Electoral Commission must act to clean up electoral roll

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Source: freemalaysiatoday.com

In the light of reports that Sungai Besar Umno division leader Jamal Md Yunus had admitted the party has been working to shift voters to marginal constituencies, the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) demands that the Electoral Commission take immediate steps to prevent manipulation and fraud in the electoral roll.

Jamal reportedly told a crowd of Umno supporters, “We will move the voters using all methods possible even though it will cost us millions.”

Article 119(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution states that voters are only entitled to vote in constituencies of which they are a resident. Article 113(1) further gives the responsibility of preparing and revising the electoral rolls for each constituency to the Electoral Commission.

The fight to clean up the electoral roll has been ongoing for over a decade. A Parliamentary Select Committee and a Royal Commission of Inquiry have found blatant evidence that the electoral roll has been manipulated for the benefit of certain parties. Hundreds of thousands of Malaysians have rallied in the streets over this issue.

Over two months ago, Bersih 2.0 presented a memorandum to Electoral Commission offices nationwide, which highlighted this shifting of phantom voters. In the draft supplementary electoral roll for the first quarter of 2017, Sekinchan state assembly member Ng Suee Lim had to file over 1,400 objections to the movement of phantom voters into his constituency.

Now, political leaders can openly admit to cheating to win the elections with no response from the Electoral Commission. Given the severity and scale of the fraud, the commission must take a proactive approach to investigate all suspicious voter movements, as provided for in Section 13(2) of the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002. The police must also investigate these attempts to subvert the democratic process and tamper with our elections.

However, instead of acting on the evidence, the commission has been assisting in hiding these wrongdoings by refusing to provide copies of draft electoral rolls with complete information and ignoring requests by NGOs and political parties to meet and discuss this issue.

As long as the Electoral Commission continues to fail in protecting the rakyat’s democratic right to fair elections, the only possible conclusion is they are working hand-in-glove with these unscrupulous parties to aid their efforts in deciding the outcome of the coming general election before a single vote has been cast.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee

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