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Sakmongkol ak 47

ariff.sabri@gmail.com

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

When Soldiers vote




My article on Bagan Pinang- vote for normalcy stirred up abnormal interests. There were some colorful though not flattering descriptions of sakmongkol. That's all right as I have said I have no problems with disagreeing in debates of this kind. As long as you do it in a civilized manner. Don't lah call people stupid or pokemon or what. I have been described in worse terms by UMNO members. I like to consider myself as one of the most strident critics of my party. Unfortunately I have this stubborn principle that once I hold on to a burning ember, I will do so till it becomes ash. I have all the 'right' reasons to disown UMNO if I wanted to - being abandoned after one term and having spent a good number of years of my life with UMNO with no perceptible benefits. But just like the Pakatan people, I too have my idealized version of UMNO.

Bagan Pinang. It seems to me, the bone of contention is the postal voting. There have been claims by someone who said he was a former army chap saying there are coercion and all that. As a result, military men are prevented from voting on their own freewill. I do not agree with his claim which unfortunately is not supported by facts. What is preventing this person and others who say they have proof and evidence even narrative ones, from saying them on the net? Say it out in the open so we can rebut if there are grounds too. We can then debate on their statements.

Of course, like anywhere else, the possibility of cheating is there. Everything is possible. Cheating also occurs when civilians vote. I tell you when cheating IS possible and this is probably just one of the many possibilities. The presiding officer calls the names of those who are about to vote. They are not present, so the officer retains the voting papers. Assume that there 300 absent. He has 300 voting papers. The officer can then 'vote' on behalf of these absentees or if he is a ruffian, can call the contending parties, whether they want to pay for the 300 votes.

But then, this is an exception to the rule. It may and does happen but the fault is with this particular person and the commentator who claimed there's cheating may be this person. That is why he appears to have personal knowledge.

Allow me to tell you this. Not all camp commanders are pro UMNO and BN. These people are intelligent people some are very qualified. Not all officers are pro UMNO and BN. And non officers- they campaign among each other. They do not live on a deserted island. They mix socially with civilians, read papers and even surf the internet. I am told by friends that many also read sakmongkol's web. While the majority like what they read, there are also some who get peeved by my extolling the AK47, the weapon of choice by communists and other rebels. They can form independent opinions on politics.

We have no guarantee that whatever is said by the camp commandant is followed by his troops- that is not a marching order. There is no guarantee that they will vote for UMNO. In 1999, the air force troops in the Air force camp in Kuantan didn't vote for UMNO. In 2008, the navy boys in Tanjung Gelang in Kuantan rejected the UMNO candidate. They are capable of forming independent opinions.

The register of voters is given by the SPR. The duty officer calls the army chaps and hand them ballot papers. Once they have the ballot papers, they go over the polling booth to vote and vote whomsoever they want. No one knows who they voted- not the commanding officer, the duty office ror whoever they are. Mind you, while this process takes place, the political parties have their representatives watching over the whole process like hawks. If they notice any peculiarities they will immediately take them up unless they sleep on their watch.

So by and large, the rule is, voting by the military is as transparent as voting by civilians.

As far as campaign is concerned, no parties are allowed into army camps to canvass for votes. No UMNO people, no PR people. The defense minister does not campaign there on a 24 hour basis and he doesn't have the capacity to watch over the troops at all hours. If PAS people want to cling on the perimeter fencing, please do but you will encounter the risk of tasting the bullets from the M16.

So how do you explain that generally, army chaps vote for the government? Can you explain this away simply by saying there is coercion? You think you can force our soldier boys with M16 in their hands and other explosive materials to vote for a particular person? I have been a wakil rakyat in an area with a large army camp. Each time I enter the camp, I do so with much trepidation because you enter an area with sentries bearing M16's and hours under the burning sun can alter the brain chemicals.

You simply can't explain the track record of pro government voting just by saying- ah there's coercion. Soldier boys don't vote as civilians do because the voting centers are in the camps. Let me also say, there are even stricter protocols to observe when soldier boys vote. They do so in a more orderly fashion free from the heckling of mamat UMNO and mamat PR.

There were also comments challenging me that if I have faith in our soldiers why don't you allow them to vote like civilians? Ok. How do civilians vote? If I remember when ever civilians voted for UMNO/BN, the PR people still insist they do so under force, coercion and all that stuff. This means that this allegation will surface irrespective of the place of voting. You will still say the same thing. Who says the army votes any differently from civilians? They do, except they do so in their voting centers which happen to be in camps.

