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Thread: SPR: Indelible ink is out & then in!

   
   
       
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    SPR: Indelible ink is out & then in!

    'No to indelible ink, voting method still secure'

    Aug 1, 11 7:23pm
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    The existing method of voting is still relevant, secure and transparent, said Election Commission public relations officer Sabri Said.

    In a statement today, he said the EC had proposed using indelible ink in the last general election but had to abandon it for several reasons.

    "Apart from security, the proposal was also found to be in conflict with Clause (1) Article 119 of the federal constitution, which guarantees the right of a registered voter to vote unless he is disqualified under the laws relating to elections.

    "In this context, should the indelible ink be used, it is feared that the denial of the right of a voter to vote could happen in situations when the finger could be marked with the permanent ink whether voluntarily or unaware of its implication," he said.

    The SPR is so good at quoting half-truths. The Elections Act 1958 states clearly that a voter shall vote once. The indelible ink is used worldwide to ensure that. The SPR thinks Malaysians are stupid enough to fall for their lies.

    ELECTIONS ACT 1958 ELECTIONS (CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS) REGULATIONS 1981

    CONTESTED ELECTIONS

    Manner of voting

    19. (1) Each voter shall be given one ballot paper and shall be entitled to one vote.
    Sabri said the EC viewed seriously allegations by certain quarters that there were voters who voted twice in elections and thus the need for the indelible ink.

    He added that the EC would like to see these people (who voted twice) charged in court but to date no one had come up with evidence to the effect.

    - Bernama
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    SPR: US Embassy - EC's excuse over indelible ink 'unconvincing'

    EC's excuse over indelible ink 'unconvincing'


    Name:  S-Pathmawathy.jpg
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Size:  1.6 KBS Pathmawathy
    Sep 2, 11
    5:05pm

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    The Election Commission's (EC) reasons in making a sudden U-turn on the use of indelible ink during the March 2008 general election were “not convincing”, says a US diplomatic cable leaked two days ago.

    The EC had proposed using indelible ink in the last general election but at the eleventh hour, three days before March 8, 2008, former EC chief Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman announced that its use was abandoned.

    US diplomats in a leaked cable, however, opined that Abdul Rashid's “abrupt about-face on March 4" clearly suggested pressures from the BN-ruled government.



    “In a hastily announced press conference and flanked by both the (former) inspector-general of police (IGP) Musa Hassan, and the attorney-general (AG) Abdul Gani Patail, Rashid stuttered through a prepared statement officially terminating the fraud prevention method that the EC had embraced only nine months ago,” the cable says.

    The policy reversal, which later came under severe scrutiny, was due to the fact that four police reports had been made over an alleged plan to sabotage the election process by smuggling in unidentified quantities of indelible ink into the country, Rashid claimed.

    “The EC's grounds for reversing itself on the use of indelible ink do not appear very convincing. Regardless, the EC has damaged its credibility on the eve of the election and invited greater suspicion of Malaysia's electoral process,” the cable says.

    The revocation was condemned by opposition parties as well as election watchdog groups that claimed there were “phantom voters” in the electoral roll, which could hamper efforts for a clean and fair voting process.

    “Although both Umno and PAS leaders have been guilty in the past of recruiting phantom voters, PAS leaders accuse the EC of allowing Umno to pad the electoral roll with its supporters to help Umno win Kelantan and maintain its hold in Terengganu,” the cable says.

    Observer teams sent to six key states

    It said the embassy had dispatched election observer teams to six
    key states during the March 2008 general election that ended with BN losing its two-thirds parliamentary majority, for the first time after 1969, and five states to the opposition Pakatan Rakyat.



    Prior to the 2008 general election, the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) held a mammoth rally in the Kuala Lumpur city centre, demanding that eight of its suggestions to improve the balloting process be implemented - including the use of indelible ink.

    “Proponents of electoral reform had lobbied for the introduction of indelible ink and hailed the EC's original decision to institute this measure, which would have represented the most significant improvement in the integrity of the elections since the last polls in 2004,” the leaked cable says.

