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Thread: PSC: Tindak Malaysia's response to the PSC Recommendations of 3rd Apr 2012

   
   
       
  1. #1
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    PSC: Tindak Malaysia's response to the PSC Recommendations of 3rd Apr 2012


    4th Apr 2012 Wednesday
    PRESS STATEMENT (#8.) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


    TINDAK MALAYSIA SADDENED TO OBSERVE THAT THE PSC IS MERELY A PUBLIC-RELATIONS EXERCISE DESIGNED TO PLAY FOR TIME !

    Head of Tindak Malaysia, Wong Piang Yow (for the Chinese press, 黄炳耀) today commented on report submitted by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Electoral Reform to Parliament on 3rd Apr 2012.

    We are disappointed to learn that it was passed without debate and no opportunity given to Pakatan Rakyat to attach a minority report. We cannot understand how such an important report can be handled in such a cavalier manner. This put to the lie the humility and openness, as well as the lack of political will for reform, that Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had professed in the aftermath of the fiasco over the Government’s handling of the 907 BERSIH 2.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur. In other words, the formation of the PSC was just a public-relations exercise designed to play for time.

    When the PSC was first announced in Oct last year, we were very sceptical about their agenda. However, in good faith Tindak Malaysia, engaged actively with the PSC, spending many months researching and submitting proposals on how to improve the transparency and integrity of the electoral process, in order to improve public confidence in the Election Commission (EC). Out of the 6 public hearings held in the State capitals throughout Malaysia, we attended and made presentations in 4 of them. That was the extent of our commitment. At the last hearing, the Chairman of the PSC promised to invite us to review the draft final report before it was tabled in Parliament. Sadly, this did not happen.

    By 21st Mar 2012, we had, jointly with BERSIH 2.0, submitted more than 100 proposals. We even had a team of lawyers going through the Election Laws and Regulations and drafted conforming amendments to it, to incorporate the proposals that we made, so that Parliament and the Election Commission, if it so wished, could pass the amendments with minimal changes, thereby enabling the next General Election to be conducted in a more free and fair manner.

    PSC proposals are an eye-wash and designed to play for time!

    1. We note that the PSC, headed by YB Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili, has proposed 22 recommendations to be adopted by the EC. This hardly covered 20% of our proposals and are mainly non-substantive in nature. You have to read in between the lines to understand how the PSC has merely skirted some key issues that would have made elections fairer. We note that over the years, the electoral process has been skewed towards ensuring the Barisan Nasional win by at least a simple majority. This explains why BN has been in power for 55 years. Any ordinary working man would have to retire by this age.

    2. What is disappointing is that even with such a small number of proposals, the EC has only deigned to adopt half of them.

    3. The PSC has not given opportunity to the Pakatan Rakyat MPs in the committee to put up a minority report on their proposals, nor did Parliament consider it although precedence exists in other countries for its acceptance.

    4. Parliament then rammed through the PSC report without giving any of the MPs a chance to debate it. Surely this cannot be the openness that the Prime Minister promised the Rakyat. By remaining silent, the Prime Minister has demonstrated his lack of political will for reform of the electoral process.

    5. The Barisan Nasional Government should not ignore the Rakyat’s strong desire for Free and Fair Elections in such a cavalier manner as this can be the trigger for more agitation and public unrest with unforeseen consequences. Tindak Malaysia warns that any clash with the Rakyat would eventually spell doom to the BN Government. The clock is ticking away. With bigger clampdowns, the Rakyat will surely not allow this government to continue ruling the nation. The Prime Minister should realise that he has no one to blame but himself, should the Rakyat choose to take on the government of the day.


    UNRESOLVED ISSUES

    6. Among the unresolved matters that the Parliamentary Select Committee had failed to address include:

    (a) The cleaning of electoral roll. Over the years, there had been hundreds of thousands of objections over suspicious voters. Such large numbers cannot be attributed to clerical error alone. It indicates a systemic problem that goes to the root of the integrity of the EC. Instead of encouraging the public to assist the EC in cleaning up the rolls, the EC place financial and administrative barriers to prevent the public from objecting such as:

    i. Charging RM 10 per objection,
    ii. An elector can only object concerning his own constituency only,
    iii. 20 objectors per elector,
    iv. 14 days period for objection,
    v. Just one objection can freeze the gazetting for the whole constituency affected.vi. RM 44,000 to buy the electoral role for the whole country.

    (b) The failure to address the issue of blatant malapportionment: Based on the 2008 General Elections, Kapar has 17 times the voters for Putrajaya. By any standard, this is ridiculous! Although the Election Commission had agreed, as early as May last year, to re-delineate the boundaries of constituencies to reflect the number of voters, such exercise was never carried out. When the Election Commission, after 10 months of inaction, claimed that it did not have the resources to carry out the necessary redelineation, we offered to carry out the delineation exercise with the help of qualified geographers within six months, with a budget equivalent to that expended by the Election Commission in 2003. Despite the offer, the PSC has apparently failed to address this issue.

    (c) Based on GE12 in 2008, of the 139 smallest seats, BN was able to win 112 seats for a simple majority with just 2.06 million voters (18.9% out of 10.9 million voter population!) to decide who controlled Putrajaya. It was these 2.06 million who decided the future of the nation for the next 5 years! Is this fair?



    (d) The PSC has failed to address the number of postal voters for the entire police and the military force, instead, it extended the same privilege to media personnel and SPR staff on duty during polling day. Why not candidates, election agents and their polling agents? They are also on duty! The number of postal voters should be minimized in view of the widespread suspicion that postal voters are used to give an advantage to BN and is even used like the Joker in a pack of cards, being sent arbitrarily to critical constituencies at the last minute! As far as possible, only Advance Voting in established regional polling centres should be used.

    OUR DEMANDS

    7. As peace-loving citizens, seeking to uphold the constitutional monarchy and the country’s democracy, we urge Najib Tun Razak to sack the current Election Commission, hold back the next General Election and IMMEDIATELY address the fundamental issues surrounding the electoral process. The make-up of the Election Commission should not include any current or ex-civil servants, members of political parties or ex-staff of any establishment seen to be aligned with any political party.

    8. Royal Commission of Inquiry on the National Registration Department citizen database to establish who and how citizenship had been granted since 1985, especially in Sabah.

    9. Among the areas that we are seeking an unequivocal commitment from the Election Commission are:

    (a) The cleaning of the electoral roll with the help of the National Registration Department and civil society groups that are interested and active in election monitoring and reform, appointed to act as watch dogs to ensure that we have a clean electoral roll before the coming General Election
    (b) The use of indelible ink for postal voters to be properly gazetted.
    (c) There is no reason for an increase in EC clerical staff from 140,000 to 240,000. In fact, it should be reduced! An additional 100,000 EC part-time staff would give rise to opportunities for more cheating using postal votes. Tindak Malaysia, in Johor Bahru, proposed a simpler layout to avoid inadvertent smudging of the ballot paper by the voter during. The voter’s finger is marked after voter. Appropriate amendments to the Election Offences Act were proposed. The number of Kerani SPR remains unchanged at 3.

    In fact, we believe Kerani 2 can be omitted by adjusting the layout. Work of Kerani 2 and 3 be undertaken by Kerani 3 alone! That can reduce costs of the Kerani by 1/3! We recommend a trial run by the EC and Tindak Malaysia to verify this.


    (d) Postal voters should be restricted to only a small number of police, military personnel who have to be on duty during polling day, as well as for all overseas Malaysians. The overseas postal votes should be sent to Malaysian embassies with one per continent acting as Regional Tallying and Counting Centres. All other absent and postal voters should vote through Advance Voting.
    (e) Uniformity of number of voters per constituency with a more thorough re-delineation exercise being carried out by both the Election Commission and civil societies.
    (f) Automatic voter registration upon reaching the age of 21 years of age. Existing citizens where there is no question of their citizenship eligibility, should also be automatically registered.
    (g) Minority report of the PSC to be tabled to allow the members of parliament to debate the issues raised by members of the committee whose views have not been adopted into the official PSC report.

    10. Response of the PSC to Presenters of the Public Hearings

    Malaysians have invested thousands of man-hours drawing on their experience and expertise to help the PSC in making submissions and proposals on how to reform the electoral system. The PSC owes it to these public-spirited Malaysians the courtesy of explaining to them why their proposals were not accepted and to give them a chance to argue their case. The current process of receiving proposals appear merely as a public relations exercise and does not indicate that the PSC is serious in considering the views of the public. We urge the PSC to re-examine our submissions. Many solutions are offered there.
    py

  2. #2
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    6th Apr 2012 Friday

    PRESS STATEMENT (#9): FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


    POINT-BY-POINT REBUTTAL BY TINDAK MALAYSIA TO THE PSC REPORT ON ELECTORAL REFORM – PART 1 !

