DOES THE STATE GOVERNMENT CARE?

Artwork by Rrayinstagram: r_rray   ROSE PRESS STATEMENT   STATE-LEVEL ANTI-HOPPING LAW IS IMPOTENT, DOES THE STATE GOVERNMENT CARE?   ROSE welcomes the formation of the Special Parliamentary Select Committee (PSSC) by the Dewan Rakyat on the 11th April 2022. The PSSC is tasked to deliberate, formulate and fine-tune the design of an Anti- Hopping Law that effectively curbs the menace of party-hopping by MPs and ADUNs. Continue reading

Laporan Pemerhati BERSIH & ROSE, Pilihan Raya Negeri Sarawak ke-12

**Laporan penuh pada pautan di bawah**Full report (English Version) available below Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (BERSIH) dan Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat (ROSE) telah menghantar sekumpulan pemantau pilihan raya yang berdaftar sebagai Pemerhati Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (Pemerhati)  untuk turun di lapangan untuk memantau Pilihan Raya Umum Negeri Sarawak (PRN Sarawak) ke-12  yang telah diadakan pada 6-18 Disember 2021. Continue reading

Press Statement: Make Dec 18 a special public holiday to allow employees to vote

A lot of business establishments in Sarawak, they remain operational on Saturdays and it is not an off day for their employees. Members or business entities who are members of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Sarawak (which has 23 branches throughout Sarawak) also do not have Saturday as off days. Continue reading

Mengadakan Pilihan Raya Negeri Yang Sama Rata, Adil dan Bebas dengan Pengundi Diberi Hak untuk Pilihan Raya Negeri Sarawak Ke-12, 2021: Memorandum kepada SPR oleh Pertubuhan Masyarakat Sivil Sarawak

  [ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] KAMI, Pertubuhan Masyarakat Sivil (CSO) yang bertandatangan di bawah amat bimbang mengenai SOP untuk pilihan raya negeri Sarawak yang akan datang masih belum dikeluarkan. Darurat telah ditamatkan dan Dewan Undangan Negeri kita telah dibubarkan pada 3 November 2021. Walaupun tiga minggu sudah berlalu, Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) masih senyap mengenai SOP ini.   Continue reading

Civil society organisations demand early release of SOPs for S’wak polls

  KUCHING (Nov 24): A group of 17 civil society organisations (CSOs) has expressed concern that standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the upcoming Sarawak election have not been released yet. A memorandum on this matter was presented to Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh today. Continue reading

Organisations call on EC to implement absentee voting for S’wakians residing in Sabah, Peninsula

KUCHING (Nov 15): Civil society organisations (CSOs) in Sarawak are calling on the Election Commission (EC) to grant Absentee Voter status to Sarawakians residing in Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia and allow them to vote in advance before the coming state polls. Despite welcoming the EC’s decision to allow all overseas Sarawakians the right to vote via post without excluding those residing in the neighbouring regions of Singapore, Brunei, Kalimantan in Indonesia and South Thailand, the organisations lamented that the EC had refused to extend any form of absentee voting to the many Sarawakian voters currently residing in Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia. Continue reading

Early Termination of Sarawak Emergency; a deliberate and calculated attempt to deny youth votes.

The early termination of the Sarawak Emergency as announced by Istana Negara today (3rd Nov) means that our DUN is expected to be dissolved in the following day. We also expect the EC to announce a date for the state elections which should be within 60 days and this means anytime in November or by December 2021. Continue reading

RESPECT THE YOUTH VOTE! DON'T SUPRESS IT!

