NGO’s must be independent ,Why need to complain to PKR ?

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In order to promote transparency and fairness in the election process, the Election Commission (EC) accredited certain NGOs to act as election observers. Now at least one of those NGOs is collaborating with PKR, apparently in an attempt to foul GE13 before it happens, and the EC is demanding answers.

Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M), Merdeka Center, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS), Majlis Belia Malaysia (MBM), and Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Manusia (Proham) were all accredited by the EC.

The furore began after the EC began briefing the NGOs on the process. Last Wednesday, PKR Secretary-General Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail claimed that the EC was interfering with the NGOs’ observations before the elections, imposing guidelines that make impartial observations impossible. The question of which NGO went to PKR, and not to the EC, to complain is now in the open.

EC Deputy Chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar has hit back, calling this attempt to politicise the process “unethical”, and denying the allegations. He has been characteristically open to speaking with any media who will speak to him. Speaking to the Malaysian Insider, Wan Ahmad said: “I have said in many statements before this, why these NGOs need to complain to PKR which is a political party?

“If these NGOs truly want to be (polls) observers, they have to be independent of any political parties.” Wan Ahmad added that impartiality is the main requirement for election observers, and the NGOs were chosen in part for their promises of impartiality.

That faith in the organisations appears to have been misplaced.

The EC has made it a point of late to stress the importance of impartiality in the poll process, requiring all parties to cease campaigning, even on social media, by the deadline to do so, and working to enlist the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission in this effort.

This is yet another, unfortunate instance of PKR’s efforts to poison the well of GE13 before it is even called. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s party has apparently calculated that its share of the vote will fall in the upcoming elections, and so they are working to prepare the ground with allegations of fraud and corruption to explain away their failures in advance.

Political parties do not always look beyond the next election – in Pakatan Rakyat’s case, the Opposition parties do not always look beyond the next internal bloodbath – but it bears noting that this sort of effort is intrinsically dangerous to civil society in the long term. The EC is staffed and designed for impartiality.

While Pakatan and its surrogates such as the Bersih steering committee are prone to accusing the EC of everything short of murder, it is hard to describe an agency that invites all major political parties to its decision-making and press events as hopelessly biased.

However, to read Opposition media, one would never know that the EC works to include each major party in its efforts, nor that it is working to promote a level playing field at GE13. Instead, the major current is attacks on the EC’s efforts and impartiality.

By, it must be noted, organisations largely funded by the Opposition and their foreign allies.

The result of this will be a weakening of faith in civil institutions. When and if Pakatan Rakyat lose at GE13, will their most ardent supporters note their parties’ complete contempt for the rakyat, their failures to agree on substantive policy or even, mere months before the event, a proposed Prime Minister?

Or will they turn instead to allegations of fraud and abuse, and become convinced that only corruption stopped their victory?

That way lies social disintegration. One cannot expect a political party founded by a man who all but launched a coup attempt against his Prime Minister to concern itself with this, but nominally-independent NGOs should know better.

Inevitably, the identity of the NGO that went to PKR will come to light. Perhaps then it will be willing to answer why it was willing to gamble to future for partisan advantage.  – Thechoice