?!
8.51pm - Khairy takes the floor.
8.52pm - Khairy: We share concerns ... We were teargassed by same police force last year. I take a different perspective. Her decision to go ahead with Bersih 3.0 on Saturday is something that is preemptive and prejudicial in terms of the reforms that are taking place. For me, just like the PM, I hold to one principle - that the next GE must be the freest and the fairest. Winner must win with honour and loser lose with dignity. I know you support me but please don't waste my time (to applauding crowd). As a BN MP and chief of Umno and BN Youth I support all parties have same amount of time and access to rakyat through media. Many of the PSC recommendations are time bound - I put it to Datuk Ambiga why are you preempting these reforms. I respect your right to freedom to go on the street but why preempt it? Fraudulent figures, Khairy says, are published in flyer. My problem is misrepresentation. 42,051 - the history of these cases considered to be dodgy or dubious. Last year, the EC asked NRD to go through the whole electoral list. 12.5 million people - check for suspicious, inactive people. NRD said 42,051 people - we don't have updates for them. Bersih will have you believe that they are fraudulent voters. IF they were, the EC would not have displayed them for three months. But they did for everyone to see whether or not they were still alive. If within three months nobody has come forward to say that I'm still alive or my father has passed on, I would go with her and say strike them off the list. But in the three months 1,248 cases came forward. 55% of which are still alive. They came forward and said I'm still here. If the EC struck them out of the electoral roll, the EC would have done something illegal and denied these people their right to vote, under the Federal Constitution. If you go with her argument that they are fraudulent voters and we must strike them out then you are putting your argument on very shaky grounds. I ask Datuk Ambiga once again, out of the remainder now that 1,248 people come forward, can you tell be with absolute certainty that all of them are fraudulent voters? Just one concrete example why the fundamental basis of asking people to go out on Saturday is a misrepresentation of the facts.
9.03pm - Ambiga: I tell you where the fraud lies. It is with the lame excuse that EC cannot do anything about it. EC is busy removing and adding people. Under the law, Regulation 13 gives them the power to revise the supplementary roll once in every three months. There is a procedure. They need to make house to house or other inquiries or send a notice asking for notification. If they don't respond, to be struck out. He is talking about 42,000 people! What about the three million? This is all I ask for. Put us in the room with the EC and then let us fight it out! I need to tell you about fraud. The PSC recommended a royal commission of inquiry into Sabah. What do you think that is about? That's about fraud. That is phantom voters!
9.06pm - Khairy: Let me just address why EC won't use that power. Precisely because of the 1,248 voters who are still there. The EC, by the way, has given assurance to continue to look for them. And one way is to allow them to vote. The only mistake they (voters) have done is not update their IC. You say, (in your flier) 31,000 voters have been transferred from their constituencies, including Selangor MB Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim. Khairy cites geographical location of addresses used by Abdul Khalid when he registered. This is not transferring of voters. This is looking at Google Earth and realising where the borders are. I can tell you for a fact that he does not live in PJ anymore. He lives in Shah Alam - the MB Official Residence. If he has not bothered to change his own address ... What more?
9.10pm - The session is open to the floor for answers. Participant says the issue that Bersih is going to the ground for is much bigger than the 42,000 people. Excitement erupts from the floor ... Khairy: I'm not saying you're going because of the 42,000 people. I'm saying you're going out because of misrepresentation. I picked cases that I've taken. I have no time to go through every single one. These are some of the cases of misrepresentations. I have respect for her (Datuk Ambiga). There has to be a border (referring to Google Earth). My issue is very simple. These issues are very complexed and detailed based on laws, regulations and precedence. The only way you're talking to EC is through press conferences etc ... When EC came two weeks ago came for breifing only 10 Pakatan MPs showed up. I know Ambiga is very disappointed with PR for hijacking Bersih. Bersih submission was 34 pages long. Azmin minority report was three pages long. Come with us - come to EC I will be there. Let us look at the names, the numbers and let us address.
Ambiga: The difference between you and me is that you believe what EC says. WE don't. We don't have confidence in EC. We will debate it. That's what we want. We want to raise a point, EC can raise theirs.
Khairy: You say you don't trust the EC. You have been on record to say they must resign. So what is the point of asking to see them? We want a solution. Can I ask you a question. If there is an EC answer, will you accept it or you're saying you're not going to accept it?
Ambiga: Last Thursday, this piece of legislation was rushed through in Parliament. The Election Offences Act. The booth provided by EC, then a sub 2 and sub 3 allowing agents of an election candidate to be present. They have deleted that. That means in the booth, you will only have EC. Which means people who walk in you own't be able to check. Reasoning is there is too much problems without being able to cite them. Use of indelible ink is no use because you can't tell from that distance if their finger is marked. No independent arbitrator which means making Nero Fire chief! All we ask is please guarantee that you will implement, delay the elections, please! Delay the elections. Give us time. In July last year civil society offered to sit in a non-partisan group - all political parties represented and civil society - and we said form an independent panel and we will help clean up the electoral roll. If we had done that in July last year, we would have been done by now. We fear this is going to be the dirtiest election. We want a new set of people who are not going to behave like civil servants. We are happy to sit with all the MPs to sit and hear us out - hear our figures out.
