Five ‘hot seats’ to be monitored for electoral offences


By YU JI

CACHING: The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, better known as Bersih 2.0, has identified five “hot seats” for the Sarawak election.

According to a press statement, the body has identified Tasik Biru, Batu Kitang, Bawang Assan, Senadin and Telang Usan as seats to focus on.

“Bersih 2.0 and local bodies in the state have worked together to set up a “Pemantau Sarawak” team to monitor the state polls.

“We have selected five seats that will be monitored because they are marginal seats and there’s a high risk of electoral offences happening,” the statement read.

Tasik Biru, near Kuching, is a disputed seat between SPDP and its breakaway party Teras.

Similarly, Bawang Assan in Sibu is wanted by both SUPP and breakaway group UPP. In both these seats, the incumbents are with the breakaways.

Batu Kitang, on the other hand, is one of the 11 new seats the Election Commission created last year.

In the upcoming polls, 82 seats will be contested, making this the largest state election in Malaysia.

As for Telang Usan, it is considered a marginal seat for Barisan Nasional because of lingering unhappiness over the Baram dam.

Preparatory work for Pemantau Sarawak began in January.

To-date, Bersih 2.0 and Pemantau have trained more than 50 observers in Sarawak.

“Through electoral monitoring, citizens become witnesses to prevent and report on electoral cheating and offences, such as bribery, misuse of power and obstruction to the electoral process.

“The reports and evidence compiled are also important for legal and election petition purposes if needed.

“Electoral monitoring is widely recognised globally as an important process that increases the integrity and accountability of the electoral process and strengthens democracy,” the statement said.

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