Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Vice-Chairman and MP for Kepong
after meeting the Elections Commission with DAP MPs Fong Kui Lun and Theresa Kok on 22.4.2002
in Putra Jaya
Recently, Parliament debated the 2002 Election (Amendment) Bill. The Opposition opposed it as some of the provisions are unfair such as the amount of deposit payable by a candidate in an election has been increased from RM5,000 to RM20,000. This is about 10 times that of United Kingdom.
The 2002 Elections Offences (Amendment) Bill has been deferred to June, 2002. Dealing with these offences effectively is important. As stated by DAP National Chairman Lim Kit Siang, the Election Commission should not only be open and transparent, but also work with an all-party group on the Elections Offences (Amendment) Bill.
As long as the ruling party can secretly obtain massive donations including campaign funds, we cannot expect fair, clean and democratic elections. For example, we accept the result of the recent Kitari by-election. But, we continue to point out that the Barisan Nasional candidate might have spent at least RM20 million during the campaign: posters, banners and billboards far exceeded the RM30,000 legal limit.
Clearly, the Commission must work with an all-party group to find solutions to elections offences. This is a step to establish confidence among the people.
As we do not have compliance with the controls on campaign spending, we need a monitor. Hitherto, the Commission has not indicated that it is doing something about this. It should have this type of monitor.
We have repeatedly called for the clean up of the electoral roll.Kit Siang has suggested six months. Obviously, we would like the Commission to let us know how long it will take to make sure that the national roll is devoid of phantom voters.
Media reports including political broadcasting reflect whether there is or isn't a parliamentary democracy. In Malaysia, the complete monopoly of BN on the media and broadcasting is abundantly clear. The Commission has not expressed its emphatic views on this issue. Neither has it come out with any suggestion on a workable solution to this problem. Truly, it should review the media reportage including political broadcasting.