Image Source: BH Online Amidst speculations and reports by various news portals that Sarawak DUN will be dissolved this Friday and that polls will be held before the end of the year, ROSE calls on the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Abang Zohari not to hurry into the state polls before the Emergency is over. As Emergency rules still apply until 2nd February 2022, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agung will have to end the Emergency prematurely to allow elections to be held this year. As this Emergency is only in force in Sarawak, the CM as head of the State Executive is responsible to advise the Agung via the TYT on the timing to end the Emergency to allow for state elections. Thus, it is not entirely true that he does not have power to decide on the time to have elections. Having an election before the end of this year will however mean denying about 665,543 Sarawakians the right to vote. A right which they secured via a well-argued High Court case and judgement which the Federal Government did not appeal. The names of these 665,543 voters (which represents an increase of 54.5 percent of the total number of Sarawak voters at GE14) will only be added to the electoral roll at the completion of the Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) process by SPR come January 2022. To deny them the right to vote now, when they are on the cusp of being registered, is to thus show contempt for the High Court’s decision and also the Federal Government’s desire to give more power to youth to participate in the nation’s development process. From an analysis of the pre-registration verification process currently being undertaken by SPR, details of which are displayed on their website, almost half of all Sarawak state constituencies will experience a more than 50 percent increase in voter numbers. Some suburban and growth areas will see up to a 95 percent increase in new voters. Among these constituencies are Tupong, Pantai Damai, Semariang, Batu Kawah, Senadin and Lambir. It is without a doubt that these are the areas in which young people will be voting for the first time and making their mark after the implementation of UNDI18 and the AVR by the end of the year. Holding the Sarawak elections next year will therefore allow more than 1.9 million qualified voters who are eligible to participate to decide on Sarawak’s future. It is therefore incumbent on the decision-makers including the Chief Minister to enable the voices of the young to be heard in the coming state elections. Despite the number of daily Covid 19 infections going down, the stats show that ICU occupancy is not going down nor are the daily hospital admissions. We thus also urge the Chief Minister to prioritise the health of voters. Instead of rushing to an election before the end of 2021, the state government needs to use this time to ask the Election Commission to put in place robust voting procedures that reduce the number of voters at any one time in a polling station. They can do so not merely by suggesting time slots for going out to vote but by increasing the number of polling days. Special voting arrangements like postal or advance voting should also be expanded to allow Sarawakian voters to vote out-of-region in West Malaysia or Sabah. This would save costs and reduce health risks for all involved if they were forced to travel home to vote instead. Strict measures must also be put in place by the Election Commission for the campaign period. To compensate for any reduction of face-to-face campaigning, televised and radio debates can be held. Equal air time slots can be given to all contesting political parties or candidates for each kawasan. There are a myriad of other ways to manage the risks associated with a Covid election and the Chief Minister can lead the way by showing the rest of Malaysia that Sarawak knows how to hold safe and inclusive elections.END.Statement of Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat (ROSE)21ST OCTOBER 2021

PPDM STATEMENT ON LATEST ENTER SARAWAK PROTOCOL

Image source: Unsplash Although we welcome the loosening of the entry restrictions into Sarawak issued by the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) on Saturday 16th October 2021, we query the discriminatory nature of the ruling/SOP when it was amended on Sunday, 17 October 2021. The latest ruling/SOP exempts fully vaccinated Sarawakians, Sarawakians born in other states, non-Sarawakian spouses, federal civil servants, those with valid work permits and holders of Sarawak MM2H visa from applying for permission to enter the state at the Enter Sarawak website. All other Malaysians must first apply for permission to enter Sarawak at the Enter Sarawak website prior to even flying.   What really is the reason for this discriminatory requirement? Since no RTK nor PCR tests are required anymore (save for foreigners), does this latest discriminatory ruling assume that only Sarawakians, and the categories stated above (as compared with all other non-Sarawakians) travelling from other states are immune from Covid 19 infection?   This SOP also makes a mockery of SDMC’s expertise.  Surely with the many public health experts (we assume) advising them, the SDMC would have by now gathered enough scientific data and information about Covid 19 virus to inform the necessary public health and movement protocols put in place by SDMC. The virus does not discriminate infecting people on the basis of their place of birth/which state you are from.   Sadly, the discriminatory nature of this SOP also contradicts the state’s intention to attract domestic tourism in wanting to reopen the state’s economy. If any sector has been crushed by this COVID-19 pandemic, it is our tourism sector. Hence, why is SDMC being so heartless in denying our state’s tourism industry access to desperately needed business? Why make ourselves less competitive?   Surely #ReopeningSafely must also mean #ReopeningFairly. We call upon SDMC to immediately allow all fully vaccinated Malaysians to enter the state without having to apply.   These relaxed conditions of entry into Sarawak for only Sarawakians also suggests that the State Government expects Sarawakians to fly back to vote in the upcoming state elections. However, this does not mean that they - the Sarawakian-registered voters who reside in other states of Malaysia - are guaranteed to travel back due to travel costs and the need to take time off from work. Indeed, many have suffered too much financial setbacks these past two years to be able to do this.   Making non-Sarawakians apply to enter the State in the manner set out in the recently revised rule/SOP also suggests that SDMC can now act in an arbitrary manner in deciding who can and who cannot enter Sarawak. It also leaves us to speculate that this rule means that the SDMC can bar entries of election volunteers and helpers who are not Sarawakians but who are coming to Sarawak for legitimate political activity during an election. Will SDMC bar them but admit GPS-friendly helpers? How else does one read this latest discriminatory rule that is not in harmony with the science  on how COVID spreads?   Thus, instead of SDMC playing a professional role to manage and control the risks associated with the spread of the Covid 19 virus, it now is acting like some quasi-immigration authority guided by protocols that are not based on the science.   This is also the time to remind the State Government that to hold the Sarawak elections before the end of 2021 is to deny and suppress the votes of more than 600,000 new Sarawakian voters who will only get onto the electoral roll upon implementation of Undi 18 and AVR.   19th October 2021 Statement released by Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat (R.O.S.E.)     Media contact person: Ann Teo (President) 0168604998