    Head of Tindak Malaysia, Wong Piang Yow (for the Chinese press, 黄炳耀) today commented on the report submitted by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Electoral Reform to Parliament on 3rd Apr 2012.

    We are deeply concerned with the shallow treatment by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Electoral Reform to the flaws in the electoral system. In this press release, we will address Bahagian II (Part II page 7 onwards) of the PSC’s report – Laporan Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Berhubung Dengan Penambahbaikan Proses Pilihan Raya (PSC Report), submitted to Parliament on 3rd Apr 2012.

    (2)(A) Pengundian Awal (Advance Voting): The EC is drafting the necessary amendments to the Regulations
    Recommendation: This should cover all postal and absent voters except for the following categories of voters who may not be able to vote through Advance Polling:

    1. A naval officer who is offshore.
    2. Army personnel guarding the borders.
    3. Air force officer in the air.
    4. Malaysians voters overseas who are issued a postal ballot.
    5. An additional category to cover those who are hospitalised under long-term medical care or incapacitated or unable to move about even with wheel-chairs, or old voters in nursing homes.


    The numbers who cannot vote under Advance Voting and given Postal Votes should be very minimal, unless they are overseas. Indelible ink should be applied to Advance Voters.

    (2)(B) Advance voting for doctors, nurses and journalists: We are very surprised that the PSC has proposed this. Under what regulation is this proviso made? If anything, it is more critical that Advance voting is offered to the Election Candidate and his team.
    Recommendation: If the PSC insists on providing for doctors, nurses and journalists, it should be optional and only applicable for those on duty during polling day and if they are outstation. Those who are serving in the same constituency as their voting locality, can be given time off just like any voter.

    Advance voting to be given to Election Candidates, Election Agents and all the agents that are recognized under the Election Laws and Regulations as part of an election campaign team, as their roles are critical during elections. They are candidate representatives in the Enforcement team, polling agents, counting agents and booth observers. Indelible ink is applicable.

    (3) Expand overseas absent voter category to cover all Malaysians who qualify: The EC does not agree to this giving the excuse of logistics and practical problems for the operations to be conducted in Malaysian embassies.
    Recommendation: This excuse does not hold. If the EC is not competent to carry out this work, civil society can undertake it with adequate funding from the Government.

    (4) Distance Voters (Pengundi Luar Kawasan): The EC has not considered having this for PRU 13 because it affects Article 119 of the Federal Constitution concerning the issue of “residency” which is specified as one of the criteria as a voter.
    Recommendation: Regulation 3(c) of the Postal Voters Regulations defines a member of the police force as a postal voter. The EC has decided that the police is to be given Advance Voting. Regulations (3)(f) empowers the EC to designate a member of any category of persons as postal voters from time to time by notification in the Gazette. Any proviso that the EC uses to allow doctors to be Advance Voters, can be used for Distance Voters.

    (6)(A) Cleaning up of the electoral roll: The EC has been continuously from time to time conducting cleaning up of the electoral rolls following the relevant laws and have received cooperation from the National Registration Department (NRD), Police and Armed Forces and other responsible parties.
    Recommendations: It is obvious that the EC’s “continuous” efforts are not good enough. This role should be taken from them and given to an independent body staffed by reputable members of the public whose selection are conducted in public hearings with participation from professional bodies and NGO’s involved in election monitoring or reform.

    (6)(B) Co-operation with MIMOS to help in cleaning up the electoral roll.
    Recommendation: The fact that MIMOS has overlooked thousands of discrepancies and does not even have the ability to institute a more rigorous screen for dubious voters, indicates that they are not up to the job and should not be considered. In any case, any Government-linked company is suspect as there is a conflict of interest. This exercise should be conducted by professional audit firms selected through public hearings with participation from professional bodies and NGO’s involved in election monitoring or reform.

    (6)(C) Revalidate Sabah electoral roll: The EC does not propose to revalidate the Sabah electoral roll.
    Recommendation: This problem has been festering for more than 25 years! And yet the EC choose to ignore it. However, we are not surprised as there is suspicion about their culpability. Take this duty from their responsibility and investigate the EC also.

    (6)(D) Set up a RCI to investigate the charge that foreigners have been given citizenship and registered as electors, especially in Sabah: The EC does not have the power to set up an RCI but they are ready to co-operate if such an RCI is formed.
    Recommendation: Set up the Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the electoral roll and the EC’s role in this. This is a very serious matter and participants in this crime may be guilty of treason!

    (7) Display of Supplementary Electoral Roll:
    (A) Extend display period to 14 days: EC agrees.
    Recommendation: We are puzzled why a supposedly independent body like the EC, does not agree to extend the display period for objection to 30 days. Surely, given the fact that they have been so careless in making so many mistakes, they would be more than keen to co-opt public help to ensure the electoral rolls are clean. Such behaviour gives rise to suspicions about their motives and cannot be helpful in regaining public confidence. We strongly recommend that the EC display more willingness to co-operate with the Rakyat who are their ultimate paymasters. Extend the display period to 30 days.

    Furthermore, gazetting of the Supplementary Electoral Roll should not be held hostage to an objection by any elector. The names that are objected to, can be kept aside for inclusion in the next Supplementary Electoral Roll, after resolution in a public hearing by the Adjudicator.

    (B) Cancel RM 10 objection fee: The EC does not agree to the cancellation.
    Recommendation: Again this raises questions about the EC’s motives. The EC should encourage the public to help them in ensuring a clean electoral roll. This is a very important way to gain public confidence. By placing financial obstacles towards legitimate objections, the public will be suspicious of the EC, more so when their reputation in the public eyes is at such a low ebb. Cancel this fee!

    (C) Cancel upper limit that an individual can object to: The EC agreed to raise it from 10 to 20.
    Recommendation: The EC’s motives are suspect. Why should there even be a question about this? Encourage the public to help the EC to maintain a clean electoral roll. Remove the limit.


    (D) Objections to the Principle Electoral Roll: The EC does not agree to this.
    Recommendation: The issue is the integrity of the Electoral Roll. With so many hundreds of thousands of objections to the electoral roll and the glaring errors that have cropped up, we are appalled that the EC has the temerity to disagree. If they had any decency, they should apologize for their incompetence and resign! Open up the Principle Electoral Roll to objections!

    In our next Press Release, we will address point 8 onwards which deals with election campaign issues.

    Tindak Malaysia is a civil society movement to promote Free and Fair Elections through voter education. Recently, together with Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee, it submitted a list of proposed amendments to the electoral laws and regulations to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform.


    For more information about this press statement, contact Wong Piang Yow 012-2149322.

    Above press release was picked up by Malaysiakini and published in full:

    http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/194302
    py

  3. #3
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    6th Apr 2012 Friday
    PRESS STATEMENT (#10): FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    POINT-BY-POINT REBUTTAL BY TINDAK MALAYSIA TO THE PSC REPORT ON ELECTORAL REFORM – PART 2 !

    Head of Tindak Malaysia, Wong Piang Yow (for the Chinese press, 黄炳耀) today commented on the report submitted by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Electoral Reform to Parliament on 3rd Apr 2012.

    In this press release, we will continue with our address on Bahagian II (Part II page 13 onwards) of the PSC’s report – Laporan Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Berhubung Dengan Penambahbaikan Proses Pilihan Raya (PSC Report), submitted to Parliament on 3rd Apr 2012.

    ( Transparency of voting process
    (A) Ballot serial number:
    (a) EC decided to maintain serial numbers for the following reasons:
    (i) record issue of ballot paper during issuance; and
    (ii) provide traceability in the event that there is more ballot paper in the ballot box during the counting process.

    (b) In this matter, secrecy of voting is guaranteed as ballot papers are issued without recording the voter number in the electoral roll that is used. Other than this, the serial number is unique and allocated for one stream only. As such, entry of other ballot paper to the stream referred to is fully controlled.

    Present procedures will be maintained.


    TM Response:

    We agree with the retention of serial numbers as it is an important form of control. However, the other processes which are not mentioned here but stipulated in the Election Offences Act (EOA) and the Conduct of Elections Regulations, have given rise to numerous problems in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

    Our concerns:

    (a)(ii) provide traceability in the event that there is more ballot paper in the ballot box during the counting process.

    We agree with the EC that serial numbers on the ballot paper is very important. In fact, during polling, the serial numbers are recorded by the Presiding Officer on “Form 13 – Ballot Paper Statement” – see Appendix 1.

    Question I: Since serial numbers are so important for control and for counting, why does the Regulation not stipulate that a copy of Form 13 be issued to the polling agent by the Presiding Officer? Surely an election process that is claimed to be fair, should provide for that.

