Cadangan pelaksanaan penjalanan pilihan raya semasa wabak Covid-19 (Malay/English)

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Source: freemalaysiatoday.com

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih 2.0) menyeru semua pengundi pilihan raya kecil N23 Chini melaksanakan tanggungjawab sebagai pengundi walaupun negara masih menghadapi risiko penularan wabak Covid-19.

Kami percaya pelaksanaan sistem demokrasi perlu diteruskan dan pada masa yang sama langkah-langkah pencegahan penularan wabak Covid-19 boleh diambil oleh semua pihak, terutamanya Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR).

Bersih 2.0 ingin mencadangkan beberapa perkara kepada SPR dalam rangka melaksanakan pilihan raya kecil Chini yang dijadualkan pada 4 Julai 2020.

1. Penamaan calon

SPR boleh memanjangkan tempoh penamaan calon selama lima hari di mana calon boleh hantar kertas penamaan secara atas talian atau dengan serahan tangan dalam tempoh masa lima hari bagi menghindari perhimpunan awam sejajar dengan perintah kawalan pergerakan menangani wabak Covid-19.

Sekiranya calon memilih untuk hantar sendiri, maka perlu hadkan kepada empat orang sahaja daripada setiap calon.

SPR juga boleh membuat pengumuman calon-calon yang diterima pada hari penamaan secara maya dan melalui kenyataan media tanpa perlu adanya penyokong calon untuk hadir ke pusat penamaan.

Calon juga boleh membuat pembetulan sekiranya terdapat kesilapan semasa prosedur mengisi borang penamaan calon dengan penghantaran kertas penamaan semula selagi dalam lima hari tempoh penamaan.

Bagi proses bantahan, borang calon yang lengkap perlu dipamerkan secara rasmi dengan beberapa maklumat peribadi calon akan ditutup bagi membolehkan calon lain membantah sekiranya terdapat isu berbangkit seperti bankrupsi atau calon beralamat di luar kawasan pilihan raya memandangkan pilihan raya kali ini adalah di peringkat negeri.

Tempoh bantahan boleh ditetapkan kepada dua hari selepas penutupan penamaan calon dan bantahan bertulis boleh dihantar kepada SPR dalam tempoh bantahan ini.

2. Kempen Pilihan Raya

a. Media

Kerajaan perlu memberikan ruang yang sama rata kepada semua calon termasuk pembangkang untuk membuat penampilan dan berkempen di media arus perdana seperti RTM, termasuk menyiarkan perdebatan antara calon-calon.

Ini seharusnya dilaksanakan walaupun tanpa ada ancaman wabak seperti Covid-19 yang sedang kita hadapi sekarang, namun langkah ini boleh dilakukan sekarang disebabkan kempen secara konvensional seperti ceramah umum perlu dihentikan.

Menurut Perkara 115(2) – Bantuan Kepada Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya, SPR boleh “meminta pihak berkuasa awam untuk memberikan apa-apa bantuan sebagaimana yang dapat dilaksanakan kepada Suruhanjaya dalam menunaikan tugasnya”.

Adalah mustahak untuk SPR memastikan semua calon dapat berkempen atas padang yang sama rata memandangkan kempen melalui pendekatan ceramah tidak lagi dapat dijalankan disebabkan wabak Covid-19. SPR boleh meminta RTM untuk menyiarkan kempen-kempen semua calon secara sama rata agar mesej setiap calon dapat disampaikan kepada pengundi agar pengundi dapat membuat pertimbangan berdasarkan maklumat yang lengkap.

b. Ceramah, ceramah berkelompok

Sebarang ceramah atau ceramah berkelompok pilihan raya perlu dihentikan sama sekali untuk mengelakkan himpunan orang ramai.

c. Kempen pintu ke pintu dan edaran risalah

Kempen pintu ke pintu boleh dijalankan dengan syarat mematuhi penjarakan sosial, memakai pelitup muka dan tidak melebihi empat orang.

