re-election: food for thought for a fair and clean election process
for Malaysia in future
by Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew
The recent Ukraine election was marred by serious
flaws, irregularities and frauds. After a series of public protests staged
by more than 200,000 supporters of Viktor Yushchenko(who garnered 46.70%
votes against his opponent Viktor Yanukovich who obtained 49.42%) and
numerous interventions and criticisms from several heads of foreign
governments in the West and some UN senior officers who were monitoring the
election process in Ukraine, the Ukrainian supreme courts have finally ruled
that the election result was null and void and called for a fresh election
to vote in a legitimate leader.
11th Malaysian general election was also marred by many serious flaws,
weaknesses and frauds. The Election Commission even allowed extension of
voting for another 2 hours in Selangor at the 11th hour without giving any
valid reasons. Thousands of voters who may turn up to vote were not aware of
such extension except for those who have very close connections with the
ruling parties. Such serious irregularity has clearly contravened the very
Election Act which states that voting hours must be followed strictly
according to the gazetted one.
most unfortunate to note that nothing or little can be done to seek a
redress or to hold the Election Commission for accountability, let alone to
effect a re-election like the Ukrainians. Instead of holding the EC’s
senior officers accountable for the serious flaws, irregularities and
frauds, the ruling power has rewarded the Secretary of the EC with a
promotion; he was recently made a vice-chairman of the EC when he was
supposed to go into retirement in December this year.
dissatisfied Malaysians would not take to the streets in great numbers, no
foreign leaders would raise their eyebrows as they were not fully aware of
the fact that the election process in our country was actually full of
flaws, irregularities and frauds. The only thing they may be aware of was
that there was no level playing field in election campaigns, such as media
control and abuse of public facilities.
time has come for Malaysians to press for a truly fair and clean election
process. We do not wish to see that the opposition parties in Malaysia
forced to boycott the elections in protest out of total frustration one day.
Malaysians would have more to lose if the opposition forces were forced to
such a corner.
Election Commission does not need to go very far to learn how to run a fair
and clean election process. They can learn from the Philippines and
Indonesia, where all voters would be painted with a permanent ink which
would not disappear within 24 hours. This would serve well to prevent
multiple voting which happened widely in Terengganu and other crucial states
in the last general election.
Election Commission should also make sure every voter is issued a special
identity card with individual photograph. If this can be done by its Indian
counterpart where voters were in the tune of several hundred millions, we do
not see why our EC cannot do the same as our number of voters was relatively
the current system, there is also no way for the polling agents to verify
the true identity of the voters. They were simply seated too far away from
the polling clerks who were stationed in the polling centres for the purpose
of voters’ verification. The seating arrangement must be changed
drastically in order to ensure proper verification of voters’ identity to
prevent proxy and multiple voting.
Election Commission has lost ALL its credibility as an independent statutory
body. The opposition would seriously consider inviting UN and other
international organisations to send their teams to monitor the entire
election process to ensure a fair and clean election in future.
would seek a meeting with the Election Commission to highlight our demands
and press for the necessary changes to ensure a fair and clean election
process, which forms the basis of a true and meaningful democratic system.
* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP International
Secretary and NGO bureau chief