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Thread: PACABA 0.3: Malaysia Electoral System v4

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    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    PACABA 0.3: Malaysia Electoral System v4

    2 files:

    Powerpoint show: PACABA 0.3 Malaysia Electoral System
    Word document: Summary of Key Points.

    Malaysia Electoral System Key Points 090812

    A. Do we have an independent Election Commission (EC)?

    i. Who appoints the EC:
    Federal Constitution Article 114 - Public confidence
    The Agong shall, after consultation with the Conference of Rulers, appoint an Election Commission which enjoys public confidence.

    Federal Constitution Article 40 (1) – Agong shall accept advice of the Cabinet.

    Federal Constitution Article 40 (1A) – The Agong shall accept the advice without question.

    ii. Who are the members of the EC:
    All the members are retired senior civil servants or police chiefs.

    All the EC staff are appointed by the Public Service Commission and drawn from the Govt service.
    All EC staff managing the elections are Govt servants, either district officers, local council chiefs or Headmasters.

    Can we have confidence they act can impartially and independently?

    iii. Where is the EC’s office located?
    Prime Minister’s Department:
    Election Commission appears as one of the departments there.
    The EC HQ occupies the 5th floor of the Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam Malaysia (SPAM) building in Putrajaya, together with the JKR.

    B. EC’s Budget (Slide 17) – Are we getting value for money?
    UNDP cost estimates (Slide 1
    Range from lowest USD 0.50 (Pakistan) to highest USD 3.20 (Australia).
    Afghanistan’s cost is USD 25/Voter and that is because a civil war is ongoing.

    12th GE 2008: RM 171.82 million - USD 5/voter.
    13th GE RM 660 million - USD 16/voter. More than 3 times 2008 costs and Australian cost.

    Malaysia’s budget for the coming GE is more than 3 times that of the next highest of USD 3.20.

    C. Does the law allow the EC to act independently?
    Slides 20 – 23: EC appear to be appointed by the PM under Article 40 of the Federal Constitution.
    The Federal Constitution has been amended 700 times since Independence in 1957. The amendments have been designed to constrain the independence of the EC and have removed their power to redelineate the seat boundaries independently of Parliament.

    Election laws can be changed with a simple majority in Parliament.

    Regulations drafted by the SPR have to be approved by the Agong before it is tabled in Parliament for approval. Regulations cannot be passed without the Government’s approval.

    Effectively, the EC operates as a unit in the PM’s Dept.

    D. Results of past actions by the EC?
    Malapportionment in GE12 (Slide 26): BN PR
    % of votes 52% 48%
    % of seats 63% 37%
    Average vote per seat 32,000 71,000

    Gerrymandering (Slides 29 & 30): Voters are distributed to favour the incumbent.

    Short Campaign Period (Slide 25): Difficult for opposition in Sabah & Sarawak. Overseas postal votes never come back in time.

    Results over past 50 years (Slide 31): BN has never won less than 62% of the seats despite having votes as low as 49%!

    E. Randomization of issue of ballot paper.
    It is the right of every voter to ask for a piece of ballot paper other than the one on top to protect the secrecy of his vote. This is provided for in Section 5. Maintenance of secrecy of voting, in the Election Offences Act. He is allowed to request for a ballot paper under Conduct of Elections Regulation 19 (2).

    If the Presiding Officer refuses to comply and the polling agent does not come forward to argue your case, don’t argue. Accept the ballot paper and vote. Note down the name of the Presiding Officer and make report to JOM Pantau,

    F. Economic Cost of Biased Electoral System (Slides 32 – 36):
    Massive corruption. Illicit fund transfer amount to RM 170k/family over past 10 years.
    Drop in living standards and earning power.
    Sliding to bankruptcy

    To learn more: Download the files.

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