Malaysia's Reputation And Democratic Credentials Biggest Loser At Violent Ijok By-elections.
All I can say is that whoever wins this by-election later in the evening (unofficial reports indicate that the BN has won), Malaysia's credibility as a model democracy and its quite reputable conduct of fair, violence-free elections has taken a bad beating. If the mainstream media is to be totally believed, then the opposition Keadilan supporters must comprise mostly thugs, gangsters and other roughnecks out to physically injure those from Barisan. There is no doubt that the Keadilan people did manhandle some supporters from BN and even blocked the Deputy Prime Minister's motorcade. Something unheard of in the past. There were also allegations that two buses ferrying Umno Puteri members were pelted with stones. Fortunately no injuries were reported.
Of course any report of this nature from the mainstream media must be taken with a dollop of salt. Still, even if twenty percent of what happened is true, that in itself is bad enough. I must hasten to add that we have not heard about the huru-hara perpetrated by Barisan supporters. To pretend that they are incapable of or did not engage in equal measures of violence, is to be foolish. Their significant contribution to the shameful conduct in this by-election will be out soon via the internet media. All said, I hope that this is the very last time we shall see such un-Malaysian behaviour during the polls.
Read about the IGP's views on the polls here: No Untoward Incident In Ijok Polls, Says IGP
Update: The Barisan Nasional retained the Ijok state seat with increased majority of 1,850 votes in today's keenly-fought by-election, returning officer Haris Kassim announced at 8.42 tonight.
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