    Having failed to push their demands through the first time, Bersih 2.0 on July 9 this year held another massive rally, with tens of thousands of supporters insisting that the EC implements their demands.

    After much hesitation, the government proposed the setting up of a parliamentary select committee to look into the demands, stopping short, however, of pledging that the reforms would take effect before the next general election, which is widely speculated to be held by the end of the year.
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    International polls watchdog defends indelible ink



    Aidila Razak
    Sep 21, 11
    9:10am





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    Using indelible ink on the finger will not pose a health risk if its content conforms with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation, said election watchdog Asian Network for Free Elections.


    This means that the essential ingredient in the indelible ink, silver nitrate, should not exceed four percent of the total content, Anfrel officer Ichal Supriadi said in an email interview with Malaysiakini.


    This was recommended because synthetic silver nitrate content exceeding four percent can harm the nerve system.


    Some countries, he said, have gone further to require that the silver nitrate content be derived from natural sources so as to reduce the likelihood of itchiness.


    "Indonesian indelible ink uses less than four percent (silver nitrate) and is strictly controlled, with only natural or herbal extracts, which are anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial, used.


    "Itchiness and skin irritation can be avoided with the natural extracts. I believe Malaysian scientists can formulate this (to suit the country's specifications)," Ichal said.


    India and China are the largest manufacturers of indelible ink and many other countries have now begun manufacturing the ink on their own because of cost constraints.


    Manufacturing the ink locally will also allow a country to tailor the ink to local needs, such as religious constraints.


    However, Ichal said, there must be rigorous testing of the quality of the ink, since some producers may try to cut corners for a quick buck.


    "Indelible ink is good business. For example, US$2.7 million was spent to buy 1,149,890 bottles of indelible ink for 574,945 polling stations in the Indonesian presidential election of 2009," he said.


    Not completely foolproof


    Last week, The Star reported that a Europe-based firm had demonstrated to the daily that indelible ink could be easily removed using off-the-shelf stain removers.


    In the report, the newspaper also quoted the unnamed firm's spokesperson as saying that the ink has been disallowed in the US and Europe because of health concerns.


    Ichal said the ink was not used in these places because of higher levels of voter confidence in the electoral rolls and the neutrality of the polling officers.


    "Many countries use indelible ink to prevent multiple voting... it is mostly implemented because of a lack of confidence in the quality of electoral roll or voter enrolments and the neutrality of the polling officers," he said.

    The use of the ink did not mean there were no drawbacks and that it was foolproof safeguard against fraud.


    "The performance of indelible ink is important to safeguard the polling, but the most important is the professionalism of the polling officers.


    "A good and safe ink cannot stop multiple voting if the polling officers commit fraud. Therefore, the presence of observers is crucial to guarantee the sanctity of the election," Ichal said.

    Bangkok-based Anfrel is a regional network established in 1997, and has acted as official election observer in numerous countries that use indelible ink in elections, including Afghanistan, India and Indonesia.

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    'Keep an eye on dishonest polling officers'



    Aidila Razak
    Sep 21, 11
    9:21am





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    The removal of indelible ink from the finger of one who has voted in an election can only happen with the cooperation of fraudulent polling officers.


    In an email interview with Malaysiakini, the Bangkok-based Asian Network for Free Elections (Anfrel) said this was because a fraudulent officer could facilitate actions to ease the removal of indelible ink.


    "The ink removal could be happen... by applying bleach or oil before the ink is applied. The skin will not absorb the ink properly as there is another chemical in between.


    "But, of course, such a practice only can be done with the help of the polling officer," Anfrel officer Ichal Supriadi (left) said.


    He said it was the responsibility of polling officers to clean the voter's finger before marking it, with cloth for this purpose provided by the election authority.


    "But often, polling officers lack in understanding (procedures), and do not clean the finger before applying the ink, and immediately wipe the ink on the finger with a tissue, sponge or small cloth provided by the election authority, together with the polling materials," Ichal said.


    The ink when applied needs about 30 seconds to dry up and can last up to four days before it can be completely removed.