    Question II: As the purpose of serial numbers is to provide traceability in the event that there is more ballot paper in the ballot box, why is it that the Third Schedule of the Conduct of Elections (COE) which specifically provides for the procedure to be followed in the event of excess ballot paper, allow check for perforation of the ballot paper but ignore the serial numbers completely. In fact, the procedure is very specific – the presiding officer is directed to proceed with counting once checking of the perforation is carried out, even though there are excess ballot papers! See Appendix 2, paragraph 3

    Solution: The COE Third Schedule should be deleted as it gives rise to a lot of confusion and dispute.

    Serialization: Ballot papers should be arranged by serial numbers to weed out ballot papers with serial numbers that do not comply with Form 13, before counting commence.

    (b) In this matter, secrecy of voting is guaranteed as ballot papers are issued without recording the voter number in the electoral roll that is used”…. is false!

    The current procedure does not comply with EOA Section 5 – Maintenance of secrecy at elections.

    When ballot papers are issued from the top of the ballot booklet sequentially, it is possible to match the serial numbers with the voter identity (as reflected in the “BIL” on the left column of the electoral roll – see Appendix 3).
    Eg. If the first ballot paper is issued to voter with BIL 5 his identity is known.
    If the second ballot paper is issued to voter with BIL 13 again his identity is known. By using this procedure, the EC has violated Section 5 of the EOA!

    Solution:
    During the PSC Hearing in Kota Kinabalu on 9th Dec 2011, we suggested randomizing the issue of the ballot paper, which we have tested successfully with thousands of people.

    Tear 5 or 10 ballot papers, place it face down in a tray and allow the voter to choose at random. Secrecy is guaranteed and the voter can be very confident about the process. The PSC Deputy Chairman was so enthusiastic that he even suggested tearing the whole book (50 ballots). Apparently, this seems to have been forgotten.

    Question III. If the secrecy of voting is guaranteed as claimed by the EC, can the EC please explain how EOA Section 40. Votes to be struck off at a scrutiny…. be enforced? It can only be carried out if the identity of the voter can be matched with the ballot paper? See Appendix 4

    Recommendation: Section 40 can be applicable to a special problem – the large number of dubious voters who have been given citizenship under suspicious circumstances. Provision should be made in the Conduct of Elections Regulations for the votes of suspect voters to be quarantined, excluded from counting and examined in court before they are admitted. This interim procedure is necessary until such time as the EC has cleaned up its electoral roll and a Royal Commission of Inquiry has investigated the National Registration Department database of citizens. This is a matter of major national security!

    The BN charged Bersih 2.0 with complete disregard of EC’s positive response in adopting some of the Bersih 2.0-endorsed recommendations made by the PSC and that proved the allegation that the April 28 demonstration was made even before the report was produced.

    BERSIH 2.0 and Tindak Malaysia, on 21st Mar 2012 submitted to the PSC 80 proposals on improvements to the Election Laws and Regulations, three new regulations on Advance Voting, Distance Voting, and an alternative Postal Polling proposal by MyOverseasVote for overseas Malaysians. Not only that, we even drafted the laws and regulations itself to accommodate our proposals so that the PSC can table it speedily after vetting by the AG Chambers. Of the 80 proposals made by us, we found less than 5% of that was adopted. Of the three new regulations, only one Advance Voting has been accepted in principle but we don’t know it’s scope but we don’t expect it to cover Overseas Malaysians, other than those currently provided for. (See Press Release 4 at the end of this article.)

    So far, specific regulations on how advance voting will be conducted by the EC has not been disclosed. Given the fact that the PSC have been in operation for more than 5 months with active participation by the EC and that BERSIH 2.0/Tindak Malaysia could draft their version of the Advance Voting Regulations in just 3 weeks, it appears that the failure to draft such regulations and to disclose its details give very little confidence in the sincerity or commitment of the EC to fair elections. There appears to be no good reason why the EC should object to advance voting for service voters or for distance voting. The excuse for not being able to provide logistics for distance voting is lame as it will only require setting up advance polling centres in each city of each state during the elections. Does the EC need help from civil society to conduct elections on their behalf?

    The dismissive approach by the EC, to implement distance voting, shows total disregard for voting rights of thousands of East Malaysians working in West Malaysia and West Malaysians working in East Malaysia.

    When we received the PSC Report, both BERSIH 2.0 and Tindak Malaysia immediately studied it in detail with our lawyers and were very dismayed with the recommendations. By 4th Apr 2012, both BERSIH 2.0 and Tindak Malaysia had issued Press Releases expressing our disappointment with the recommendations of the PSC. Therefore it cannot be claimed that BERSIH 2.0 was hasty in their decision to proceed with the April 28 sit-in at Dataran Merdeka. After so many months of waiting and active engagement with the PSC, the report that the PSC has produced is grossly inadequate. Hence, providing more time for the EC to study the PSC Report, will not increase the number of recommendations. If anything, it will be reduced. BERSIH 2.0 therefore cannot be faulted for losing patience.

    In our next Press Release, we will address point 8B. It will be clear as we proceed that the PSC and the EC have been very lax in their consideration of the public’s proposals.

    Tindak Malaysia is a civil society movement to promote Free and Fair Elections through voter education. On 21st Mar 2012, together with Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee, it submitted a list of proposed amendments to the electoral laws and regulations to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform. Although not funded by any political parties or individuals, trainers from Tindak Malaysia have travelled throughout the country to conduct voters’ education. To attend the next voters’ education, click on https://sites.google.com/site/pacabatraining/

    For more information about this press statement, contact Wong Piang Yow 012-2149322 or email pywong@tindakmalaysia.com. Earlier versions of the press release can be viewed at http://www.tindakmalaysia.com/forums/139-Press-Release or www.tindakmalaysia.com (Press Release)

    APPENDICES AND PRESS RELEASE #4 BELOW

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    APPENDIX 2
    THIRD SCHEDULE: ELECTIONS (CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS) REGULATIONS 1981 [ Subregulation 25(5) ]

    PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED IF THE NUMBER OF BALLOT PAPERS FOUND IN A BALLOT BOX EXCEEDS THE NUMBER STATED TO BE THEREIN ACCORDING TO FORM 13

    1. The presiding officer shall in the presence of each candidate or his election agents or counting agent cause the packet affixed with security tape referred to in paragraph 24(1)(d) to be opened and shall, by comparison of the number of unused and spoilt ballot papers with the number of ballot papers originally issued to such polling station, confirm the statement in Form 13. If it appears that an error has been made in the completion of Form 13, and if the presiding officer is satisfied that the number of ballot papers in the ballot box does not exceed the number of ballot papers duly issued at the polling station he shall order the counting of votes to proceed and shall reaffix security tape to the packet.
    2. If after completing the process described in paragraph 1 of this Schedule it appears to the presiding officer that there are more ballot papers in the ballot box than there were ballot papers issued at the polling station, the presiding officer or the persons authorized by him shall, in the presence of each candidate or his election agent or counting agent inspect the perforation, the initial or the official mark of the presiding officer concerned on the ballot papers one by one and shall extract any ballot paper which is not perforated, initialled or does not bear the official mark of the presiding officer concerned or which is perforated, initialled or marked otherwise.
    3. When the presiding officer has extracted the ballot papers in accordance with paragraph 2 of this Schedule, he shall order the counting of votes to proceed.
    4. The ballot papers extracted by the presiding officer shall be placed in a packet which shall then be affixed with security tape and the security tape shall be signed by the presiding officer and by each candidate or his election agent or counting agent who is present and who desires to sign on the security tape and forwarded as soon as practicable to the Election Commission may open the packet and may cause such enquiry to be made as it deems fit. The Election Commission shall retain the extracted ballot papers for a period of six months and shall then cause them to be destroyed unless otherwise directed by a Judge of the High Court.
    Dated 3 December 1981
    [SPR(S) 72/Jld.11; PN(PUU) 178c/Pt.IX]
    By direction of the Election Commission
    ABDUL RASHID BIN HAJI ABDUL RAHMAN
    Secretary,
    Election Commission,
    Malaysia

    *****************************END****************** **********

    APPENDIX 3

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    APPENDIX 4
    ELECTION OFFENCES ACT 1954 (ACT 5)
    40. Votes to be struck off at a scrutiny.

