On the 20th of June, 2017, I joined several MPs and colleagues at INVOKE Malaysia to launch the PACA (Polling Agent, Counting Agent) manual booklet prepared by YB Rafizi Ramli and his INVOKE team. PACA is basically the MOST important line of defense against cheating at elections. At the most basic level, we need to place enough counting agents to monitor each and every ballot box during the vote count process of the general election.
It is not enough to attend Bersih rallies for one day and then hope that the government will change its electoral process. We actually have to do real work of organising, training and mobilising some 100,000 PACAs in order to have a fair shot to win GE14.
The math is simple, we need an average of 350 PACA officers per Parliamentary seat. If we want to win 112 Parliament seats (for a simple majority in Parliament) we need (112 seats x 350 PACA) 39,200 PACA officers to monitor each and every ballot box.
Because we need to allow PACA officers breaks during election day, we need to roughly double the amount of trained PACA officers to 80,000. After factoring a 20% no show on election day (it happens!), we need to organise, train and mobilise 100,000 PACA.
It is a Herculean task and INVOKE Malaysia is focusing our very limited resources to defend against ballot box cheating for 30 to 50 marginal seats. At the moment, we already have 10,000 registered volunteers which we hope to convert into fully trained PACA officers in the coming months.
In view of the above and moving beyond the street protest mentality, INVOKE has embarked on training and mobilising of PACA some 2 months ago. Working together with a dedicated group of experienced volunteers of past elections (these are the real unsung heroes), INVOKE has started PACA training events around Malaysia. During this Ramadhan period, Rafizi and team have been crisscrossing PACA events from Kedah to Johor.
The launch of “Buku Panduan PACA” represents a new milestone of our overall PACA efforts. The book is available in Malay at the moment (an English version will be out soon) for RM20 and can be bought here.
Please continue to donate and volunteer time to support INVOKE Malaysia; ultimately we can only change Malaysia with your support, action and sweat.