    According to Ichal, who has acted as an election observer in a number of elections in countries across Asia that use the indelible ink, dishonest officers have also tried to facilitate cheating in elections by not properly marking those who have voted.


    "(Cheating) that happened in both Indonesia and Afghanistan was with the polling officers intentionally not dipping the finger of the voter in the ink, as they were biased and wanted to allow particular people multiple voting," he said.


    In other cases, the officers only dipped the nail area of the voter's finger in the ink, making it easier to remove it with chemicals or bleach.

    In Afghanistan, where Anfrel has been observing the presidential elections since 2004, Ichal said the lack of voter education has led to many trying to remove the ink.


    "(There was no information to say) the ink is 'halal' and will not harm prayers (by Muslims), so people tried their best to remove it once it was applied, using bleach or other chemicals," he said.


    'Plenty tried to remove ink'


    In 2004, Times Online reported that many voters in Afghanistan were spotted trying to remove the ink, with varying degrees of success.

    It also reported that presidential candidates in that country also complained that the ink was being removed in attempts to commit electoral fraud.


    Ichalsaid that "plenty had tried" to do so, but Afghanistan continued to use the ink in subsequent presidential elections due to "a lack of confidence in the voters' list and lack of neutrality of the polling officers".


    He said Anfrel continued to support the use of indelible ink as its observations across Asia proved that the ink could reduce multiple voting, if all procedures were met.


    Anfrel was established in 1997 to support democratisation at national and regional levels in Asia, and has acted as election observer in countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.


    The 2004 Afghan presidential election was cited in a recent report inThe Star, which said a Europe-based company has found indelible ink used there could be easily removed with off-the-shelf stain removers.


    The unnamed firm, which claimed to have "extensive experience" in fingerprint identification, was reported to have given a demonstration to the daily and said it would submit its "findings" to the Malaysian authorities.


    The use of indelible ink on voters is one of the eight demands of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) in its call for electoral reforms.


    The EC said recently that it would decide if indelible ink, a biometric system or both would be used in the 13th general election.


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    Indian EC: Only poor quality indelible ink is removable



    Aidila Razak
    Sep 29, 11
    10:38am





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    India's Election Commission has explained that the use of poor quality indelible ink is the reason such an ink used on voters is quite easily "removable".


    In an email reply to questions from Malaysiakini, Indian EC secretary KN Bhar said this had occurred in India, and has since been rectified through "strict orders" to manufacturer Mysore Paints and Varnishes Ltd (MPVL), which is owned by the Karnataka state government.


    "The main cause of failure (of the ink) was poor quality due to some negligence in the preparation process. The MPVL was directed to strictly maintain the quality of ink," Bhar said.


    The Indian EC is widely known for its independence.


    "No complaints were subsequently received. The use of indelible ink has been quite effective in checking multiple voting."


    In 2009, a candidate in the parliamentary election for the city of Pune was reported by the Times of Indiato have lodged a complaint that the indelible ink used could be rubbed off.


    Bhar said that India, the world's largest democracy, has used indelible ink since 1951 and that MPVL has been supplying the ink since 1959.


    Earlier this month, local English daily The Star reported that an unnamed Europe-based company had demonstrated to the daily that indelible ink used on voters can be removed with off-the-shelf stain removers.


    The newspaper also cited the case of the 2004 Afghan presidential election, where at least two candidates complained that the indelible ink used was removable.


    The Times Online then reported that several voters were spotted trying to remove the ink with bleach and other solvents, with varying success.


    Polling officers used wrong ink


    Commenting on this, Bhar said polling officers in Afghanistan had mistakenly used normal black ink, meant to mark ballot papers, to apply on the voters, instead of the indelible ink.


    This was communicated to the Indian EC as it had assisted Afghanistan in the election.


    "The (Indian EC) received first hand report from an officer of the commission who was associated with that election in Afghanistan.


    "(The report noted that) at some polling stations, the polling personnel had by mistake applied ordinary black ink, meant for marking ballot papers by voters, on the fingers of voters instead of marking their fingers with indelible ink."


    Bhar said the ink supplied to the Afghan EC by the Indian government was produced by MVPL and is the same used in Indian elections.

