6th Apr 2012 Friday



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.