19 June 2013

'No end to 505 rallies until EC heads resign'

INTERVIEW Pakatan Rakyat's Black 505 rallies that have been going on nationwide after the May 5 general election won't stop until the present leadership of the Election Commission (EC) resigns.

PKR vice-president Tian Chua said this in an interview yesterday.

"I don't think the EC can go against the will of the people. Five years ago, people told me the government will never abolish the Internal Security Act (ISA), but eventually it was done," he said when asked about the continuous refusal of the EC leadership to heed calls for their resignation.

"We went through midnight in Parliament to pass an election law, which was mutually agreed by both sides and clearly specified that the indelible ink must last seven days. EC deliberately violated the law," Tian Chua said, four days before the Black 505 rally at Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur, scheduled this Saturday.

He said that the EC's failure to provide foolproof indelible ink for voters in the 13th general election was a "crime that cannot be forgiven".

"They (EC heads) should be put on trial for violating the electoral law. The resignation of the EC heads is the bare minimum to show that they take responsibility for what has happened," Tian Chua said.

'Once in a lifetime opportunity'

He believes the people would not grow tired of Pakatan's series of nationwide rallies, "except for party workers, speakers, organisers and journalists".

"We follow the news everyday, so for us it is repetitive. But for people who are in Batu Pahat, for example, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of the rally.

"People are actually excited about these rallies.

"The fatigue is probably for the speakers who are running around from one place to another."

Tian Chua said it was only though participation in rallies that people feel empowered.

"It's not just about the election. The gatherings themselves are a right that we have been fighting for.

"We cannot give up just because the government refuses to acknowledge the rise of the people. All struggles go through a long process."

He also said should Pakatan fail in its election petitions filed nationwide, it would go to the streets again in order to demand democratic electoral reforms.

"If our law is correct, if our judges are just, then we stand a chance (of winning the petitions). If the court cannot give us justice, we have no choice, we will take to the streets again," Tian Chua added.

Interview conducted by Ram Anand and Lee Way Loon


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