    The Star report also quoted a spokesperson of the unnamed Europe-based company as saying that indelible ink poses health risks due its silver nitrate content.


    However, election watchdog Asian Network for Free Elections toldMalaysiakini that the silver nitrate content for indelible ink is capped at four percent, as recommended by the World Health Organisation.


    Agreeing with this, Bhar said that ink has "no hazardous element harmful for human health" and does not cause irritation.


    "So, biologically, it is very safe," he added.


    The use of indelible ink is one of the eight demands of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections or Bersih 2.0.


    The EC in Malaysia had said recently that it would decide if indelible ink or a biometric system, or both, would be used in the 13th general election.

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    WIKILEAKS: CLEAN FINGERS, DIRTY ELECTIONS?

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

    Sunday, 23 October 2011 Super Admin





    Proponents of electoral reform had lobbied for the introduction of indelible ink and hailed the EC's original decision to institute this measure, which would have represented the most significant improvement in the integrity of the elections since the last polls in 2004. The EC's grounds for reversing itself on the use of indelible ink do not appear very convincing, and clearly suggest pressure from the ruling BN government. Regardless, the EC has damaged its credibility on the eve of the elections and invited greater suspicion of Malaysia's electoral process.

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

    Raja Petra Kamarudin


    Classified By: Political Section Chief Mark D. Clark for reasons 1.4 (b, d).

    Summary

    1. (C) With only three days remaining before the March 8 general election, Malaysia's Election Commission (EC) abruptly announced its decision not to apply indelible ink to the fingers of voters, citing police reports of alleged sabotage plans and previously unidentified constitutional barriers. The opposition immediately cried foul and condemned the EC for abandoning this fraud prevention measure. All sides have braced for the impact of illegitimate "phantom voters," particularly in tightly-contested races.

    The Islamist opposition party PAS stated it would stop buses ferrying suspect voters into the states of Kelantan and Terengganu, while the police warned against obstructing citizens from casting their votes. The leading UMNO party and its allies within the National Front coalition have stepped up attacks against opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim, including for his ties to prominent Americans.

    The Embassy has dispatched election observer teams to six key states. The EC's grounds for reversing itself on the use of indelible ink do not appear very convincing, and suggest pressure from the ruling BN government. Regardless, the EC has damaged its credibility on the eve of the election and invited greater suspicion of Malaysia's electoral process. End Summary.

    EC nixes use of indelible ink

    2. (SBU) With only three days remaining before the March 8 general election, Chairman of Malaysia's Election Commission Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman made an abrupt about-face on March 4 when he announced polling officials would not mark the fingers of voters with indelible ink after they cast their ballots. In a hastily announced press conference and flanked by both the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Musa Hassan, and the Attorney General, Abdul Gani Patail, Rashid stuttered through a prepared statement officially terminating the fraud prevention method that the EC had embraced only nine months ago.

    Referencing four police reports filed between February 16 and 21 of an alleged plan to sabotage the election process in the states of Kedah, Perlis and Kelantan, Rashid explained that the police believed people had smuggled unidentified quantities of indelible ink into the country to trick villagers into believing that they must have their fingernails marked before they can go vote. "Their intention is to create confusion and suspicion as to the status of such voters," he said. "This may cause chaos at polling stations.... The EC views these issues seriously as the election process and public order and security cannot be compromised," Rashid read from his prepared statement.

    3. (SBU) Beyond allegations of sabotage, Rashid further explained that Malaysia's laws would not allow for the denial of a person's constitutional right to vote merely because of indelible ink marked on their fingernail. Rashid explained that only a constitutional amendment could rectify this situation, and since Parliament was dissolved, the Constitution could not be amended before the election.

    Notwithstanding the presence of both the IGP and the Attorney General, Rashid reiterated the independence of the EC's decision process and reassured the media that no political pressure had been exerted to compel the EC's action. From the campaign trail, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi echoed Rashid's denial and remarked that "this didn't have any connection with us (the National Front, BN), the decision was solely made by the EC and we want to hear the full explanation from them as well.... What is more important is that the rights of the people who had registered to vote must be upheld. That must be the guarantee from the EC to all citizens and voters on March 8," the Prime Minister said.

