KUALA LUMPUR – A non-profit said it will advise voters against supporting election candidates who are not transparent about their qualifications and assets, or who make hate speech and statements against human rights.

Sinar Project’s “GE14 Candidate” website, which will feature its “GE14 Candidate Blacklist”, aims to display as much information as possible about candidates running in the upcoming 14th general elections (GE14).

“We wouldn’t hire anyone with a bad CV. Yet here we are electing representatives that don’t even provide a CV! We hope to change and improve this situation,” Khairil told Malay Mail.

Under the criteria of transparency, Sinar Project coordinator Khairil Yusof said election candidates will be pressured to submit their CVs and other details on his or her standing in a company, and affiliations with any particular trade associations.

Under the human rights category, Khairil explained that Sinar Project will assess candidates’ stand on racial discrimination; rights for minorities such as the Orang Asli; rights for women, children, and disabled people; and whether he or she champions freedom of expression and religion.

“We will have our own small community team that will curate available public information from reputable sources such as parliamentary statements, press statements and official websites of candidates and their parties,” Khairil explained.

Once the blacklist is finalised, he said, the group will work with other civil society organisations by incorporating their findings and issues with candidates that fail Sinar Project’s blacklist criteria.

“An immediate example of this would be sourcing from AiyohWatLah Awards nominees for statements that are misogynistic, sexist or homophobic.

“If one of the candidates was a previous nominee, then they would immediately be on the blacklist,” he said, referring to a satirical awards programme by women’s rights group All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) for sexist public figures.

Khairil, however, expressed slight scepticism when asked about the effectiveness of the campaign.

“We are not sure how effective it is, but with the first complete independent candidate information website and environment of highly connected Malaysians, we hope this will make a difference in how Malaysians are able to vote for better candidates and put pressure on parties to avoid putting up candidates they know will be blacklisted,” he said.

The finalised blacklist, Khairil said, will likely be published on Sinar Project’s website by the end of the week. The first draft for public comment is available here.

“We have been working for the past few years to build technical infrastructure and community of contributors to be able to rapidly import and share information on thousands of candidates for both parliamentary and state seats,” he said.

In addition to that, Khairil said Sinar Project has managed to obtain information of over 4,000 past candidates and incumbents.

“The blacklist status will be reflected online. When voters visit the site to find information about their candidates, they will clearly see which candidate has been blacklisted and that they shouldn’t vote for,” he said.

– http://www.themalaymailonline.com/