By R Sivarasa – Vice President Parti Keadilan Rakyat and candidate for Division Chief of Subang
28th September 2010.
The Star’s inaccurate reporting yesterday 27 September and today 28 September of the PKR Subang Division’s 2010 AGM and Election
I am constrained to issue this statement to correct completely inaccurate statements published in the STAR yesterday and today on the PKR Subang Division’s 2010 AGM and Elections as published in The Star on 27th and 28th editions.
Yesterday 27th September, The Star wrongly reported ( page N8 ) that meeting for the PKR Subang Division was called-off on technical grounds when in fact the Annual General Meeting started about 11am as scheduled and completed.
It was also reported as follows “Vice President contender R Sivarasa also failed to secure the Subang Division Chief post” giving the false impression that a valid election had in fact happened. This is not true.
As a result of technical errors in the ballots papers resulting in substantial delay in arrival of fresh ballot papers only after 1 pm, an objection was made by me and 3 other Division Chief candidates and a request for postponement of the elections made as many members had arrived early but had left without voting.
Sdr Sabaruddin a member of the party’s National Elections Committee arrived and after considering the situation made and announced the decision to postpone the elections to a date to be fixed to the 4 candidates and one candidate’s representative for the Division Chief post present in front of him.
After that announcement at about 230 pm, I and many of the other candidates and many members left the venue.
Subsequently, a group of persons including some candidates intimidated and threatened the election officials present that they would be confined there and damage done to the venue if voting did not proceed. I understand that at some point, in order to prevent physical violence and under duress, the officials allowed voting to proceed.
Election official Puan Zariny Zainol subsequently lodged a police report to that effect at the Kota Damansara Police Station yesterday.
It is in that context that my statement that the election was null and void was made which was quoted in The Star yesterday. However regrettably the article does not mention the facts regarding the voting done under duress and the police report done by the election official which must have been known to The Star which would have my comment immediately understandable to any reader.
Today 28.9.10 at page N14, The Star has made further false and inaccurate statements regarding Subang. First it reports as follows “Sivarasa and four other contenders walked out in protest claiming that there were missing candidate names in the ballot papers”. As would be obvious from the facts stated above, this is not true. We left the premises, as was proper, only after the announcement by En Sabaruddin that the election was postponed.
Second, it reports falsely that “Sivarasa lodged a police report.” This again is wrong as I did not lodge any police report.
I understand that in the light of the fact that some voting did take place as a result of the election officials being forced to conduct it, the party’s National Election Committee will at some point make a ruling on the matter of the Subang election.
I urge The Star to publish this statement in full so that readers are able to get a balanced view of the facts.
Vice-President Parti Keadilan Rakyat.