Let me try to explain why in general the army boys vote for the government. It called simple reciprocity. Imagine this. You take in thousands of boys with elementary education, make them into recruits. Which means you offer them a second chance to become worthwhile individuals. You infuse them with skills and training, discipline; provide a rewarding passage through adulthood. Most get married and with army salaries take care of their immediate families and parents too. These are human beings. They are appreciative of the efforts made by the government of the day. They feel it is only right by reciprocating through supporting the government which has accorded them a second chance. It's called gratitude.

That's good culture. If people question their record and if people imply that because they voted for the government because they are forced to, then these people are teaching us to reject the virtue of saying thank you.

Thank you.

29 comments:

Anonymous,  23 September 2009 at 13:20  

When you hold on to a belief, you can rationalise anything. The Americans will say that someone is in denial.

I only hope that your wholehearted support of UMNO will not disappoint you in future, for disagree as I may with your beliefs, I think you are more acceptable than the current bunch running the show.

Anonymous,  23 September 2009 at 13:39  

I think Dr Raffick's account as an ex Army personnel will be a good read in how uniformed votes can be manipulated.

http://rights2write.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/malaysian-election-and-army-votes-ii/

Anonymous,  23 September 2009 at 14:06  

You still don't believe it!!! never mind but if you can organize an open discussion please do it so we will get the truth-don't challenge us the ex soldier as though we are telling lies like many UMNO goons.
Yes, the Air force and the navy are better of in their thinking process and the commanders within these two services do not treat their airmen and seamen like their servants, in other words they are more stable and no blind loyalty as no body can simply does what he/she likes or else they will be retaliation. You try and treat the technicians that repair your machines like a bastard and you will know the repercussion to the asset you have!!! Despite all that, those cari makan and apple polisher and the sycophants are the one who will vote BN.
Please lah Dato' as you had never been in the forces unless those voices raised by the ex soldiers are blatant lies and all lies.Do not treat us the ex soldiers simply because we are not aggressive enough pursuing our brothers that are still serving to go against the goons in UMNO. But surely one day we will do it and we will make UMNO regret forever and I shall return that AK47 will be gasping for breath.
Lay off you comments on postal votes and don't spin or just get organize and we will see you there!!! Mat Cha'ie.

Anonymous,  23 September 2009 at 14:44  

Loyalty to the present government .
Appreaciative because salary, accomadation, promotion and etc provided by the present government.
Well that makes lot of sense.
It's either loyalty or worried about the consequences.
Well, we would never really know.
If it was loyalty, whose the candidate should not be a concern than.

TohkongMosjid,  23 September 2009 at 15:54  

Hmmm...

I read your arguments. I do not know whether I should feel sad or happy UMNO is not listening to you.

Do you ever cross your mind that if UMNO loses Bagan Pinang, it will really present a VERY ASTOUNDING wakeup call for them to make drastic changes from there onwards?

A win here in Bagan Pinang will give UMNO more reasons of not changing as they will see (delusion themselves) that voters are returning to them despite they have yet to make any changes.

Think about it Dato'. A slap in the face or a false hope victory is more valuable to UMNO currently. I am going with the slap. They have to wake up, rather than continuing on this warpath that's going to destruct the whole country.

In short, I hope there's more UMNO's bloggers who argue with points like you around. Somehow someday, hope you take a seat back and ask yourself on this question:: What is the best way to make UMNO committed to change?

Anonymous,  23 September 2009 at 16:30  

Guys,
Cool down man! Lets not be those in Section 23 who create chaos. Yup, everybody knows those goons are originated from UMNO. Moslems somemore. During the month of Ramadhan. Sak's still a reasonable guys. Hence, I wanted to share with Datuk Sak the story of this remarkable person, Claus Von Stauffenberg

Sak,
Stauffenberg just as you are, dreamt of an Ideal Germany. Yup, he's a fine officer in Nazi Germany. He got nothing from Adolf Hitler. Nothing but losing a leg & an eye
However, Stauffenberg has resolved the Question of Loyalty. Loyalty above the Solemn Oath to Hitler & Nazi Germany. Loyalty to sacred Germany
I am hoping that you would be that Stauffenberg. Valkyre is a remarkable attempt of retreiving the pride of True Germany. Unfortunately, he failed. If he succeeded, Battle of Berlin where the whole Berlin razed to ground from the onslaught of the Red Army
would never have happened
We are waiting......Don't be Li Hong Zhang of Manchu Empire. Remarkable diplomat & chinese mandarin. Unquestion loyalty can't stem the tide against the Qing Empire. All people wanted freedom....Freedom can only come from the demise of UMNO
We have a saying in the bible. You can't have new wine in old wineskin. It bursts.

looes74

Anak Bangsa Malaysia 23 September 2009 at 18:07  

"It's either loyalty or worried about the consequences."

