Sack or keep? Bersih 2.0 to hold mock recall election with real voters against Tebrau MP Choong who jumped ship

The election watchdog added that once the threshold of three per cent has been reached, and verified by them as genuine voters of P158, they will offer to host an online forum where the petitioner and Steven Choong will have an opportunity to give reasons why he should be sacked or retained. — Picture by Farhan Najib
The election watchdog added that once the threshold of three per cent has been reached, and verified by them as genuine voters of P158, they will offer to host an online forum where the petitioner and Steven Choong will have an opportunity to give reasons why he should be sacked or retained. — Picture by Farhan Najib

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 — Election watchdog Bersih 2.0 announced that their first target on the “Sack or Keep campaign” which provided the online Simulated Recall Election (SREL) is Tebrau MP Steven Choong.

In a statement today, Bersih 2.0 said that they have been contacted by the Johor PKR on their interest to participate on the SREL, against Choong who has left the party to switch his allegiance towards Perikatan Nasional (PN).

“The SREL process will be fully conducted on our secure e-voting platform that was specially developed by our technology partner, Regov Technologies. Voters will be able to participate safely and conveniently from anywhere where they have internet access and a mobile phone.

“Since the applicant fulfils our criteria as an initiator for the recall petition, Bersih 2.0 will create a petition for them to collect at least 3 percent online signatures of registered voters of P158 Tebrau as per the electoral roll for the last 14th general election (GE14),” said Bersih 2.0 on their statement.

The election watchdog added that once the threshold of three per cent has been reached, and verified by them as genuine voters of P158, they will offer to host an online forum where the petitioner and Choong will have an opportunity to give reasons why he should be sacked or retained.

“If the MP does not take up this offer, we will move to the next stage of the recall vote, where Tebrau voters can vote either ‘Yes’ to sack the MP or ‘No’ to keep him.

“Polling period is 30 days and all registered voters of P158 Tebrau are entitled to one vote,” Bersih 2.0 said.

Bersih 2.0 added that for a recall to be considered successful in this simulation, there must be more “Yes” votes than “No” votes, and more than 10 per cent of registered voters have taken part in this exercise.

There were 123,033 voters for Tebrau during GE14 and Choong won 64,535 votes for a majority of 37,225 on PKR.

On February 28, Choong announced his departure from PKR to be an independent MP supporting the PN government of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Recall election is a system that allows voters in a constituency to remove their elected representative before the end of his or her term. It’s a system widely used in the US, the British Columbia region in Canada, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Malay Mail has previously reported political analysts mooting the idea of recall elections to balance the power that voters give their elected leaders by returning some of it by giving them the power of dismissal.

Bersih 2.0 chairman Thomas Fann has been one of the biggest proponents for introducing recall elections in Malaysia since March 2020, seeing it as necessary to prevent a repeat of the political impasse following the collapse of the PH administration.

Fann previously said Bersih 2.0 is working with a technology firm to organise a mock recall election online and will announce it on June 21.

He said the plan is to give voters whose representatives have changed camps since February 2020 a platform whereby they can show they agree or disagree with the new choice.

Participants in the mock recall election would be limited to registered voters at specific constituencies.

Since February this year, three PKR MPs — former vice president and Kuala Langat MP Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar, former PKR Sarawak chief and Julau MP Larry Sng as well as Chong had announced their departure from the party citing their independence and supporting PN.

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