3. Hari Pengundian

a. Kad Pengundi

Kami mengalu-alukan langkah SPR mencadangkan masa keluar mengundi untuk pengundi pada hari mengundi supaya mengelakan penumpuan pengundi pada masa-masa tertentu dan maklumat ini akan dimasukkan ke dalam kad pengundi yang dihantar oleh SPR kepada semua pengundi-pengundi sebelum hari mengundi.

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b. Perbanyakkan pusat dan saluran pengundian

Untuk mengelakkan terlalu ramai pengundi berkumpul di pusat mengundi, SPR boleh membuka lebih banyak pusat mengundi dan saluran mengundi.

SPR boleh mencontohi sebagaimana yang dilakukan di Indonesia di mana pusat pengundian tidak semestinya di sekolah, malah boleh di kawasan penempatan seperti di kampung-kampung atau perumahan.

Selain daripada kelas-kelas di sekolah, SPR boleh mendirikan khemah-khemah untuk menambah saluran pengundian dan khemah ini boleh didirikan di kawasan-kawasan lain daripada kawasan sekolah.

Rasionalnya agar kurang orang berkumpul dengan terlampau banyak di tempat pengundian yang biasanya mencecah 300 ke 500 orang. Selain itu pergerakan juga akan dikurangkan.

c. Memanjangkan masa mengundi

Jika perlu, SPR juga boleh memanjangkan masa mengundi yang biasanya dari 8 pagi ke 5 petang kepada 8.00 pagi ke 8.00 malam untuk mengelakkan pemusatan pengundi-pengundi.

d. Undi pos dan pusat pengundian khas

SPR boleh mengkategorikan pesakit Covid-19 atau mereka yang masih berada dalam tempoh kuarantin sebagai pengundi pos dan meminta mereka mendaftarkan diri sebagai pengundi pos agar mereka dapat membuang undi melalui undi pos.

e. Pergerakan rentas negeri perlu dibenarkan kepada pengundi-pengundi

Pengundi-pengundi PRK Chini yang tinggal di negeri lain dan ingin pulang untuk membuang undi perlu dibenarkan untuk merentas negeri untuk melaksanakan hak dan tanggungjawab mereka sebagai pengundi atau diberi hak untuk membuang undi secara undi pos.

f. Stesen saringan

Setiap pusat pengundian perlu membuka pusat saringan untuk menyaring pengundi sebelum mereka memasuki tempat mengundi. Saringan ringkas seperti suhu badan perlu dibuat. Mereka yang suhunya lebih 37.5C perlu diarahkan ke saluran khas untuk membuang undi.

SPR juga perlu menyediakan pelitup muka dan sarung tangan plastik kepada pengundi sebelum mereka masuk ke dalam saluran untuk membuang undi. Sarung tangan ini perlu dibuang sebaik sahaja pengundian dilakukan.

Hand sanitiser perlu disediakan di dalam semua pusat mengundi dan saluran mengundi untuk penggunaan kakitangan SPR dan para pengundi.

g. Nyahjangkit pusat pengundian

Sebagaimana yang dilakukan di Korea Selatan, proses menyahjangkit pusat-pusat pengundian dilakukan sekurang-kurangnya dua hari sebelum hari pengundian. Ini supaya pusat pengundian betul-betul bebas daripada virus sebelum hari pengundian.

Walaupun Covid-19 sedang melanda kita, namun ianya tidak boleh dijadikan alasan untuk menhentikan proses demokrasi dalam negara kita. Negara seperti Korea Selatan telah membuktikan bahawa proses pilihan raya dapat dijalankan dengan cemerlang.

Apa yang utama adalah kerjasama antara semua pihak. Kita juga mempunyai pasukan kesihatan yang hebat dan sentiasa bersiaga untuk memberi bantuan serta nasihat berkenaan bagaimana kaedah terbaik untuk menjalankan pilihan raya.

Jawatankuasa pemandu Bersih 2.0

English version

Proposal on conduct of election during Covid-19 pandemic

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (Bersih 2.0) calls on all voters for the N23 Chini by-election to perform their duties as voters even though our country is in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic.

We believe that the democratic system should proceed, but at the same time, preventive measures to curb this pandemic must be taken by all parties, especially the Election Commission.

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Bersih 2.0 wishes to propose several recommendations to the Election Commission in conducting the by-election that is set for 4 July 2020.