    (1) On a scrutiny at the trial of an election petition the following votes only shall be struck off:
    (a) the vote of any person whose name was not on the register or list of electors assigned to the polling station at which the vote was recorded or who has not been authorized to vote at such station;
    (b) the vote of any person whose vote was procured by bribery, treating, or undue influence;
    (c) the vote of any person who committed or procured the commission of personation at the election;
    (d) where the election was an ordinary election, the vote of any person proved to have voted at such ordinary election in more than one constituency or electoral ward;
    (e) the vote of any person, who, by reason of a conviction of a corrupt or illegal practice or by reason of the report of an Election Judge, or the Registrar of the Federal Court or by reason of his conviction of an offence under section 3 was incapable of voting at the election; and
    [Am. Act A11770]
    (f) votes given for a disqualified candidate by a voter knowing that the candidate was disqualified or the facts causing the disqualification, or after sufficient public notice of the disqualification, or when the disqualification or the facts causing it were notorious.
    (2) The vote of a registered elector shall not, except in the case specified in subsection (1) (e), be struck off at a scrutiny by reason only of the voter not having been or not being qualified to have his name entered on the register or list of electors.
    (3) [Deleted by Act A1177]
    ************************ END*************************

    PRESS RELEASE NO. 4 DATED 21ST Mar 2012



    BERSIH 2.0 AND TINDAK MALAYSIA:
    PROPOSED REFORMS TO THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Kuala Lumpur, March 21, 2012 (Wednesday) – Bersih 2.0, a coalition on free and fair elections, and Tindak Malaysia, an election reform movement, submits a second memorandum to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms (PSC). This is a follow-up to our first memorandum submitted on March 6, 2012.

    Our first memorandum covered 18 Proposed Amendments to the Election Acts, namely:

    Elections Act 1958 (5 amendments) - EA
    Election Offences Act 1954 (10 amendments) - EOA
    Election Commission Act 1957 (3 amendments) - ECA

    For completeness, we are including them in this submission also. Further amendments have been made to reconcile them with proposed amendments to the Regulations.

    This round we are proposing amendments to the Election Regulations, namely:

    Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981 - COE
    Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002 - ROE
    Elections (Postal Voting) Regulations 2003 - PV
    Elections (Postal Voting) Regulations 2003 by MyOverseasVote UK.

    We are also proposing to create of three new regulations for consideration by the PSC

    Elections (Advance Voting) Regulations 2012 - AV,
    Elections (Distance Voting) Regulations, 2012 – DV.

    We wish to point out that there is considerable overlap between the 2 new proposals (AV & DV) and the proposed amendment to Postal Voting by MyOverseasVote UK. Further discussions with the PSC and the EC are required to decide which proposal is best and most practical.



    We have identified many weaknesses in the Election Regulations that need to be tightened up to create an environment for:

    • Free and Fair Elections
    • A transparent electoral process
    • Greater public confidence in the Election Commission as provided for in the Federal Constitution.


    Overview of Proposed Changes

    1. To ensure the electoral list is free from phantom voters and is independently maintained:
    Appointment of Registrars after nomination by professional bodies and civil societies. EA Section 8

    2. To ensure election campaigns are fair:
    Appointment of Returning officers and enforcement officers after nomination by professional bodies and civil societies. EA Section 3

    3.To ensure that polling day is conducted fairly and independently:
    Appointment of half of presiding officers after nomination by Bar council in consultation with professional bodies and civil societies. COE Regulation 12

    4. Enable all Malaysians to vote:
    Automatic registration upon citizen reaching 21– ROE Regulation 2.

    To allow 1 million Malaysians working overseas postal votes , currently disenfranchised.

    Malaysians working in other states and cannot return to their home states to vote. For example : Almost 200,000 East Malaysians working in W Malaysia are disenfranchised to work as they are working in W Malaysia. Many cannot afford to return and neither is there enough flights to enable them all to go back to vote.

    5. More transparent elections (not secretive and open to abuse):
    Advanced voting for all service personnel ie army, police etc

    6. Reduce fraud during voting:
    Voting procedures have been improved for greater transparency and accountability.
    Form 13 and 14 (tally sheets) have to be signed by presiding officers and agents
    Ballots are counting according to serialised numbers.
    Use of indelible ink to prevent double voting
    Restrict documents of identification to safer NRD identification with photo. And to forbid use of driving license and haj cards.


    7. Help for small parties and independent candidates:
    To provide a more level playing field for the small parties and independent candidates, we propose:

    1. a minimum campaign period of 30 to allow them to stretch their resources,
    2. Ban on advertising in private mainstream media,
    3. Govt media to be shared proportionately among all parties


    30 day campaign period will allow all postal votes to be returned in good time.

    8. Malapportionment:
    We also wish to address the serious issue of gross seat disparity. Based on the GE 12 electoral roll, Kapar Parliamentary Constituency, for example, has 17 times the number of voters compared to the smallest seat, Putrajaya Parliamentary Constituency. The Election Commission Chairman has claimed that he does not have the resources to conduct a redelineation exercise, which constitutionally, he could have done after Mar 2011. To come up one year later with such a weak excuse is very disappointing. If they had been serious, they could have completed it by Dec 2011.

    To help the Election Commission, BERSIH 2.0 and Tindak Malaysia is ready to conduct a nationwide redelineation exercise, provided all the necessary mapping and population information is made available to us. We can do this in 6 months upon receipt of such information and according to the budget expended by the Election Commission during their last redelineation exercise in 2003.

    Attached is a sample of our work for Selangor. It has to be refined to take into consideration administrative boundaries such as local councils and geographical factors. The point is, it is not that difficult given the political will to do it.

    If Parliament is not dissolved before Mar 2013, it will be possible to use the new boundaries for the next General Elections.

    Is the Government and the Election Commission prepared to take up our challenge? We hope for the sake of the nation, they will.

    Conclusion:
    We note that things at the EC have got much worse after our rally on 9th Jul 2011. There are hundreds of thousands of suspicious voters added to the electoral roll. We have serious concerns about the competence and impartiality of the EC and wish to put them on notice that if we don’t see a dramatic improvement in their performance, we may be forced to consider more drastic measures to put our points across.

    In line with our proposals for more active participation by the people in the electoral process, we call for volunteers to be trained as Returning Officers and Presiding Officers.

    Recommendations:

    • RCI on the National Registration Dept to investigate how citizenship has been granted since 1985.
    • RCI on the Election Commission and how the Electoral Roll was prepared since 1985
    • Future appointment of Election Commission should be drawn from civil society and exclude current or previous members of the civil service, GLC employees, political parties
    • Election Commission to make provision for citizens with disabilities or senior citizens in nursing homes to vote at their residence.


    BERSIH 2.0 Tindak Malaysia
    Dato Ambiga Sreenevasan Wong Piang Yow
    Co-Chairperson Founder

    Contact for more details:

    13, Lorong 4/48E, 46050 Petaling Jaya
    Selangor, Malaysia
    Tel: +603 77723275
    Fax: +603 77844978
    Email: info@bersih.org
    URL: www.bersih.org


    SCHEDULE A
    Elections Act [EA]

    1. S3(2): Appointment of officers from members of professional bodies and independent civil societies involved in electoral reform, instead of from civil service and are not members of political parties. Apply to Secretary, State Election Officers, Returning Officers and their deputies and assistants.
    2. S4: Technical Advisor
    3. S8(1A) Appointment of officers from public instead of from civil service and are not members of political parties. Apply to all categories of Registrars & Adjudicating Officer. Nominated by professional bodies and independent civil societies involved in electoral reform.
    4. S9A. Electoral roll can be challenged in court.


    Election Offences Act [EOA]

    1. S2. Approved company auditor to audit election expenses.
    2. Counting Agent & polling agent operating overseas.
    3. S3(p). offence to shift electors without consent of elector.
    4. S3(q). Indelible ink procedure.
    5. S4. Offences by Election Officers: Immediate suspension by EC for breach upon complaint.
    6. S5(. Communication among candidates and his agents is permitted.
    7. S6(5), S11(4), S27(3). Offences against this part. Public Prosecutor to report within 8 weeks to the EC and complainant on status of complaints.
    8. S19. Campaign expenses to include political party expenses. Campaign limit raised to RM600,000 for Dewan Rakyat and RM300,000 for Legislative Assembly.
    9. S24B. Candidate or agent not required to apply for police permit for ceramah. Only give prior notice.
    10. S24B (6A). Free advertising and air-time for all candidates on government media in proportion to number of candidates standing.
    11. S24B (6B). To help the smaller parties and independent candidates, election campaign material does not include advertising in private MSM.
    12. 25A. Employers to grant unpaid leave to staff to help in election campaign.
    13. 26A(1). Booths shifted outside of polling centre at the gate.
    14. 26A(1A). Equip with MyKad reader to verify status of electors.
    15. 26A (1B). Voters and doubtful ones without MyKad have to produce a photo for Form 11.
    16. S26A (4) and (5). Increase no. of booth observers and equipment allowed in.
    17. S41. Rejection of ballot paper by RO is not final


    Conduct of Elections [COE]

