SIBU, 13 March 2009: Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel), an independent elections watchdog, will monitor the Batang Ai, Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections.
Its northern peninsula coordinator, Ong Boon Kiong, said that in Batang Ai, Mafrel hoped to station observers in each of the 24 polling stations beginning from nomination day on 29 March until polling day on 7 April.
“We have enquiries from many people there who want to be our observers. We will need at least 24 locals who are capable of taking photographs and writing reports,” he told a news conference here today.
Ong believed that the by-election would be a keenly contested one as it was about a peninsula-based opposition party, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), testing whether it had the support of the state’s Ibans, and Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) wanting to show that the Ibans had no love for PKR.
He said Mafrel would also monitor the Bukit Gantang parliamentary and Bukit Selambau state by-elections which will be held simultaneously with the Batang Ai by-election. — Bernama