    4. (C) Comment: EC Chairman Rashid reportedly confided to a longstanding Embassy contact on March 5 that the Attorney General had instructed Rashid to rescind the EC's decision to use the ink. End

    Comment.

    Opposition parties cry foul

    5. (SBU) Opposition politicians immediately attributed the EC's decision to BN's pressure. People's Justice Party (PKR) deputy president Dr. Syed Husin Ali lambasted the EC's decision: "At a moment when the eyes of the entire world are upon us, the commission has now conclusively and irrevocably shown that any overtures towards reform that it had made previously were in bad faith."

    Democratic Action Party (DAP) Secretary General Lim Guan Eng also chided the decision: "DAP unreservedly condemns the EC's betrayal of public trust by deciding to abandon the use of indelible ink, which is the central premise of their commitment towards a free, fair and clean election." Likewise, the opposition-linked election watchdog Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) released a statement declaring that Bersih "rejects the EC's excuses for the cancellation of this move on legal and security grounds," and criticized the EC for not seeking any necessary parliamentary action long ago. "The decision by the EC shows very clearly that it has neither intention nor the commitment to carry out electoral reform," Bersih concluded.

    Election monitor steps back

    6. (SBU) The election monitoring NGO Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (MAFREL) reacted with criticism and disappointment at the EC's decision. Despite being the only NGO accredited by the EC, MAFREL's Chairman Malik Hussin expressed lack of faith in the election process and vowed not to send observers inside the nation's polling stations so as not to lend credibility to a flawed process. MAFREL had planned to deploy around 330 observers at polling stations nationwide to monitor the voting process on March 8. MAFREL Deputy Chairman Syed Noh Ibrahim told reporters they will continue with their monitoring operation, "just not within the polling stations as accredited by the EC."

    Haunted by "phantom" voters

    7. (SBU) The IGP Musa Hassan publicly warned all political parties against obstructing citizens from turning out to cast their votes on March 8. The warning was in response to statements made by Islamist opposition party PAS leaders that they would stop buses allegedly ferrying "phantom voters" from entering Kelantan and Terengganu.

    The term "phantom voters" ("undi hantu") in Malaysia has several interpretations.

    These could be legally registered voters in a particular district who are not resident of the district or not known to the local community;

    non-citizens issued with Malaysian identity cards for the purpose of voting;

    voters who have passed away but whose names still appear on the electoral roll with their identity cards abused by someone else to vote;

    and large numbers of voters inexplicably registered at a single address.
    In this context both the BN and the opposition parties, particularly PAS, have registered hundreds their supporters in tightly-contested districts especially in Kelantan, Kedah and Terengganu.

    8. (SBU) The Election Commission declared prior to the dissolution of Parliament February 13 that they had cleared the electoral roll of all phantom voters, a claim opposition leaders dispute. For instance, a DAP candidate in Selangor alleged that 26 unknown individuals have been registered as voters using her family home address in her district. MAFREL released a statement February 20 that claimed 500 voters were registered as voters using an abandoned army base in Penang where the BN candidate is Gerakan's acting President Koh Tsu Koon. Not to be outdone, Kelantan UMNO leaders claimed that the party has difficulty in identifying more than 118,000 voters in the PAS controlled state.

    9. (SBU) Although both UMNO and PAS leaders have been guilty in the past of recruiting phantom voters, PAS leaders accuse the EC of allowing UMNO to pad the electoral roll with its supporters to help UMNO win Kelantan and maintain its hold in Terengganu. PAS President Hadi Awang's press secretary Roslan Shair told reporters March 4 that the party had ample proof that phantom voters will be ferried to the two states on polling day. He added that PAS "would stop at nothing to prevent the voters from entering Kelantan and Terengganu."

    In response, IGP Musa Hassan stated that he had issued a directive to his men to act against those trying to stop voters from casting their votes. He added, "We have stationed 300 policemen at entry points to the state and will take stern action against those who try to stop people from casting their votes."