    1. R2: EC not to have power to decide on status of political party,
    2. R3: Polling day extended to 30 days after nomination day
    3. R4: Deposit of Parliamentary candidate reduced to RM 5,000 and State Assemblyman reduced to RM 2,000 to make it more affordable for the Rakyat to contest.
    4. R5: Candidates can challenge RO’s decision on nomination papers.
    5. R6. Nomination day extended to 2 days plus 1 hour on 3rd day.
    6. R7(5). Objection to nomination papers. Returning Officer’s decision subject to court challenge.
    7. R12(2A) Appointment of presiding officers: From the public who are not members of political parties or members of any of the public services and nominated by professional bodies and independent civil societies involved in electoral reform.
    8. R12A. Appointment of other officers and staff. Non civil-service or office bearers of political parties.
    9. R13. Facilities at polling centres and stations. Layout to be prescribed by EC. Candidates and agents allowed to bring mobile devices, recording devices and computers into the centres.
    10. R13(4) Election shall not be questioned for non-compliance with provisions of paragraph 3 is deleted.
    11. R14A. RO shall issue complete set of electoral roll to candidates including absentee voters at time of last gazette.
    12. R14A(3) Advance voters list to be issued not later than 7 days before polling day. Apply to SPR staff and candidates/agents only.
    13. R15(1). Admittance to polling station. RO authority to issue voting letter is deleted.
    14. R18A. Check receipt of ballot papers, fill Form 13A, sign and make a copy for the candidate/agents.
    15. R19(5A & 5B). Randomization of ballot papers.
    16. R19. Copy of Form 10 to be extended to candidate/agents.
    17. R20(1A) Form 11 require photo of voter.
    18. R20(1B). Voter must prove identity. Current practice: A voter in purdah only need to fill Form 11 without showing face as per EC Buku Panduan for ejen tempat mengundi.
    19. R23. All polling stations in Malaysia shall have the same closing time.
    20. R24. Close of poll: Form 13B. Presiding officer shall issue a copy to candidate/agent. All counterfoil of ballot paper and voter roll shall be inspected to ensure no marking to match voter with ballot paper.
    21. R24(2) Counting immediately – deleted. Presiding Officer shall provide facilities for candidate/agent to accompany ballot box.
    22. R24(3) Failure by PO to comply is an offence.


    R25. Counting of votes by presiding officer.

    1. R25(1)(b). PO cannot block counting agent whose name and address has been notified.
    2. R25(2A) EC members cannot interfere in the proceedings.
    3. R25(3) Serialization of ballots before counting to eliminate unqualified ballot papers not complying with serial nos shown in Form 13B.
    4. R25(5) Third Schedule deleted.
    5. R25(7) Ballot paper without serial nos shown in Part B of Form 13B shall be rejected.
    6. R25( Validity of ballot paper dictated by Second Schedule.
    7. R25(12) Form 14 and 14A shall be issued by PO to candidates/agents.
    8. R25(14) recount by PO once only.
    9. R25A. Refer to Forms 13A and 13B.
    10. R25(4) For transport by air or water, PO shall arrange appropriate facilities for candidate/agents to accompany the boxes.
    11. R25D(3). EC members shall not interfere.
    12. R25D(5). Form 16 to be backed with a tally sheet. To be signed by candidate/election agents as well as PO. PO to prepare signed copy for candidate/election agents.
    13. R25D(5A). Recount of Tally sheet obligatory for PO if requested by candidate or his agent with due cause.
    14. R25E(1). Disposal of ballot papers within 60 days of expiry of holding period. Seals may be signed by candidate/agents including using own security seal.


    Registration of Electors [ROE]

    1. R2. Absent voter includes (g) overseas Malaysians, (h) Sabah and Sarawak electors residing in West Malaysia, (i) West Malaysians residing in East Malaysia.
    2. R5. Automatic voter registration.
    3. R6(3). Procedure for correcting clerical errors to prevent abuse.
    4. R10 (1A) & (1B) Principal electoral roll shall include all details in NRD ID, military ID, Police ID or other official ID for same elector. Postal or absent voters shall have their names crossed out in the principal electoral roll and shown separately in a postal/absent voter roll.
    5. R10(2) Supplementary electoral roll to be issued every 2 months.
    6. R12. Transfer of registration every 2 months.
    7. R12(1)(b) Elector can choose any locality within same State Constituency
    8. R13. Objection period extended to 30 days
    9. R13(5A) Electors who are shifted out of their original locality shall be informed by post.
    10. R15. Objection to supplementary electoral roll – any elector can object and no limit to number of electors objected against.
    11. R15(4) No objection fee to be levied.
    12. R17(3)(c) & (d) Penalty to be applied to EC officers guilty of mal-allocation of electors. Electors who are inconvenienced by such malpractice to be compensated RM 200.
    13. R20(4). Decision on appeal by Adjudication Officer can be challenged in court.
    14. R25. Chief Registrar may correct clerical errors subject to public scrutiny.
    15. R25(6). Changes to the roll shall be published for public scrutiny and objection for 30 days.
    16. R28. Sale of electoral roll – make it affordable to the public to encourage the public to help verify integrity of the electoral roll.
    17. Form A modified for transfer of registration only.
    18. Form AA added for postal voting.


    Postal Voter [PV]

    1. 3A. Only armed forces at the border and navy personnel at sea are considered as postal voters.
    2. R12. EC shall provide adequate campaign period for postal voters to reach the voter and come back.
    3. R13. Envelopes received after 5pm on polling day shall be rejected.
    4. R18. More than 1 ballot paper in envelope. Both reject.
    5. R20. RO shall make copies of all forms to candidate/agents.


    Advance Voting [AV]:
    To cater for:
    Absentee voters: Military, All Malaysians overseas
    West Malaysians in East Malaysia,
    East Malaysians in West Malaysia
    Police
    (Note: MyOverseasVotes have proposed postal voting for all overseas Malaysians with embassies acting as regional Tally Centres. This is better than our proposal and we are happy to accept it.)

    Distance Voting [DV]:
    To cater for voters who are:
    Not overseas and 250 kilometres away from his constituency on polling day; and
    Not registered as a postal or advance voter.

    Postal Voting for Overseas Malaysians (proposed by MyOverseasVote UK)
    To cater for overseas Malaysians and Malaysian embassies to serve as Regional Tally Centres. Postal votes shall be posted to such centres and counted there.

    py

  4. #4
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    Tindak defends Bersih 3.0 as timely, not premature
    3:06PM Apr 7, 2012

    Voter education NGO Tindak Malaysia, which assisted Bersih in drafting its proposed election laws to the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on election reform, has denied that the latter jumped the gun in calling for another round of protest after the PSC report was released.

    “When we received the PSC report, both Bersih and Tindak Malaysia immediately studied it in detail with our lawyers and were very dismayed with the recommendations.

    “Therefore it cannot be claimed that Bersih was hasty in their decision to proceed wit the Apr 28 sit-in at Dataran Merdeka,” said Tindak Malaysia founder Wong Piang Yow (right).

    In a statement today, Wong said if Bersih waited for the Election Commission (EC) to study the PSC report, it is unlikely the commission will consider the recommendations.

    “Providing more time for the EC to study the PSC report will not increase the number of recommendations. If anything, it will be reduced,” he said.

    Therefore, Bersih cannot be faulted for losing patience, added Wong.

    Assertions in PSC report not true

    Meanwhile, Wong also addressed other issues in the PSC report:

    * Retention by EC the serial numbers of ballot papers is correct but should be put to use in identifying excess ballot papers. Current system relies on perforation but ignores serial numbers.

    * Assertion in PSC report that votes cast are secret under the current system is false as issuance of ballot papers according to sequence of serial numbers can be matched to sequence of identity card numbers for detection. Serial numbers should be randomised.

    * Assertion of logistic challenges to implement advance voting for services voters and distance (outstation) voters is unjustified as one centre is only required at each city of every state.

    The PSC was formed in August last year after tens of thousands of protestors thronged locked-down Kuala Lumpur in a rally dubbed ‘Bersih 2.0’ to demand for free and fair elections which saw 1,697 people being arrested.
    However, Bersih laments that most of its recommendations have been ignored in the PSC report and has called for a sit-in protest at Dataran Merdeka to demand the resignation of the EC.
    py

  5. #5
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    13,385
    Please refer to pdf attachment for pictures not shown here.

    8th Apr 2012 Sunday
    PRESS STATEMENT (#11): FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    POINT-BY-POINT REBUTTAL BY TINDAK MALAYSIA TO THE PSC REPORT ON ELECTORAL REFORM – PART 3 !

    Head of Tindak Malaysia, Wong Piang Yow (for the Chinese press, 黄炳耀) today commented on the report submitted by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Electoral Reform to Parliament on 3rd Apr 2012.

    In this press release, we will continue with our address on Bahagian II (Part 8B page 13) of the PSC’s report – Laporan Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Berhubung Dengan Penambahbaikan Proses Pilihan Raya (PSC Report), submitted to Parliament on 3rd Apr 2012.

    (8.)(B) Verifying Presence of Voters
    EC agree to change the layout of the polling station to demonstrate the transparency of the voting process and ensuring the secrecy of voting is protected. The EC has conducted a simulation in a location during the meeting of 29th Dec 2011 and the PSC has agreed to this layout. The arrangement is shown in Diagramme A.

