Monday, April 7, 2014

A Last-ditch Effort

In a last-ditch effort to save an air force pilot from a possible jail sentence, the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih) and PAS today urged the Defense Ministry to drop the charges against Major Zaidi Ahmad (pic), who is being court-martialled over the indelible ink issue. 

Bersih co-chair Maria Chin Abdullah said this was their last attempt to speak up for Zaidi before his trial begins tomorrow. 

Zaidi was charged on February 07, 2014 with four counts of violating Malaysian Armed Forces Council's orders on the use of indelible ink during GE13 last year.He was also charged with making a media statement without the authorization of the ministry and sending two text messages which were political in nature. 

He pleaded not guilty to all 7 charges. 

 The 45-year-old jet pilot, who served RMAF for 25 years, landed in trouble after he lodged a police report on the indelible ink only hours after voting in GE13. He claimed that the ink was washable. 

He was charged in military court, his pilot's wings were clipped and he has been reassigned to a desk job. 

In fact, the Election Commission admitted last November that the indelible ink had its flaws, among others, it was washable and took longer to dry and because of that, it left stains on ballot papers.However, it still insisted that the indelible ink will still be used in the next general election. 

Zaidi, who is based at the air force's Butterworth base in Seberang Prai, was one of the 235,826 security forces personnel and their spouses nationwide who voted in advance on April 30 last year. 

Zaidi was merely exercising his right as a Malaysian. Why crucify a Malaysian just because he dared to speak up? I find it regrettable that his fellow colleagues are maintaining  stoic silence over this matter. I am not wrong to say that our fighting men and women are lacking in courage.

I was at another Youth Leadership Program – this time, organized by Money Mastery Toastmasters Club for the Harvest Christian Assembly – Home School, April 05-06, 2014, located in Taman Berkeley, Klang. I was both speaker and mentor. A good rousing session overall. 

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