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Thread: PSC: EC should stop buying time on reform

   
   
       
  1. #1
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    PSC: EC should stop buying time on reform

    EC should stop buying time on reform

    Tarani Palani
    | July 12, 2012

    Opposition Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) members say that the Election Commission can immediately make changes to allow overseas voters to vote.

    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/cat...ime-on-reform/

    KUALA LUMPUR: The Election Commission (EC) is dragging its feet in allowing Malaysians living abroad to register as voters.

    Opposition members of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reform say the EC is taking too long in making a decision.

    They were responding to the EC’s announcement yesterday that it was studying the need to amend laws to allow Malaysians overseas to be postal voters.

    PSC member Anthony Loke said that the EC had taken a long time to look into the matter only to come up with a suggestion that they would have to study the law.

    “We have given the EC three months and they have just come up with this decision. They have just come to us (with a statement) that they don’t know if they should amend the law.

    “In fact it looks as though they have yet to meet with the Attorney General (AG) to (make the amendments,” he said.

    The PSC had made 32 recommendations in April to the EC and gave the commission specific time-limit in which some recommendations should be completed.

    They had given the EC three months to come up with concrete suggestions on how to allow overseas voters to vote in the elections.

    Currently only civil servants, armymen, their spouses and students studying abroad are allowed to vote.

    EC’s inherent power

    Loke today said that the EC did not have to depend on the law-makers or draft new laws to allow overseas to vote as power is already given to the EC to make changes to the election regulations.

    “Under Section 16 of the Election Act 1958, the EC is given power to make any regulations related to conduct of elections,” he said.

    The Rasah MP added that the EC could look into two existing regulations to facilitate overseas voting. The EC just has to expand either the regulations of postal voters or the regulations of electors.

    “They just have to add another category, another line or sentence that any Malaysian living abroad can vote,

    “If the EC is going to wait to amend the law, it probably will not happen until December,” he said adding that there will be no time to discuss law amendments in the September parliamentary session as it will be dedicated to discussing the budget.

    If the law does pass through, it will have to be approved by the senate which only meets in December.
    “By the time it reaches the King, it will be January and if elections are called then, overseas voters will not be able to vote. The EC should stop buying time,” he said.

    Logistical nightmare
    Fellow PSC member Hatta Ramli pointed out that this case was similar to the indelible ink where laws were not amended and changes were only made to the regulations.

    The EC said that it will place some restrictions on the overseas voters. This may include requiring them to return to Malaysia at least once in five years after the date that Parliament was last dissolved.

    Both Hatta and Loke said that the EC’s condition that overseas Malaysians should be home once in five years was an unnecessary condition.

    “It will be a logistical nightmare, when you register as a voter, you will have to present your passport. The EC will then have to double check with Immigration if you have come back…they should not implement any conditions,” said Loke.

    Hatta added: “Most Malaysians living abroad are more aware of the issues here than Malaysians themselves…so these conditions are not necessary”.

    They also called for a transparent mechanism to implement all the postal votes from overseas Malaysians.
    “The overseas Malaysians can register from the day Parliament is dissolved to the nomination day.

    Candidate will only find out the number of postal voters in their constituency after nomination day.

    “We are obviously not comfortable with that. The EC needs to have a proper briefing to make clear their mechanism in implementing this overseas postal voters,” he said.
    py

  2. #2
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    Did we not say from the start that the PSC was a sandiwara?



    'Four months and still no polls reform!'



    • Lee Long Hui


    • 1:05PM Aug 22, 2012


    DAP's Rasah MP Anthony Loke has slammed the Election Commission (EC) for not implementing the recommendations of the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reform according to the time frame given.


    He is unhappy that the EC was merely practising a "public relations exercise" over the past four months by coming out with many excuses for not implementing the recommendations.


    Speaking at a press conference today, Loke, who was in the nine-member PSC, said among the recommendations the EC had yet to fulfil are the mechanism to allow Malaysians who live overseas to vote.


    The other important recommendations are guidelines for a caretaker government once Parliament is dissolved and the cleaning up of the electoral roll as per the defects revealed by the Malaysian Institute of Microelectronic Systems (Mimos).


    He said the EC was given a time frame of 45 days to three months, after the report was tabled in the Parliament on April 2, to implement the recommendations. However, nothing had been done till today.


    "It has been more than four months since the PSC report on electoral reform was tabled in Parliament, but the EC has yet to demonstrate its commitment to implement the recommendations made," Loke added.



    EC comes out with many excuses


    Loke, who is DAP Socialist Youth chief, said EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof and his deputy Wan Ahmad Wan Omar have always come out with excuses to justify the delay in implementing the reforms agreed to.


    “We have heard many excuses from the EC chairperson and his deputy, more from the deputy chairperson, saying that EC is overwhelmed by work, that they are very busy, that they have to conduct the coming election, hold training sessions and implement so many changes and so on, and that they are also understaffed.


    “But I believe Malaysians are generally tired of these excuses from the EC,” Loke added.


    Although the EC has given its green light for overseas Malaysians to vote as postal voters, Loke pointed out, it has still not come out with the detail procedure for this.


    The DAP was still receiving many complaints from Malaysians overseas that they were facing difficulty in registering as new voters at embassies and high commissions.


    The EC, Loke said, should also start calling all the stakeholders for consultations in order to come out the guidelines for a caretaker government.


    “The process should start right now, and there should be consultation with all the stakeholders, not only political parties but also NGOs such as Bersih and the Bar Council.


    “The various related NGOs should be consulted, but it is clear that the EC is more interested in conducting public relations exercises,” he added.


    ‘Registered as voters without their knowledge’



    Meanwhile, DAP’s Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh, who was also present, revealed that there was a huge increase of around 15,000 voters in her constituency over the last four years.


    During her recent house-to-house visit at SS18 in Subang Jaya, Yeoh (right) said, two residents complained that they have been registered as new voters, without their knowledge.


    She said she also received an email from a student studying abroad, who also complained that she had been registered as a voter without her or her parents’ knowledge.


    Yeoh therefore urged all Malaysians overseas who would not be back in the country during the coming general election to inform their respective MPs and state assemblypersons, so that they would be aware of this during the voting day.


    Loke also announced that DAP would launch another round of a nationwide voters registration exercise over the next three weeks.


    He said more than 40 locations would be set up, at major shopping malls, morning and night markets and the party service centres, throughout the period to enable citizens to register as voters.


    “Given the increasing likelihood that the 13th general election will only be called next year, eligible Malaysians are strongly urged to register before the cut-off date of Sept 15 to ensure that they have a chance of voting in the event the election is called in January 2013,” Loke added.


    VIDEO l 5.07 mins
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