When their well being inside the army is at stake because of the possibility that their votes are not secret, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand why often postal votes are very near to 100% way above the national average.

Saky is trying to justify the unjustifiable. Let him be.

Patriot 23 September 2009 at 18:11  

WILL THE EC WIN BAGAN PINANG FOR BN LIKE IN BATANG AI

"However, not all bases are covered. The EC still has to allow the supervision of vote-counting in the camps and to allow Mafrel or Pakatan Rakyat reps to accompany the ballot boxes to the main counting centre. All will recall that at the Batang Ai by-elections, the votes were not counted at the polling centre and no PR reps were allowed to accompany the ballot boxes.....and what happened?"

THOSE BALLOT BOXES JUST WENT MISSING EITHER INTO THIN AIR OR INTO SUNGAI AI!

Anonymous,  23 September 2009 at 18:26  

Well Sakmongol, please dig a hole in your backyard and bury that AK47 of yours.

You were not a soldier and will never be one.

So stop talking rubbish about them.

What gratitude are you talking about. Government is supposed to be spending billions on equipment, but they end up with inferior products because people in power will siphon off millions along the way.
When the soldiers grumble they are told to shut up by the commanders or face the music.

Is there a tally of the number of ballot papers sent to the camp, number of voters present and voted?
What happens to the ballot papers of absent soldiers? Someone marks for them?

I see no one supporting your write up. I wonder why!!!!!!!!!

Wenger J Khairy 23 September 2009 at 18:35  

Mat Cha'ie,
Before you decide to go after Dato' consider these facts.
This blog you had frequented was developed by engineers from Google - the Americans. There was no MSC, no MDC no whatever crap, the first funding Google got was a mere $100 k US, right now its worth half the GDP of the country.
It became so successful because in America, you can have an opinion and the right to air that opinion without having to endure threats, insults or the like.
If you disagree, disagree respectfully. That is the spirit behind the greatness of the United States of America.
As it is now impossible to have respect for an ex ADUN, a respected member of the online community, a citizen of the country, at least, have respect for the United States of America and the freedom of speech enshrined in its constitution by not abusing this tool the citizens of the USA had so graciously created and distributed for free.

That AK47 Dato wields, is backed up with the F22 from the Rembau Times!

sakmongkol AK47 23 September 2009 at 19:57  

anon at 14:06.
mat chaie or however you want to call yrself. i have invited you to tell in yr own words in blogspace, you still refuse. rather than doing that, you have chosen the conceited way to prevent me from saying these things on account of my not being a soldier. shall i then use yr perverted logic to say since you were a soldier you have lost the skills of being a civilian. i have explained what i thought about the process of army voting as i saw them. if you were a camp cmmandant with this kind of attitude, i will be among the many who wll say up yours when you asked to vote for the candidate you want elected.

anon at 18:26
here's another who cant argue by putting up reasons other than saying dig a hole. you dig yours. if you cant use that material between yr ears( not the nose) pls dont come here.
you are also in the category of the aove chap.
i am sure both of you, were you officers in the army, the recuits couldnt wait for a chance to string you by yr testicles.

if you want to give yr opinions here pls do. my blog is like my home. it is incumbent upon visitors to exercise some civilities. alas, since you are more brawns than brains, being civil isnt in yr crass vocab.

Frank,  23 September 2009 at 20:45  

Dato Sak

Despite your appealing comments, the fact remains that the voting cards are serialised and as such are not secret ballots.

Every soldier knows the risk, however smart he/she is.

Why have references on the ballot cards??

rem 23 September 2009 at 22:13  

To' Sak,
a close friend of mine was a soldier based in kuching, ipoh etc. a camp in kl was his last posting.
he was just a grunt. ie didn't reach officer level when he took voluntary retirement at 40.
he is an umno man and so is his wife. i say this to show that he is not some pro-opposition type who might want to exaggerate against the govt.

near voting time every time, his story is this: the commandant will give briefing to everyone on why it is good to vote for govt coalition. dapat rumah subsidi, gaji bagus, ada pencen, etc as you had written.
and then when it was his turn to vote, it always came to this - the commandant can trace who voted what, with the serialised number on each slip. do i want to jeopardise my job for this one vote.

additionally, there is the worry that if the opposition becomes stronger, negara kocar kacir.
'negeri ni dah kita buat elok-elok, cukuplah'.
(ie true also there is the element of loyalty to country and gratefulness).

but what is suspicious to most people is that the voting trend from police and army camps are always, always overly pro-bn.
so the strong suspicion is there are other factors at play than just this loyalty to country and being grateful for a secure job.

