SPR, bilakah undi tidak hadir akan sedia untuk orang ramai? (Malay/English)

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih 2.0) ingin mengulangi gesaan kami bahawa Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) perlu sanggup dan bersiap sedia untuk meluaskan pengundian secara pos kepada kategori yang lain selain daripada tujuh kategori yang ditetapkan oleh SPR sekarang.

Tujuh kategori tersebut adalah tentera, polis, petugas media, petugas pilihan raya, warganegara Malaysia di luar negara serta pelajar dan penjawat awam yang berada di luar negara.

Bersih 2.0 berpandangan SPR sudah pun mempunyai masa yang cukup untuk melaksanakan perkara ini memandangkan cadangan dan kajian untuk meluaskan kategori pengundian secara pos ini telah dibuat oleh Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas bagi Penambahbaikan Sistem Pilihan Raya yang dipengerusikan oleh Maximus Ongkili sejak tahun 2012 lagi.

Sekiranya SPR tidak dapat menyediakan kemudahan pengundian secara pos kepada semua rakyat Malaysia, sekurang-kurangnya SPR perlu membuka kategori pengundi pos kepada rakyat Malaysia yang berada di luar kawasan seperti pengundi Sabah, Sarawak dan Semenanjung yang bekerja atau belajar di luar daripada negeri mereka untuk mengundi dalam pilihan raya.

Adalah tidak bertanggungjawab sekiranya SPR terus memberikan alasan tidak cukup masa sedangkan pendaftaran pengundi secara automatik pun SPR boleh jayakan dalam tempoh masa dua tahun.

Gesaan ini telah dibuat oleh Bersih 2.0 dan Bersih Sabah beberapa kali sebelum ini dan terbaru, Bersih Sarawak juga telah menggesa perkara yang serupa di dalam petisyen mereka bagi membolehkan pengundi Sarawak yang berada di Semenanjung dan Sabah untuk mengundi secara pos dalam pilihan raya negeri Sarawak yang akan datang.

Selain itu, Bersih 2.0 juga menggesa supaya kategori undi pos dan undi awal turut dibuka kepada pengundi yang berada di negara jiran seperti di Singapura, Selatan Thailand, Brunei dan Kalimantan.

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Jika perkara ini tidak dilakukan sekarang, maka bilakah lagi waktu yang sesuai untuk meluaskan kategori pengundian pos ini kepada rakyat Malaysia bagi memudahkan mereka untuk mengundi sekiranya pilihan raya diadakan kelak?

Di dalam suasana wabak Covid-19 yang masih belum reda, sewajarnya SPR memikirkan langkah yang lebih proaktif demi memastikan hak rakyat Malaysia untuk mengundi terjamin tanpa merisikokan keselamatan serta kesihatan mereka. Umpamanya SPR boleh memanjangkan tempoh pembuangan undi lebih daripada sehari sebagaimana yang dilakukan di beberapa negara seperti New Zealand di mana tempoh pembuangan undi adalah 12 hari.

Bersih 2.0 maklum kegusaran dan kebimbangan yang disuarakan oleh pihak SPR terutamanya berkenaan isu keyakinan orang awam terhadap ketelusan undi pos.

Di sini Bersih 2.0 ingin mencadangkan agar SPR segera menjalankan sesi libat urus bersama pemegang taruh termasuklah agensi seperti Pos Malaysia, Kementerian Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan, parti politik, pertubuhan masyarakat madani (CSO) dan badan pemikir yang lain. Sesi libat urus boleh menjadi platform kepada SPR untuk mencari jalan penyelesaian terbaik bagi melaksanakan undi pos yang lebih telus dan inklusif.

Bersih 2.0 siap untuk berbincang dan memberikan cadangan kepada SPR untuk memastikan pengundian pos ini dapat dijalankan dengan lebih baik.

Jawatankuasa pemandu Bersih 2.0

English version

Election Commission, when can absentee voting be widely available?

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) would like to reiterate our call that the Election Commission should be willing and prepared to extend postal voting to other categories other than the seven categories set by the commission as for now.

The seven categories are the military, police, media personnel, election officials, Malaysian citizens abroad as well as students and civil servants who are abroad.

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Bersih 2.0 believes the Election Commission already has gathered enough time to implement this matter as proposals and studies to expand the postal voting category have been made by the Special Select Committee on Electoral Reform, chaired by Maximus Ongkili since 2012.

If the Election Commission is unable to provide postal voting facilities to all Malaysians, at least the commission should provide the postal voting option for Malaysians not within their voting constituency – such as in Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula who are either working or studying – for them to enable to vote in the election.

The Election Commission should be held accountable and responsible by the public if it continues to give out the reason that it has insufficient time to implement such an option – given that even the automatic voter registration can be successful within two years.

This appeal has been made by Bersih 2.0 and Sabah Bersih several times before, and most recently, Sarawak Bersih has also made similar demands in their petition to enable Sarawak voters in the peninsula and Sabah to vote by post in the next Sarawak state election.

Apart from that, Bersih 2.0 also urged the postal and early voting categories to be open to voters residing in neighbouring countries such as Singapore, southern Thailand, Brunei and Kalimantan.

If such an initiative to improve the accessibility of the voting system by the Election Commission cannot be fulfilled, then when is the right time for the commissionto expand this postal voting category to Malaysians so that it is easier for them to vote if elections are held later within these few years?

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As the coronavirus pandemic begins to take another toll on the nation’s wellbeing, the Election Commission should think of more proactive measures to ensure that the voting right of all Malaysians is guaranteed, without risking their safety and health.

For example, the Election Commission could extend the voting period by more than a day as it has been done in some countries such as New Zealand, where the voting period was 12 days.

Bersih 2.0 is aware of the concerns raised by the Election Commission, especially regarding the issue of public confidence in the transparency of postal votes.

Once again, Bersih 2.0 would like to suggest that the Election Commission immediately conduct a session to engage with stakeholders including agencies such as Pos Malaysia, the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, political parties, civil society organisations and other think-tanks.

An all-inclusive governing session can be a platform for the Election Commission to find the best solution to implement a much more transparent and inclusive postal voting system.

Bersih is ready to discuss and give suggestions to the Election Commission to ensure that this postal voting can be carried out effectively.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee

16 November 2020

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