    UMNO and BN step up assault on Anwar

    10. (SBU) Leading opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim, who has drawn large crowds to his political gatherings across the country during the campaign, has come under increasing attack from UMNO, other BN leaders and the government dominated mainstream media. At several gatherings in Kuala Lumpur, poloffs have observed multi-racial crowds responding enthusiastically to Anwar's attacks on the government.

    Political observers told poloffs that Anwar has managed to galvanize the voters especially in the urban areas by articulating the voters concerns effectively and urging them to reject the UMNO-dominated BN coalition. In response to Anwar's criticisms, UMNO and BN leaders have stepped up their attacks on the former DPM by describing him as a "political chameleon" who cannot be trusted.

    Anwar attacked for Washington connections

    11. (SBU) Government owned newspapers have joined in the fray and have increased their negative reports on the former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar. The papers gave prominence to human rights activist and former Peoples Justice Party Deputy President (1999-2001) Chandra Muzaffar's comment on March 4 that it would be an "unmitigated disaster for Malaysia" should Anwar become the PM. Chandra also stated in another interview for an UMNO-owned newspaper that Anwar's close relationships with individuals and groups in Washington including former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz "had very serious implications on Malaysia's sovereignty and independence." The UMNO owned newspaper condemned Anwar on March 6 for "tarnishing the image" of the country by giving an interview in Singapore that criticized government policies and the conduct of elections. The paper cited Anwar's comments that he is a "close friend" of former Vice President Al Gore, whom the paper claimed supported "the 'reformasi' demonstration of 1998 that threatened the stability of the country."

    Embassy observers in the field

    12. (U) The Embassy dispatched six election observer teams to the field on March 6. The teams will monitor developments in six key states: Kelantan, Terengganu, Penang, Kedah, Perak, and Sabah from March 6 thru March 9.

    Comment

    13. (C) Proponents of electoral reform had lobbied for the introduction of indelible ink and hailed the EC's original decision to institute this measure, which would have represented the most significant improvement in the integrity of the elections since the last polls in 2004. The EC's grounds for reversing itself on the use of indelible ink do not appear very convincing, and clearly suggest pressure from the ruling BN government. Regardless, the EC has damaged its credibility on the eve of the elections and invited greater suspicion of Malaysia's electoral process.

    KEITH (March 2008.)
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    Indelible ink: Pakatan backs constitutional change

    S Pathmawathy
    4:19PM Nov 15, 2011

    Pakatan Rakyat will throw its weight behind a constitutional amendment to implement indelible ink for voters in elections, if that is what the government insists on.

    "The attorney-general (AG) has said that a provision of the constitution must be amended if indelible ink is to be used.

    "So, we decided today that we want the AG to immediately draft the amendment, on condition it is tabled in this Dewan Rakyat sitting," Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said after chairing a Pakatan presidential council meeting at Parliament House today.

    AG Abdul Gani Patail had said that Article 119 of the federal constitution had to be amended if the use of indelible ink was to be implemented.

    “Although these are tricks by the attorney-general to delay the process... the council wants to make it clear that we are willing to support the change, on condition, that it’s done immediately,” the PKR de facto leader said.

    'We'll support if AG insists on amendment'


    “If it needs the two-thirds majority vote, we are together with the BN and we will support it.”

    DAP’s parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said although Pakatan strongly feels that no constitutional amendment was required, the coalition would support the move if the AG insisted on it.


    Election reform activists have repeatedly called for the implementation of the indelible ink to curb voting fraud and have stressed that the procedure could be implemented without any constitutional amendment if the use of the ink is included in the election regulations.


    A key proponent of the overhaul to the elections system, Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan (right), maintains that the implementation of indelible ink can be made under Section 16 of the Elections Act, which allows the Election Commission (EC) to make regulations.


    However, the legal arm of the government, the AG’s Chambers, is adamant that constitutional amendment is necessary, since the EC scrapped the indelible ink plan for the March 8, 2008, general election following, legal advice.


    Any amendment to the federal constitution requires the backing of two-thirds of the MPs or 148 members out of the 222-member Parliament. The BN only has 137 MPs while the opposition makes up 76, besides nine Independents.
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    Indelible ink is out. Now it's in!