    This is a classic case of making a bad situation worse. If the PSC can be fooled so easily by the EC on such a simple matter, how can we expect them to tackle larger issues, more so when we have already explained to them the problems and offered the solutions?
    Gambarajah 1 (refer to attachment 11.1 ) is the traditional layout. We explained to the PSC that it was difficult for the polling agents (EJEN) to observe the voters when KP1 verifies the identity of the voter. All we can see is the back of the voter.

    The second problem had to do with the ballot marking screen which was about two feet high. It was so high that the polling agent had no way of knowing what the voter was doing behind it.

    That may explain why occasionally, there are more ballots in the ballot box than accounted for by Form 13. Is it why there is a need for a bizarre procedure in the Third Schedule of the Conduct of Elections, whereby the Presiding Officer can commence counting even though there are more ballot papers in the ballot box than that shown in Form 13? In other words, ballot stuffing is sanctioned! Refer to attachment 11.2.


    During the PSC Hearing in Kuala Lumpur on 12th Nov 2011, we submitted a diagramme together with the joint proposal by BERSIH 2.0 and Tindak Malaysia. Refer to attachment 11.3.

    We proposed the following: the polling agents be seated beside KP1 to help in vetting the voter. KP1, 2 and 3 should be kept apart. Only KP1 will have a pencil., not KP2 nor KP3.
    Voting Counter Screen rotated to face the ballot box so the voter can be observed at all times.

    GAMBARAJAH A: Refer to attachment 11.4.
    On 3rd Apr 2012, the PSC in their final report came out with this diagramme which provides for marking with indelible ink. All they did was to transpose the position of the Petak Undi and the Ejen and claim that since the polling agent can observe the voter walking in, they have improved the transparency of the voting process. Not only that, they added a KP4 in the layout. That will cost the EC an extra RM 7 Million and add 30,000 postal voters to the system. What are these people thinking? This appears to be a devious scheme to increase the number of postal voters.

    Furthermore, it has been announced that the number of SPR staff will increase from 140,000 to 240,000. What is the cause of such a huge increase?
    Can we have a breakdown please?

    Another issue that we have raised repeatedly. All the staff are from the civil service. It’s like a football game where the referee and the linesmen come from one of the competing teams. Obviously, there is a serious conflict of interest.

    To make the elections fair, we have proposed that the Returning Officers and Presiding Officers should not be from the civil service. They should be selected from civil society. On top of that, the make-up of the EC staff should reflect the make-up of the community in the constituency.

    There have been countless complaints about the abuse of the postal voting system to favour Barisan National. Now the EC wants to increase the number and the PSC has the temerity to claim that this will increase the transparency of the voting process.

    We urge the PSC to be mindful of cost and not be misled by the EC’s schemes.

    Our proposed layout below allows the polling agents to carry out their duty to ensure polling is conducted freely and fairly, to protect the interests of the candidate and to prevent unauthorised persons from voting. We would have expected that the EC would be keen to facilitate that, which unfortunately, does not appear to be the case.

    The layout will avoid the extra cost of RM 7 Million that the EC is trying to incur.

    In fact, it is even possible to dispense with KP3 by co-opting the polling agents to ensure that voters mark their fingers before leaving the polling station. All it needs is for the Presiding Officer to supervise them. To reduce the pressure during polling, perforation of the ballot paper can be carried out before 8am. This will require an amendment to the Conduct of Elections Regulations Regulution 19 (6). That will save another RM 7 Million and reduce the number of postal voters as well, thus saving even more money as postal ballots are much more expensive to process compared with normal voting.

    The Election Offences Act need to be amended to accommodate this procedure:
    Add Section 3 ELECTORAL OFFENCES (1)(p) Any person who
    refuses to have his finger marked with indelible ink or fails to comply with the procedures relating to the use of indelible ink, shall be liable, on conviction, to an imprisonment not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding five thousand ringgit or to both…..

    In the appendices, we have added the relevant amendments to the laws and regulations that we have submitted to the PSC on 21st Mar 2012.

    Refer to attachment 11.5.

    Conclusion: Clearly the EC has been less than forthright in their dealings with the PSC and the PSC has been remiss in not consulting with civil society when we have so forthcoming in offering our help. Both should be censured for proposing such an inefficient layout that increase the cost and aggravate the problem of lack of transparency during voting.

    In our next Press Release, we will address point 8C onwards.

    Tindak Malaysia is a civil society movement to promote Free and Fair Elections through voter education. On 21st Mar 2012, together with Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee, it submitted a list of proposed amendments to the electoral laws and regulations to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform. Although not funded by any political parties or individuals, trainers from Tindak Malaysia have travelled throughout the country to conduct voters’ education. To attend the next voters’ education, click on https://sites.google.com/site/pacabatraining/

    For more information about this press statement, contact Wong Piang Yow 012-2149322 or email pywong@tindakmalaysia.com. Earlier versions of the press release can be viewed at http://www.tindakmalaysia.com/forums/139-Press-Release or www.tindakmalaysia.com (Press Release)

    *******************APPENDICES BELOW*****************
    Proposed Amendments to the Election Laws and Regulations submitted jointly by BERSIH 2.0 and Tindak Malaysia on 21st Mar 2012 to the PSC in Parliament House.
    Proposals relevant to this Press Release:
    Elections Act [EA]

    1. S3(2): Appointment of officers from members of professional bodies and independent civil societies involved in electoral reform, instead of from civil service and are not members of political parties. Apply to Secretary, State Election Officers, Returning Officers and their deputies and assistants.
    2. NA
    3. S8(1A) Appointment of officers from public instead of from civil service and are not members of political parties. Apply to all categories of Registrars & Adjudicating Officer. Nominated by professional bodies and independent civil societies involved in electoral reform.


    Election Offences Act [EOA]

    1. S3(q). Indelible ink procedure.


    Conduct of Elections [COE]

    1. NA
    2. NA
    3. NA
    4. NA
    5. NA
    6. NA
    7. R12(2A) Appointment of presiding officers: From the public who are not members of political parties or members of any of the public services and nominated by professional bodies and independent civil societies involved in electoral reform.
    8. R12A. Appointment of other officers and staff. Non civil-service or office bearers of political parties.
    9. R13. Facilities at polling centres and stations. Layout to be prescribed by EC. Candidates and agents allowed to bring mobile devices, recording devices and computers into the centres.
    10. NA
    11. NA
    12. R14A(3) Advance voters list to be issued not later than 7 days before polling day. Apply to SPR staff and candidates/agents only.
    13. R15(1). Admittance to polling station. RO authority to issue voting letter is deleted.


    1. R20(1B). Voter must prove identity. Current practice: A voter in purdah only need to fill Form 11 without showing face as per EC Buku Panduan for ejen tempat mengundi.


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    Attached Files Attached Files
    py

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    Press release No 12 - TM rebuttal_4 to PSC report 090412

    Dear Friends in the Press,

    We hope you can publish this release in your newpapers/site as it is important for the public to understand as part of Voter Education.

    PSC Report Part II No. 8D Uniform Ballot Paper Marking:

    Press Release no. 12 discusses Conduct of Elections Regulation 13 and the Second Schedule which specifies how ballot papers are supposed to be marked and how the Election Commission distorts it by adding other requirements that allows the instructions to be bypassed. This creates opportunities on the ground for the EC staff to 'misinterpret' their duties to create an advantage for a particular party. We have highlighted this to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform during the public hearings. They agreed that the procedures should be strengthened. It is very disappointing that they have allowed the status quo to remain as this gives room for cheating and is contrary to the objectives of Free and Fair Elections.

    In this Press Release, we have explained in detail how cheating can be carried out and how a polling agent will not be able to stop a crooked presiding officer. Besides the Press Release, we append the Guidelines on Doubtful Votes (12.4.Undi Ragu marked up 15 slides.pdf 1,003.00K) issued by the EC which strengthens the presiding officer's hand in executing the cheating.

    Thank you and regards,

    pywong

    012-2149322
    py

  7. #7
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    Press Release #13 POINT-BY-POINT REBUTTAL BY TINDAK MALAYSIA TO THE PSC REPORT ON ELECTORAL REFORM – PART 5!

    Dear Friends in the Press,

    We hope you can publish this release in your newpapers/site as it is important for the public to understand as part of Voter Education.

    PRESS RELEASE #13:
    POINT-BY-POINT REBUTTAL BY TINDAK MALAYSIA TO THE PSC REPORT ON ELECTORAL REFORM
    – PART 5 on the
    PSC Report Part II:

    This completes our analysis of the 10 Recommendations of the PSC Interim Report DR3/2011.

