Polls panel mulls new voter registration law

The Election Commission (EC) is mulling a new law to govern the registration of voters into the electoral roll.

EC deputy chief Wan Ahmad Wan Omar revealed that some 50 of the commission's staff had deliberated on the matter for the past week.

"They looked at the loopholes and will come out with amendments to improve (laws governing the electoral roll).

"If there are many amendments to be made, then it would be better to come up with a new law on electoral registration," he told journalists at the sidelines of the 7th Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit in Kuala Lumpur today.

Wan Ahmad said the study group will soon present the proposed amendments to the EC and will then forward them to the Attorney-General's Chambers.

He added that the EC is looking at a three-month time frame to get this done.

The changes, he said, will allow the EC more room to clean up the electoral roll as well as provide for prosecution for those who attempt to defraud the roll.

"We are looking at doing away with the Election Law (Registration of Electors) 2002 because we have received many complaints in the last 10 years.

"Right now we cannot even clean up the names on the electoral roll unless the complainants come forward and produce their MyKads.

He revealed this in response to pressure from Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan (right) and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar at a forum earlier for the EC to postpone the redelineation process until the electoral roll is cleaned up.

When pressed by journalists if he will commit to Bersih's call for postponement, he replied: "Ambiga's message is well taken but you must remember that we have responsibilities to conduct the redelineation; it will have to be done," he said.

He added that cleaning up the electoral roll was the EC's "top priority".

"We will clean up the electoral roll to the best of our ability before we go for redelineation," he said, but stopped short of guaranteeing a postponement.

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