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Thread: BERSIH 2.0 & PSC on Electoral Reform: Ex-EC chief supports RCI on electoral reform

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    BERSIH 2.0 & PSC on Electoral Reform: Ex-EC chief supports RCI on electoral reform

    This is merely at attempt to play for time. The solution is the MERP.

    Ex-EC chief supports RCI on electoral reform

    1:32PM Dec 24, 2012

    Former Election Commission (EC) chief Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) on electoral reforms was necessary as Bersih 2.0's demands and proposals by the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reforms were not holistic enough.

    Abdul Rashid (left), who served 17 years as the EC secretary and almost 10 years as the commission's head, said both Bersih 2.0 and PSC did not provide solutions for structural problems within the electoral system.

    “(Holistic reform) means studying all the laws, not just one or two. This is like changing the car battery, spark plug and engine oil. This type of quick fix will (cause) bigger problems. The core policies is the same,” he told Malay daily Sinar Harian in an interview today.

    He cited the example of using indelible ink, which has been accepted and will be implemented in the next general election, as a “minor thing” that will only “dirty the hands” and not strengthen Malaysia's democracy.

    “But I am not against it. I also wanted to do it (in 2008 ) but the government did not agree then. I don't know why they did not agree. During my tenure, the government did not agree but they agree now. Maybe because the pressure is higher.”

    In 2008, the government back-pedalled on the use of indelible ink four days before the March 8 general election, drawing flak from both BN and the opposition.

    PSC terms of reference too narrow

    Asked what would he do if he was made Bersih chief, Abdul Rashid replied he agreed with the coalition's demand to set up an RCI to study the electoral system despite already having the PSC.

    “(RCI is still) needed! This PSC is just temporary. Its terms of reference is also narrow. It cannot move outside of its terms of reference.

    “The PSC has done its mission, good! But those (PSC members) are MPs, they are politicians. They know what is happening but they will not touch (certain issues).

    “They just changed the engine, plug and engine oil, that's it,” said Abdul Rashid.

    However, Abdul Rashid did not elaborate in detail on the structural problems of the electoral system which he wants reviewed.

    He had called for a committee to be set up for electoral reform after the historic 2008 general election.

    In January this year, he commented that the proposals by the PSC are merely procedural changes, which can be implemented within a week.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Ex-EC chief: Election system not dirty, just incomplete

    Former Election Commission (EC) chief Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman has defended the nation’s electoral system as “clean”, but admitted that there are many incomplete components that are not in line with current demands.

    Abdul Rashid, who served in the EC for 27 years – 17 years as secretary and 10 years as chief – further said that he is ready to challenge anyone who argues that the country’s electoral system is dirty.

    He elaborated that the current system, which was framed five decades ago, was complete then but not in the present time due to changing needs of the people who have been exposed to world developments.

    “It was complete but now it is not complete because people make comparisons with other countries.

    “But when the people realise, (they start to question) why we don’t have this, why is this not here, that causes chaos. However, our electoral system is clean.

    “Don’t look at it as though it’s crooked. The government is legitimate. They have the right (to vote),” he was quoted as saying in an interview with Sinar Harianpublished today.

    Abdul Rashid said he is willing to share his experience and knowledge if any interested party intends to draft new laws.

    “The people now are arrogant. They do not want people like me, who are not that smart. They want very smart people. Never mind. If they want me to give tips, I could give all. But people do not visit me because they think I am not smart.”

    He suggested that a new electoral roll be prepared every three years after each general election through a methodology similar to that of the census to minimise the number of non-resident voters, which are often labelled as “phantom voters” by the opposition.

    However this exercise would need RM50 million to be executed, he estimated.

    “It is easy for this country to come up with RM50 million a year. We are talking in terms of billions. It is like conducting the census, we should do it that way,” he added.

    In the first part of the interview published on Monday, Abdul Rashid supported the proposal to set up a royal commission of inquiry as pro-electoral reform group Bersih 2.0′s demands and proposals by the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reforms were not holistic enough.

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