1. Nomination day

The Election Commission may extend the nomination period for five days where the candidates can submit their nomination form online or by hand during the five-day period to avoid public gatherings to adhere to the movement controlled order to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

If the candidates choose to submit it by hand, there must a limit of four people from each candidate.

The Election Commission can then announce the list of accepted candidates by issuing a media statement without having the supporters present at the nomination centre.

Candidates could also make amendments if there are errors while filling in the nomination form by resubmitting the form within the five-day nomination period.

For the objection process, completed nomination forms must be published officially, with personal information concealed, to enable other candidates to object if issues – such as bankruptcy or the candidate’s address is outside the constituency since this election is a state level election – arise.

The duration of the objection can be set for two days after the closing of the nomination and a written objection can be sent to the Election Commission during this period.

2. Election campaign

a. Media

The government should give equal airtime to all candidates, including those from the opposition, to appear and campaign on mainstream media such as RTM, including a live debate among the candidates.

This should be done even without the Covid-19 threat that we are faced with; nevertheless this measure should be taken now as conventional campaigns such as public talks should be stopped.

According to Article 115 (2) – Assistance to the Election Commission, the Election Commission may “request the public authorities to provide such assistance in the discharge of its duties as maybe practicable”.

It is important for the Election Commission to ensure that all candidates can campaign on level playing field as campaigning through public talks is no longer possible due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Election Commission may ask RTM and Bernama to broadcast the campaigns of all candidates equally so that each candidate’s message can be conveyed to the voters so that voters can make informed decisions.

b. Public or group talks

Any public or group talks during the election should be prohibited to prevent people from gathering.

c. Canvassing and leafleting

Canvassing for votes could be allowed with strict regulations by following social distancing, wearing face mask and with not more than four persons taking part.

3. Polling day

a. Voter cards

We welcome the Election Commission’s recommendations on the voting schedule for voters to be at the polling centre on the polling day, to avoid a concentration of voter turnout at any one time, and this information will be included in the voter card that the Election Commission will send to all voters before the polling day.

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b. More polling centres and polling streams

To avoid a congestion of voters in the polling centre, the Election Commission may open more polling centres and polling streams.

The Election Commission can emulate how Indonesia opened their polling centres, and the polling centres need not necessarily be in schools; they also could be opened in residential areas or villages.

In addition to using classrooms, the Election Commission could set up tents to supplement the polling streams and these tents can be set up in other areas, other than just in school areas.

The rationale behind this is to reduce too many voters gathering in one polling station, which usually reaches up to 300 to 500 people. This also could reduce people’s movements.

c. Extended polling time

The Election Commission can extend the polling time, which is usually from 8am to 5pm, to 8am to 8pm to avoid the congestion of voters.

d. Postal votes and special polling centres

The Election Commission may categorised Covid-19 patients or those who are still in quarantine as postal voters and request them to register themselves as postal voters so they can cast their votes via postal votes.

e. Interstate travel for voters need to be allowed

Voters for this by-election who live in other states and wish to return home to cast their votes should be allowed to travel interstate to fulfil their right and duty as voters, or they must be given the right to vote through postal votes.

f. Screening stations

Every polling centre must have a screening station to screen voters before they vote.

Simple screening to measure body temperature needs to be carried out. Those with a body temperature of above 37.5C must be directed to a special stream to cast their vote.

The Election Commission also needs to provide face masks and disposable gloves to voters before they can enter the polling stream to cast their votes. These gloves must be discarded on the way out.

Hand sanitisers must be provided in all the polling centres and polling streams for Election Commission staff, election workers and voters.

g. Disinfection of polling centres

In South Korea, the process to disinfect all the polling centres was carried out a couple of days before the polling day. This was to ensure that the polling centres were free from the virus before polling day.

Although we are still facing the Covid-19 pandemic, it must not be used as an excuse to stopped the democratic process in our country. Countries such as South Korea have proven that the electoral process can be conducted rather successfully.

What is important is the cooperation among all parties. We also have an excellent and world-class health taskforce that is prepared to assist and provide guidelines on the best measures to conduct the election.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee

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