PM 23 September 2009 at 22:42  

AK47 is right in his comments. Not all army's camp follow the same procedure. Similarly what was written by Major Rafick or in
rights2write blog is also correct. Major Rafick wrote what was peculiar to the naval camp based on what he has seen.

Infact that there are instigators within the camps, each belonging to BN,PAS or PKR. Take as an example if the commanding officer is from Kelantan he will influence his boys to vote for PAS. Those from Selangor will go for PKR or umno. As to the point of influencing and control each will have their own system??

On the other hand no matter how much the CO tries to influence his men, it does not work all the time as the soldiers are from all over the country and have their own choice.

Anon 23 September 2009 18:26 mentioned on the purchase of inferior equipment is also correct. That is the present predicament felt in the army. Sometimes you cannot blame the army guys from speaking out esp when they are not getting the correct equipment. Here it is not the government thats is to be blamed but the Generals who have accepted the equipment not according to the specification. Even though the Generals have accepted the equipment it is the end user who will determine whether to accept it or not and has to justify for no acceptance.
This is clear cut. Sometime due to monetary restrain and inferior equipment is purchased for a limited time usage. (Arguement here)

Meng

Anonymous,  23 September 2009 at 22:47  

Datuk,
Camp Comm is treated like god by army.. This is vital during war, but during peace time, well, those camp comm will do and have whatever their heart desire and that usually breach the rules. Financial mismanagement, do the don'ts, spend rakyat's money like their own, u name it, is a cliche associate with the army. So, anonymous vote by our soldiers? I doubt it Datuk..

Anonymous,  23 September 2009 at 23:14  

Salam Moderator,

My uncle was told by the religion-based party not to vote any other candidate unless Moslem. Don't you think this a sort of coercion?

How about this one. The same party told their supporters to only vote its candidate if they wanted to go heaven. Could that be construed as bribery?

Dulu Pas

PM 23 September 2009 at 23:18  

""the voting cards are serialised.""

Everything in the army is serialised ie personnel equipment duty roaster and what not. This is for easy accounting, control and check and balance.

Take for example in the list of army voters, serial Ten is Ahmad. When Ahmad approaches the controlling officer, his name is checked, ticked and given the voting slip. He goes to the booth and put a cross on the slip without anyone knowing where he put the cross and finally into the postal bag. There is no serial number Ten on the voting slip to indicate that it belongs to Ahmad. It may have changed I do not know??

The controlling officer will check against his list who has not voted yet and will send out some soldiers to look for them/him. Thats is all that happens in the army voting.

When all has been accounted for and voted, the postal bag is handed over to the EC official.

In this process there can never be any cheating. If there is any cheating it is from the EC to the counting center.

Meng

Anonymous,  23 September 2009 at 23:26  

Mat Cha'ie says,

"-don't challenge us the ex soldier as though we are telling lies like many UMNO goons."

That Dr is a professional and he is not the only one around. His recollection might just be an isolated incidence. As AK 47 put it, anyone could be skewed nowadays to tell all sort of delusion on the Net.

APOLITIKAL

PM 23 September 2009 at 23:43  

""Camp Comm is treated like god by army.. This is vital during war, but during peace time, well, those camp comm will do and have whatever their heart desire and that usually breach the rules. Financial mismanagement, do the don'ts, spend rakyat's money like their own""

This is very misleading. If you are referring "camp comm" as the camp comdt or Camp Commandant treated like god in the army is wrong. In a army camp there are camps within the main camp. The overall camp administrator is the Camp Comdt who looks after the camp commom facilities ie enjoyed by the various units. He coordinates the repairs and maintenance and all works orders are submitted to JKR for executing. In no way he handles cash and take part of the costing of repairs.

Within the main camp there are separate camp housing different units. The CO of these units run and maintain their respective camps
through their quartermasters. All works are also submitted to JKR. Calling for tenders and costing are all in the hands of JKR and the CO have no part in it.

The Camp Comdt and the COs are never involved in any financial management in the manner quoted above. They are given a budget but spending through JKR.