    A-G gives nod to indelible ink


    By Shannon Teoh
    November 16, 2011
    The move to implement indelible ink marking will not need

    Parliament’s approval, said Loke. — Reuters pic



    KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — The Attorney-General cleared the way for the use of indelible ink in elections when he told a parliamentary panel today that only a minor change in electoral regulations was required to implement the key demand by polls reform movement Bersih 2.0.

    Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili said Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail informed the parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms that “either a constitutional amendment or a regulation change” was required so the Election Commission (EC) can mark voters to avoid multiple voting.


    According to panel member Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, the change to Rule 19 of the Election (Conduct of Election) Regulations 1981 can “be done anytime” and only requires the approval of the Yang diPertuan Agong before Parliament is notified.


    “It does not need Parliament’s approval. There is nothing to stop the use of indelible ink now. The road is clear,” said Rasah MP Anthony Loke.


    But Maximus told reporters “the committee will weigh the matter before making any resolution.”


    The Malaysian Insider previously reported that while the nine-man committee unanimously agreed that indelible ink can be used, Abdul Gani had said the Federal Constitution does not allow the authorities to force a voter to be marked with permanent ink.
    But after Abdul Gani clarified his stand today, a source said the A-G sent a note to the panel earlier this month saying “indelible ink cannot be used without changes to the constitution or laws related to it.”


    “The A-G has basically squirmed out and flip-flopped using legal terms,” he said.


    Mohd Radzi had also admitted that “even I, as a lawyer, found the letter very confusing.”


    The EC had initially planned to use indelible ink, bought at a cost of RM2.4 million, for Election 2008 but backed out at the last minute, citing public order and security issues.


    Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also said yesterday that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would support a constitutional amendment if such was required to implement the use of indelible ink.


    The PKR de facto leader has claimed the EC’s last-minute decision to opt out of using the ink cost his coalition 15 federal seats.


    Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak pledged to form the bipartisan committee after over a month of international condemnation following his administration’s clampdown on the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally for free and fair elections.


    The government also promised to adopt Bersih’s eight demands, which include cleaning up the electoral roll and extending campaign periods, as part of the committee’s scope.


    The coalition of 62 NGOs has since gone on a nationwide campaign, demanding the government fulfil the eight demands before calling for a general election that is expected soon.


    Opposition leaders, who strongly back Bersih, have also warned that further rallies will be held if the government fails to implement these demands.
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    Use of indelible ink for voting comes into force

    A few questions:

    1. Has the SPR secured approval of at least 5 reputable suppliers by the Fatwa Council.
    2. Are they going to call for open, transparent tender to make sure that we get the best tender price with the best performance
    3. If delivery is two weeks, how does the SPR ensure that the ink reaches the overseas advanced voting centre in time for it to be used. It has to be at least 48 hours before polling date.
    4. Can they produce a timeline to demonstrate that it has accounted for the extra time needed to send the ink to overseas Malaysians.

    We don't want a last-minute excuse about inability to get the ink and therefore it has to grow.


    February 16, 2012
    KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 — Indelible ink will be used in the coming general election after its use was gazetted on February 13, Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof said yesterday.


    File photo of a voter showing the indelible ink mark on her finger after casting her ballot in elections in Lucknow, India. — Reuters pic

    He said the ink had yet to be purchased as it must be used within three months or it would be rendered ineffective.

    “We cannot order the ink early because after three months the ink will no longer be indelible,” he was quoted by Bernama as saying during an interview on the “Dialog” programme titled “Daftar dan Undi” (Register and Vote) aired on RTM1 last night.


    He said: “It will take only two weeks to receive the ink. Our preparation in terms of the boxes, bottles and bottle lids is already under way.”


    According to Bernama report, he said the EC would put an order for the ink as soon as the dissolution of Parliament is announced.


    However, the colour of the ink has yet to be determined and it would not be used for postal voting, he added.
    Abdul Aziz advised voters not to allow other parties to ink their fingers before they arrived at voting centres to ensure their eligibility to vote is not compromised.