Khairy: We are expecting a spirit of cooperation. If ultimately you said you cannot work with the EC - you cannot cooperate with them, don't trust them. Then you've put it front and centre that this election is going to be dirty. But you don't accept (reasons). Even the issue of borders you want to reject. Burden of proof on our electoral system is that you have to inform the EC. This is something we can talk on the long term. Fundamental issue is that you don't trust the EC and I'm having a tough time trusting you tonight.
Ambiga: If EC had invited us to the briefing, we would have gone.
Khairy: Likewise, if you say there is no point talking to EC everytime you ask them to resign. I'm here as a man of peace.
Ambiga: Are you giving a guarantee that BErsih's demand n th ePSC's recommendation will be implemented before the next GE. May not be in your hands I know (aplause from crowd).
Khairy: Datuk, I know la you look down on me. But I came here to talk to you and although it's beyond my powers. I give you my assurance that if you are asking for a meeting with Election Commission, I will try my best.
9.29pm - Khairy: We all play by the rules. If we lose an election, we lose an election just as we handed over Penang, Selangor - Kelantan in every election, Perak - for a while in 2008. If we lose, as far as I'm concerned I can give you assurance that Malaysia, as a respected democracy - if we lose, we lose.
9.31pm - Irene Fernandez: Bersih is walking not because of Ambiga but because rakyat has lost confidence.
Khairy: All of us purport to do things in the name of the rakyat. So do I ... I'm not saying you're going out there because of Ambiga. Don't perpetuate misrepresentations that I've cited tonight.
Ambiga: Let's wait to see if there is a spike in postal voters because they are for sale, literally.
Khairy: Fair enough.
9.38pm - A member of the audience asks about Malaysians abroad and their right to vote.
Ambiga: It is up to the government to make it happen. Our quarrel with PSC is they said due to logistics, they are not going to force EC to make it happen. The govenrment is not taking any steps to ensure that these voters are allowed to.
Khairy: We are in agreement that they have to vote but I disagree nothing is being done. There is a time bound recommendation for EC to study ... I checked with EC if they have started discussion with Foreign Affairs Ministry and they have. Many Malaysians overseas do not register with commissions, embassies. But we have received positive feedback from EC that they are making headway in making it possible.
Ambiga: Again, I'm sounding like a broken record, will it be done before the GE?
Khairy: As much as you want me to be the PM, I don't know when the elections are.
Muhammad Yunus: Spike in Pantai does not necessarily mean increased votes for BN. What is your comment on that?
Ambiga: When Nurul Izzah had her election workers to go round and check her electoral roll. They were arrested twice. All they were doing was what EC should be doing lah. Both times - both weekends - they were arrested. They were stopped from doing that check. What does that tell you? What does it tell you when there is political violence? Is there a sense of desperation? It's important. I have made a call for both Opposition Leader and the Prime Minister let it be a bipartisan approach condemning political violence. This political violence. Let us all condemn it together. It cannot be right. (Applause from the crowd).
Khairy: No quarrel on that.
Ambiga: Can you pass the message?
Khairy: Datuk Ambiga has single handedly made me an office boy. (Laughter from the floor)
Ambiga: Do not sneer the figures ... We are the rakyat and we expect our MPs to look into it.
10pm - Muhammad Yunus gives five minutes each to speaker to wrap up.
Khairy: The one important take away is this is a part of our democratic culture. Secondly, by all means, on Saturday if you like, go out. We've offered Stadium Merdeka. It's not about Dataran Merdeka. It's about free and fair elections. There is an impasse here tonight. She doesn't trust the EC but all I'm saying is that if all the MPs - BN and PR - I ask you tongiht, as a Malaysian, let us go to the EC. LEt us look at the cases one by one. Let us sit down and get your asnwers from th eEC. No more press conferences no more shouting at each other. Let us be reasonable. I offer my hand to you tonight. Let's go.
AMbiga: I disagree that every Malaysian wants a free and fair election. I'm happy to have a discussion as you suggested but I would like our MPs there. It's frustrating that you're listening to the EC. With you on that. The issue about the offer to Stadium Merdeka - the only reason why we did not want it was because it would be a mess because there would be people in Dataran Merdeka and in Stadium Merdeka. When you're an MP, you have to be open minded and when we criticise EC, have us both there. So we can express and they can respond. Ultimately the question still comes back to this: Is the government committed to delay the elections to clean up the electoral rolls? Fulfil the basic demands, give us that commitment. That is all we're asking for. To date we haven't received that commitment.
10.05pm - Both speakers shake hands, marking the end of the debate.