Anonymous,  23 September 2009 at 23:58  

I'm an army officer and i will be voting in Bagan Pinang. My vote will definitely go to BN not because a camp commandant or a General is 'forcing' me but because i think PR is full of sh*t!!!

Major A.

Anonymous,  24 September 2009 at 00:18  

Salam Lebaran Dato'

You wrote... "military men are prevented from voting on their own freewill. I do not agree with his claim which unfortunately is not supported by facts." I agree to that.

There is no way, the militaries are prevented from their own free will.. I have spoken to a few of them, if they wish to vote for opposition they did and no action taken so far...

What happened was... the polling process was well taken care and thats all..

Anonymous,  24 September 2009 at 00:41  

Anonymous said...

"Camp Comm is treated like god by army.."

Are you talking on behalf of the Muslim or what? For your information, not a bit of Muslim would ever treat the camp comm like what you have suggested. Are you pulling the Muslim's leg, arsehole?

Anonymous,  24 September 2009 at 10:07  

I like it that you type yr instead of your.

That makes you cool in my dictionary.

Anonymous,  24 September 2009 at 12:18  

Cannot vouch the truthfulness of all being said but i wonder why a coincidence that most of the army voters are in the ministers constituencies ! Perhaps its god's will.

Can't we practice allow independent body to verify the voting process and count at the same spot, and just add up the figure to other polling centers to arrive at the final score. With this, SC will not be accused of any faults. But, we continue inviting suspicion.

Suci Dalam Debu 24 September 2009 at 13:46  

Sir,

On paper, everything is good. Sure, the soldiers can vote for anybody on their own free will.

Only in practice the deviations from the ideal happens. The degree of deviation is often in the BN's favor. I think this is what most readers are trying to say.

As I mentioned somewhere before, a navy man of mine told me that he saw the allot boxes came and then left without him voting. How do you explain that? He can't be hiding in his cabin and refuses to come out to vote!

Anonymous,  24 September 2009 at 17:31  

Dato...

Pls have a look at the Malaysia Insider report on TDM's visit to NGV Tech.

It takes TDM to recognise a true businessman in a difficult and challenging arena..who have succeeded by knowledge,hard work and a passion for the biz.

And it just prove that Khazanah is a flawed concept.

They did not create anything for last 8 years..only PR bullshit and imaginary corridors.

Where are their Highways,PutraJaya,CyberJaya,KLCC,
LRT,IPPs>>which really changed mindsets and created a lot of progress.

Pity that Najib still have not caught on to the game.And this will eventually be the downfall of BN in PRU 13..

looes74 24 September 2009 at 20:09  

Sak,
Why not advocate Singapore's style of conducting GE? Compulsory voting. No postal votes for armed forces except for those on duty during the election.
Lets see if the results would be the same. GE in Singapore is one of the cleanest in the world. The ruling party there always use 60% popular votes as a yardstick if the party is generally acceptable by the people. Coinsistently, 35% supported oppositions

Hari Hari 27 September 2009 at 11:51  

Anonymous, 23 September 2009 23:58

I'm an army officer and i will be voting in Bagan Pinang. My vote will definitely go to BN not because a camp commandant or a General is 'forcing' me but because i think PR is full of sh*t!!!

Major A.
I am from Sarawak reading the comments and from the blogs.From my own perspective, if PR is such, what makes BN? BN is more shitty beyond any level of benchmarking.
Where are your morals. Do you vote because you are a muslim, even in the misappropriated context? You are a big shit yourself. Keep your shit to yourself. Talk wisely and as a good muslim(if you are own).

Anonymous,  28 September 2009 at 23:28  

The statement by Anon 13:39:

"I think Dr Raffick's account as an ex Army personnel will be a good read in how uniformed votes can be manipulated."

http://rights2write.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/malaysian-election-and-army-votes-ii/

23 September 2009 13:39

I can say that Dr Raffick is a fake. He is an opportunist. During his RMAF days, he was a lazy doctor who skipped his duty but yest always complained about not being promoted.

He was a CEO of Sesama, a company specialising in emergency services after his military duty. The company was closed down but he kept complaining the shareholders treated him badly. The truth is, he was paid a high salary, with a driver and always enjoying his lavish life instead of securing business for the company.

He always think he is so good but the truth is he is a fake,double face and smooth talker.

Never treat his words in his blog as what he really believe in. He just writes for the sake of getting popularity. He is someone who can be bought and attention seeker.

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