    Voters would have their left forefinger inked at their voting centres, he said, adding that use of the ink had been approved by the Chemistry Department, Health Ministry and National Fatwa Committee.


    Last December, Abdul Aziz had announced that the EC would use silver nitrate indelible ink for the general election, which is different from the indelible ink proposed during the 2008 general election, but was not implemented after its effectiveness was questioned by various quarters
    py

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    13,391


    Brickbats for EC's different coloured inks decision


    The Election Commission's (EC) decision to use indelible inks of different colours for early voting and ordinary voting has drawn flak from the PAS Youth wing, which says the move will not eliminate vote rigging.

    "The election bureau of PAS Youth wing rejects using different inks for the election because there will still be room for fraudulent manipulation should the new measure be implemented," bureau chief Mohd Sany Hamzan said in a statement today.

    Among others, Sany said, the movement had earlier exposed that civil servants such as army and police personnel are qualified to vote as both postal voters and ordinary voters because they have two different identities.

    "Using different inks will not solve the problem of duplicate voters," he said.

    He advised the EC not to be "stupidly arrogant" and instead learn from other countries higher numbers of voters and were capable of conducting more transparent elections.

    "Besides cleaning up the electoral roll, the election bureau of PAS Youth urges the EC to use only one colour of indelible ink in the next general election," Sany added.

    According to Malay daily Sinar Harian, EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said the commission has decided to use two different colours of indelible ink for early voting and ordinary voting respectively.

    This is to ensure the smoothness of a transparent, free and clean election, Aziz was quoted as saying.

    A total of 230,000 bottles of indelible ink will be allocated for 12.4 million voters on polling day while 10,000 will be reserved for early voters, including military, police and general operations force personnel as well as their families.

    For security reasons, the ink colours would only be revealed on polling day, Aziz said.

    The new regulation making indelible ink a compulsory requirement for every voter, a proposal by the parliamentary select committee on electoral reform, was gazetted on Wednesday.

    ************************

    Thursday March 15, 2012

    EC to use indelible ink in two colours to check electoral fraud

    By MUGUNTAN VANAR
    vmugu@thestar.com.my


    http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp...221&sec=nation

    KOTA KINABALU: Two different indelible ink colours will be used for the 13th general election in a bid to allay fears of early voters casting their ballots twice.

    Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof said one colour would be for advance voters while the other would be for the general public casting their votes on election day.

    We want to implement the use of two inks to wipe out any negative perception of the process. —TAN SRI ABDUL AZIZ MOHD YUSOF “We are not disclosing the colours of the ink that will be used and it will remain a secret until polling day to ensure that no one tries to copy the colour,” he said after an election briefing for district police chiefs and election officers here.
    He said the move to provide two separate colours was to allay any fear or perception that an early voter might vote twice.

    “In our history, no one has been caught for voting twice but we want to implement the use of two inks to wipe out any negative perception of the process,” he said, adding that if names appeared twice on the rolls, it was due to a technical mistake.

    He said the next election would also see all the 242,294 registered postal voters military (147,681) and police (94,613) personnel becoming advance voters by default.

    Abdul Aziz said advance voting was similar to regular voting except that it would be held a couple of days before polling day for military personnel, their spouses and policemen at their respective camps or police districts.

    “The process is the same as regular voting with ballot boxes. There are no envelopes or ballot bags as done previously. It's just held earlier so that they can go back to duty on polling day,” he said, explaining that the advance voting exercise would be conducted by EC officers.

    However, he said postal voting would still be allowed in situations where members of the security forces cannot make it for advance polling but they would first have to fill up a form and apply to their respective returning officers.

    The postal voting system had come under criticism, mainly by the Opposition, which had alleged that it had been abused.

    Abdul Aziz also said special teams involving election officers, the police, the Attorney- General Chambers and political party agents would be set up in parliamentary and state constituencies to act on complaints during the election.

    He explained that appropriate action could be taken immediately on complaints ranging from illegal banners, criminal intimidation to corrupt practices.

    “It is a smart partnership aimed at solving problems on the ground immediately,” he added.
    py

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