    Key points:

    • Cancellation of objection process on nomination day - Negative
    • Cancellation of withdrawal period for nomination - Positive
    • Legal provisions to strengthen the EC - Proposals already made by BERSIH 2.0/Tindak Malaysia. Not necessary to play for time. More important to have EC made up of men of integrity and not beholden to any political party.
    • Increase manpower resources, upgrade grades of posts and change existing structure. - Throwing up smoke-screen to cover incompetence of the EC.
    • EC should step down immediately.



    10th Apr 2012 Monday
    PRESS STATEMENT (#13): FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


    POINT-BY-POINT REBUTTAL BY TINDAK MALAYSIA TO THE PSC REPORT ON ELECTORAL REFORM – PART 5 !
    Head of Tindak Malaysia, Wong Piang Yow (for the Chinese press, 黄炳耀) today commented on the report submitted by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Electoral Reform to Parliament on 3rd Apr 2012.

    In this press release, we complete our address on Part II (Nos 9 & 10 from page 14) of the PSC report – Laporan Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Berhubung Dengan Penambahbaikan Proses Pilihan Raya (PSC Report), submitted to Parliament on 3rd Apr 2012.

    (9) Improving nomination process
    (A) Cancellation of objection process on nomination day
    EC agrees with this proposal as it will further simplify the process on nomination day without affecting objections that are not possible.

    Tindak Malaysia’s comment: It appears that Regulation 7 of the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981 will have to be deleted or amended. We will withhold comment until we see the change. We recommend that the Election Commission discuss their proposal with civil society before gazetting it in accordance with the democratic process.

    (B) Cancellation of withdrawal period for nomination

    Tindak Malaysia: We agree with the EC’s decision.

    (10) Strengthening EC
    (A) Legal provisions to strengthen the EC

    The EC agrees to the strengthening of the EC especially for its absolute independence to be provided by law.

    Tindak Malaysia jointly with BERSIH 2.0 has already submitted proposals on how to make the EC independent. However, it is disappointing to note that the EC is only now studying this matter. This issue is apparently not on high on their priority list.

    Tindak Malaysia is of the view that having laws to strengthen the EC, is fine. However, laws alone do not make an institution independent. It is the people managing the institutions that are most important. In this respect we find the present EC lacking in initiative and vigour. They cannot even make up their minds whether they are independent or not. Therefore, we support BERSIH 2.0’s call for the EC to do the honourable thing and step down.

    Future members of the EC should be appointed by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong after receiving representations from civil society. According to our proposals submitted to the PSC, such members should not be current or ex-members of the civil service, the GLCs nor any political party. This condition extends to the State ECs, the Secretaries, the Registrar of Electors, the Returning Officers, the Presiding Officers and even part of the staff. During elections, the public in a particular constituency should be given the opportunity to participate in the running of an election as it should not be restricted to the civil service alone. Conduct of elections does not belong to the ruling party. It belongs to the Rakyat.

    (B) Increase manpower resources, upgrade grades of posts and change existing structure.

    The EC requests the PSC to take into consideration the importance of increasing the number of officers, and man-power which is urgently needed to enable the recommendations to be achieved completely. Many reforms that need to be made within a time-frame have not factored in the extremely limited existing resources. The Committee is requested to understand the importance for a study to be conducted before any recommendation can be carried out in view of the fact that a study that is conducted hastily with extremely limited resources will bring about many weaknesses in the execution of the recommendations.

    These are the typical excuses of incompetent management:


    • Not enough man-power,
    • Not enough money,
    • Not enough time.


    Tindak Malaysia is not convinced that the EC’s excuses are valid. On our frequent visits to the EC offices, both in Putrajaya and in Shah Alam, we could not help but notice how under-utilised the EC staff seemed. The counters were empty and hardly anyone was there to be served. The staff is so free that they are making knick-knacks for sale. This is clear evidence of inefficient management.

    In other words, it appears that the EC has a systemic problem and it would require a management consultant to examine the problems with their current staffing. The first step is to replace incompetent top management with professionals from civil society who are committed to free and fair elections and who are not seen to be aligned to any political party. The way that the electoral rolls have been prepared warrants instant dismissal of the EC top management.

    A quick study of the current EC operations requires answers to these questions:


    • Is the EC office over-staffed?
    • Are the EC officials up to the task required of them?
    • Where can the excess staff be redeployed?


    There are many more things that can be done but it has to start with the top. Having all the laws in the world will not make any difference if we have top management that is neither competent nor committed to free and fair elections.

    This concludes our detailed analysis of the PSC’s First Report DR. 3/2011 that is incorporated into Part II of the PSC’s final report to Parliament DR. 1/2012 on 3rd Apr 2012.

    In our next Press Release, we will provide an overview of these series of press releases.

    Tindak Malaysia is a civil society movement to promote Free and Fair Elections through voter education. On 21st Mar 2012, together with Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee, it submitted a list of proposed amendments to the electoral laws and regulations to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform. Although not funded by any political party or individual, trainers from Tindak Malaysia have travelled throughout the country to conduct voters’ education. To attend the next voters’ education, please click on and register at https://sites.google.com/site/pacabatraining/

    For more information about this press statement, contact Wong Piang Yow 012-2149322 or email pywong@tindakmalaysia.com. Earlier versions of the press release can be viewed at http://www.tindakmalaysia.com/forums/139-Press-Release or www.tindakmalaysia.com (Press Release)
    In the appendices, we have added the relevant amendments to the laws and regulations that we have submitted to the PSC on 21st Mar 2012.

    *******************APPENDICES BELOW*****************

    Elections Act [EA]


    1. S3(2): Appointment of officers from members of professional bodies and independent civil societies involved in electoral reform, instead of from civil service and are not members of political parties. Apply to Secretary, State Election Officers, Returning Officers and their deputies and assistants.
    2. S4: Technical Advisor
    3. S8(1A) Appointment of officers from public instead of from civil service and are not members of political parties. Apply to all categories of Registrars & Adjudicating Officer. Nominated by professional bodies and independent civil societies involved in electoral reform.


    Conduct of Elections [COE]


    1. R7(5). Objection to nomination papers. Returning Officer’s decision subject to court challenge.
    2. R12(2A) Appointment of presiding officers: From the public who are not members of political parties or members of any of the public services and nominated by professional bodies and independent civil societies involved in electoral reform.
    3. R12A. Appointment of other officers and staff. Non civil-service or office bearers of political parties.

    py

  8. #8
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    Press statement #14: Point-by-point rebuttal by tindak malaysia to the psc report on electoral reform – parts 1 - 5 summary!

    Quick take:


    The 10 Recommendations made by the PSC on 9th Dec 2011 in their Interim Report DR.3/2011 is high on hype and low on substance. The only recommendation that has been implemented is the use of indelible ink. Leaving aside the cost of purchase of the ink itself, this item has come at a very heavy cost:

    • RM 7 million for an extra clerk to administer the ink on the voter, something that is absolutely unnecessary.
    • 30,000 postal voters because of this indelible ink clerk.


    Awarding 10 points for the 10 Recommendations, the PSC has earned 2.5 points positive and 4 points negative. Overall, the Interim Report has been a total flop!

    Report follows:


    9th Apr 2012 Monday
    PRESS STATEMENT #14: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    POINT-BY-POINT REBUTTAL BY TINDAK MALAYSIA TO THE PSC REPORT ON ELECTORAL REFORM – PARTS 1 - 5 SUMMARY!

    Head of Tindak Malaysia, Wong Piang Yow (for the Chinese press, 黄炳耀) today commented on the report submitted by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Electoral Reform to Parliament on 3rd Apr 2012.

    In this press release, we provide a summary of our address on Part II (of the PSC report – Laporan Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Berhubung Dengan Penambahbaikan Proses Pilihan Raya (PSC Report), submitted to Parliament on 3rd Apr 2012. Part II is a summary of the PSC’s Interim Report to Parliament dated 2nd Dec 2011. We recollect that it was launched with great fanfare. The BN politicians and the mainstream media were hyperbolic in their praise of the PSC. We had reservations about the proposals and submitted as such during the PSC Hearings in Kuching on 9th Dec 2012. Four months have passed and we are better able to assess the PSC’s Recommendations. This is summarised below.

    Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform
    Status on Recommendations in the Committee Report DR. 3/2011
    TM = Tindak Malaysia. # = Tindak Malaysia Press Release No.
    No
    Recommendations & EC Response
    Action (TM comments)
    Impact:
    #
    1
    Permanent Ink & assistance to OKU:
    EC agreed.
    Gazette P.U(A) 3/2012
    Positive

    2A
    Advance Voting: EC agree to implement in GE 13
    Amendment to Regulations. Briefing of EC staff in progress. Voter education to be finalized.
    KIV
    9
    2B
    Advance voting for doctors, nurses and journalists: EC to consider.
    EC discussing with Director General of Health, Chief Editors and journalists. (Why not candidates & their agents?)
    Negative
    9
    3
    Extend absent voters to cover overseas Malaysians: EC disagree - logistics and practicality. Will consider for registered voter subject to return to Malaysia once every 5 years. Discussions with other authorities to ensure compliance.
    After that, EC to take action. (Playing for time only)
    Negative
    9
    4
    Distance Voters: EC disagree as it affects Article 119 of the Federal Constitution.
    No action. (EC can use Regulation (3)(f) for this category.)
    Negative
    9
    5
    Change of voter address through Statutory Declaration: EC disagree
    No action
    Neutral

    6
    Voter Registration



    6A
    Clean up Electoral Roll: EC claims they are continuously carrying out cleaning exercise in accordance with the laws and have received co-operation from the NRD, Police and Armed Forces
    EC will continue process of cleaning up in accordance with the laws. (EC is not doing enough. Take this function away from the EC)
    Negative
    9
    6B
    MIMOS to help in cleaning up exercise: EC agrees.
    EC and NRD is co-operating with MIMOS. Report from MIMOS is out. (MIMOS is not doing their job adequately and should be changed.)
    Negative
    9
    No
    Recommendations & EC Response
    Action (TM comments)
    Impact:
    #
    6C
    Revalidate Sabah Electoral Roll: EC disagree.
    EC will focus on cleaning up the electoral roll by taking into consideration the background of the registration with co-operation from the NRD. (RCI required to investigate this issue including complicity of the EC!)
    Negative
    9
    6D
    Formation of an RCI to investigate the charge that foreign citizens were given citizenship and registered as voters especially in Sabah: EC has no authority on RCI.
    EC ready to co-operate with any RCI that is formed. (Playing for time. RCI should be set up immediately!)
    Negative
    9
    7
    Display of Supplementary Electoral Roll



    7A
    Extend display period to 14 days: Ec agrees.
    Amendment to Voter Registration Regulation. (Should extend to 30 days.)
    Positive but not enough
    9
    7B
    Cancel RM 10 objection fee imposed on objector: EC disagree
    (The problem is created by the EC’s mistakes and they expect the public to pay for it. They should appreciate the public’s help in spotting their errors rather than impose a charge on them.
    Negative
    9
    7C
    Remove upper limit objections: EC agree to increase to 20.
    (Limit should be removed. EC’s motives suspect.)
    Partly positive
    9
    7D
    Objection to Principal Electoral Roll allowed: EC does not agree
    (EC has committed massive errors in the Electoral Rolls. The public has not confidence in these rolls. So EC should do the design thing and resign.)
    Negative
    9
    8
    Transparency of voting process



    8A
    Remove ballot paper serial number: EC reject.
    (An unnecessary and self-inflicted problem created by the PSC.)
    Negative
    10
    8B
    Identify voters present: EC agrees to change polling station layout plan
    Diagramme A produced to demonstrate transparency of the voting process and ensure secrecy of voting is protected. (Diagramme has achieved nothing of the sort but has increased election cost by up to RM 7 million. We recommend alternative our layout.)
    Negative
    11
    8C
    Recount at Main Tally Centre: EC reject.
    (An unnecessary and self-inflicted problem created by the PSC.)
    Neutral
    12
    8D
    Uniform Ballot Paper Marking: EC maintain existing procedures.
    (TM explained why existing procedures are flawed and should be changed to adopt COE Second Schedule only.)
    Negative
    12
    9
    Improve nomination process.



    9A
    Cancel objection process on nomination day: EC agrees.
    Draft amendment to COE 1981 submitted to AG’s Chamber for approval. (TM withhold comments pending study of amendment)
    KIV
    13
    9B
    Cancel candidate withdrawal period: EC agree.
    Draft amendment to COE 1981 submitted to AG’s Chamber for approval. (TM agree.)
    Positive
    13
    10
    Strengthen EC



    10A
    Legal provisions for independence of EC: EC agrees
    (Laws are only 1 part. We need men of integrity, not beholden to any political party.)
    Neutral
    13
    10B
    Increase manpower, raise job status and change to existing organisation structure: EC asks for more money, more men and more time.
    (Typical excuses of incompetent management. Appoint consultant to review the whole organisation.)
    Neutral
    13

    On many recommendations, it is clear that the EC is either stone-walling, playing for time or simply obstructive. If we were to simplify it with another table as shown below using a point form system, things become clearer.

    There is no time-frame for implementation and overall results are negative:
    Positive: 1.5 points
    Partly positive: 1 point
    KIV: 0.5 point
    Neutral: 2.5 points
    Negative: 4.0 points.

    Consider the only positive point which has been gazetted on 13th Feb 2012 – indelible ink.

    It covers normal voters only, not postal voters. In principle, it should be possible to cover most postal voters present in the country as they are mainly located in the military or police camps. But there is a big negative associated with it. The EC took advantage of this provision to create a new polling station layout that added one clerk and can increase the cost of staffing by up to RM 7 million. (The clerk is required to paint the indelible ink on the top knuckle of the left index finger. No clerk is needed if the voter is asked to dip his finger into the ink, as practised in other countries.) They created an extra 30,000 postal voters.

    We have seen in the past how postal voters were used like Jokers in a card game. They can be assigned anywhere strategically to create a winning advantage for Barisan National. That is why there is such a widespread call for their abolition. Instead of doing that, the EC has increased the number of postal voters. Conduct of Elections Regulation 15 provides an opportunity for the Returning Officer to create more votes for such postal voters. The EC has not increased the transparency of voting as claimed. They have made it WORSE!

    Clearly, the PSC’s 10 interim recommendations have not lived up to the hype and promise.

    Summary of Impact of the PSC’s 10 Interim Recommendations:

    IMPACT: Total 10 points
    No
    Recommendations & EC Response
    +ve
    Part +ve
    KIV
    0
    -ve
    1
    Permanent Ink & Assistance to OKU: EC agreed.
    1




    2A
    Advance Voting: EC agree to implement in GE 13


    0.5


    2B
    Advance voting for doctors, nurses and journalists:




    0.5
    3
    Extend absent voters to cover overseas Malaysians: EC disagree




    1
    4
    Distance Voters: EC disagree




    1
    5
    Change of voter address through Statutory Declaration: EC disagree



    1

    6
    Voter Registration





    6A
    Clean up Electoral Roll: EC claims they are continuously cleaning.




    0.25
    6B
    MIMOS to help in cleaning up exercise: EC agrees.




    0.25
    6C
    Revalidate Sabah Electoral Roll: EC disagree.




    0.25
    6D
    Formation of an RCI to investigate the charge that foreign citizens were given citizenship and registered as voters especially in Sabah: EC has no authority on RCI.




    0.25
    7
    Display of Supplementary Electoral Roll





    7A
    Extend display period to 14 days: Ec agrees.

    0.25



    7B
    Cancel RM 10 objection fee imposed on objector: EC disagree




    0.25
    7C
    Remove upper limit objections: EC increase to 20.

    0.25



    7D
    Objection to Principal Electoral Roll allowed: EC does not agree




    0.25
    8
    Transparency of voting process





    8A
    Remove ballot paper serial number: EC reject.




    0.25
    8B
    Identify voters present: EC agrees to change polling station layout plan




    0.25
    8C
    Recount at Main Tally Centre: EC reject.



    0.25

    8D
    Uniform Ballot Paper Marking: EC maintain existing procedures.




    0.25
    9
    Improve nomination process.





    9A
    Cancel objection process on nomination day: EC agrees.

    0.5



    9B
    Cancel candidate withdrawal period: EC agree.
    0.5




    10
    Strengthen EC





    10A
    Legal provisions for independence of EC: EC agrees



    0.5

    10B
    Increase manpower, job status, change existing organisation structure: EC asks for more money, more men and more time.



    0.5


    Points summary (not considering importance of item)
    1.5
    1
    0.5
    2.25
    4.25


    This concludes our analysis of the PSC’s First Report DR. 3/2011 that is incorporated into Part II of the PSC’s final report to Parliament DR. 1/2012 on 3rd Apr 2012.

    In our next Press Release, we will address Bahagian VII of the PSC’s Final Report to Parliament.

    Tindak Malaysia is a civil society movement to promote Free and Fair Elections through voter education. On 21st Mar 2012, together with Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee, it submitted a list of proposed amendments to the electoral laws and regulations to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform. Although not funded by any political party or individual, trainers from Tindak Malaysia have travelled throughout the country to conduct voters’ education. To attend the next voters’ education, please click on and register at https://sites.google.com/site/pacabatraining/

    For more information about this press statement, contact Wong Piang Yow 012-2149322 or email pywong@tindakmalaysia.com. Earlier versions of the press release can be viewed at http://www.tindakmalaysia.com/forums/139-Press-Release or www.tindakmalaysia.com (Press Release)
    py

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