Segerakan reformasi mekanisme pelantikan ahli-ahli SPR (Malay/English)

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih) menggesa Perdana Menteri Anwar Ibrahim dan kerajaan persekutuan untuk segera melaksanakan reformasi proses pelantikan ahli-ahli Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya, terutamanya bagi jawatan pengerusi.

Abdul Ghani Salleh, pengerusi SPR akan bakal bersara wajib pada bulan Mei ini dan sehingga kini SPR masih mempunyai satu kekosongan ahli suruhanjaya, iaitu ahli SPR bagi Sabah.

Bersih ingin menegaskan bahawa reformasi pelantikan ini adalah mustahak, tambahan lagi pengerusi SPR seterusnya berkemungkinan besar akan mempunyai tanggungjawab mengkaji dan melaksanakan persempadanan semula kawasan pilihan raya.

Ahli-ahli SPR perlu dilantik melalui mekanisme yang telus, terbuka, berakauntabiliti dan inklusif bagi mendapatkan kepercayaan semua pihak berkepentingan terhadap kebebasan dan kemandirian SPR yang mempunyai tanggungjawab perlembagaan untuk melaksanakan pilihan raya dan persempadanan semula.

Minggu ini merupakan minggu terakhir persidangan Parlimen dan Bersih masih belum melihat sebarang perkembangaan berkenaan agenda reformasi pilihan raya yang cuba diketengahkan pihak kerajaan melainkan pembentangan Rang Undang-Undang Perkhidmatan Parlimen bagi memberi autonomi kepada institusi Parlimen yang dijangka akan dibentangkan Julai depan.

Agenda reformasi pilihan raya bagi memperkukuhkan kebebasan institusi SPR dan memperkasa sistem pilihan raya di Malaysia masih lagi belum dititikberatkan oleh kerajaan “Madani” dan sehingga kini masih dipandang sepi.

Bersih sebelum ini telah mencadangkan agar mekanisme pelantikan ahli-ahli SPR perlu melalui jawatankuasa tetap pilihan hal ehwal pilihan raya (standing committee) agar proses tersebut dapat diteliti secara inklusif dan demokratik oleh ahli parlimen kerajaan dan juga pembangkang.

Kami juga mengingatkan bahawa manifesto pilihan raya kedua-dua Pakatan Harapan dan Barisan Nasional telah menjanjikan bahawa pelantikan bagi jawatan utama seperti pengerusi SPR akan melalui jawatankuasa parlimen.

Selain daripada reformasi pelantikan ahli SPR, Bersih juga ingin mempersoalkan apakah tindakan kerajaan dalam sudut reformasi pilihan raya khususnya melibatkan:

  • Kesediaan pihak kerajaan dan SPR untuk melaksanakan kaedah baharu bagi pengundi tidak hadir (absentee voters) bagi pengundi luar kawasan dan luar negeri, terutamanya bagi pengundi di Sabah dan Sarawak yang bekerja dan belajar di semenanjung. Hal ini amat penting kerana pilihan raya negeri Sabah bakal dilangsungkan pada tahun hadapan dan pihak SPR perlu bersedia bagi menghadapi pilihan raya ini dan memudahkan pengundi-pengundi luar kawasan pulang mengundi di Sabah. Bersih mencadangkan agar pengundi ini dibenarkan menjadi pengundi awal di tempat mereka bekerja atau belajar, dengan SPR menyediakan satu pusat pengundian mega di setiap negeri di semenanjung, dan kiraan undi dibuat di pusat tersebut pada hari pengiraan undi
  • Pindaan Akta Kesalahan Pilihan Raya agar lebih berkesan terutama dalam memberi kuasa kepada SPR untuk menguatkuasakan undang-undang yang bersesuaian. Akta yang sedia adalah terlalu lapuk dan tidak dikemaskini sekian lama. Selain itu, masih belum ada peruntukan untuk mengawal penggunaan sumber dan jentera kerajaan semasa pilihan raya serta keperluan audit perbelanjaan raya oleh calon pilihan raya dan parti politik. Akta ini perlu direformasikan agar terus relevan dan menjadikan proses kempen pilihan raya lebih bersih dan adil

Bersih berharap dan menggesa kerajaan agar terus komited melakukan agenda reformasi khususnya reformasi pilihan raya dan reformasi institusi bagi memperkukuhkan demokrasi di Malaysia. – Bersih

English version

Reform mechanism for appointing election commissioners

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) urges Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and the federal government to promptly implement reforms to the process of appointing election commissioners, especially for the position of chairperson.

Abdul Ghani Salleh, the chairman of the Election Commission, is due to retire in May, and as of now, the commission still has one vacancy for a member, namely, the commissioner from Sabah.

Bersih wishes to emphasise that reforming the appointment process is crucial, especially since the next chairperson of the Election Commission is likely to have the responsibility of reviewing and implementing the redrawing of electoral boundaries.

Election commissioners should be appointed through a transparent, open, accountable and inclusive mechanism to gain the trust of all stakeholders in ensuring the independence and autonomy of the commission, which has a constitutional responsibility to conduct elections and redraw constituency boundaries.

This week marks the final week of the current parliamentary session, and Bersih has not yet seen any progress regarding the electoral reform agenda that the government has attempted to put forward, except for the presentation of the Parliamentary Services (Amendment) Bill to grant autonomy to the institution of Parliament, expected to be tabled in July.

The electoral reform agenda to strengthen the independence of the Election Commission and empower the electoral system in Malaysia has still not been seriously addressed by the “Madani” (civil and compassionate) government and, until now, the government has not announced any plan or intention for electoral reform.

Bersih had previously suggested that the appointment mechanism for election commissioners should go through a parliamentary standing committee so that the process can be scrutinised in an inclusive and democratic manner by government and opposition MPs.

We also remind the government that the election manifestos of both Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional promised that the appointments of key positions, such as the Election Commission chair, will go through a parliamentary committee.

In addition to reforming the process of appointments of election commissioners, Bersih would also like to question the government’s actions in terms of electoral reform, particularly regarding:

  • The willingness of the government and the Election Commisssion to implement new methods for absentee Voters, especially for out-of-state and out-of-region voters, such as those in Sabah and Sarawak who work and study in the peninsula. This is crucial as the Sabah state election is scheduled for next year, and the Election Commission needs to be prepared for these elections and facilitate voters from outside the area to return to vote in Sabah. Bersih suggests that these voters be allowed to vote early at their respective areas of work or study, with the Election Commission setting up a mega-polling centre in each state of the peninsula, and the votes to be counted at these centres on counting day
  • Amendments to the Election Offences Act to make it more effective, especially in empowering the Election Commission to enforce appropriate laws. The current act is outdated and has not been updated for a long time. Furthermore, there is still no provision to regulate the use of government resources and machinery during elections, as well as the need for auditing election expenses by election candidates and political parties. This act needs to be reformed to remain relevant and make the campaign process cleaner and fairer

Bersih urges the government to remain committed to the reform agenda, especially electoral and institutional reforms, to strengthen democracy in Malaysia. – Bersih

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.
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