Media statement by Dr. Hiew King Cheu in Kota Kinabalu on Wednesday, 30th November 2011:
PSC interim report on electoral reform
The Parliament Select Committee (PSC) has tabled the Interim Report on the Electoral Reform which is with the primary aim to improve the election process in Malaysia. The interim report is based on the various public comments, response, proposals, and suggestion received from the many associations, bodies, societies, and especially from political parties. The first round of hearing was conducted by the PSC in Kuala Lumpur at the Parliament House, and Sabah. The next round of hearing will be in Sarawak on the 8th and 9th of December, Pulau Peneng on the 15th and 16th December, Kota Bharu in Kelantan on the 7th and 8th January 2012, and last round in Johor Bahru on the 12th, 13th of January 2012.
After listening to the various proposals and suggestions, the PSC has taken into account and came up with the following 10 main areas to improve the election process.
Use of Indelible Ink
The SPR will implement this is to cut off the repeated voting by a single person.
Early voting for arm forces and police
This is exceptional for arm forces and police personals where they can not be available to vote early because they are on duties can apply for postal votes. SPR is to implement this as the normal voting process.
SPR is to implement measures to allow the Malaysian who are eligible to vote in oversea centre.
To vote outside constituencies
The voters can vote away from his registered constituencies from Sabah and Sarawak and those from Semananjong who are in Sabah and Sarawak can vote in centre arranged by SPR and not having to return to the home constituencies to vote.
Changing of voting areas
The voting area is based on the voter address registered with JPN, and now to move the voting area only need a Statutory Declaration to be submitted to SPR to change the area of voting.
Clean up of Electoral roll
The SPR should remove the name of the deceased, those who gave citizenship, people not eligible, ex-service men, people who joined the uniform service like army and police. The other is two persons sharing the same Mycard, 90 years old and above, those not local citizens, many sharing the same address, and those not qualified especially those who are in Sabah.
Checking on Added voters on rolls
A 14 days period is to be given to check on added voters on the new rolls from the original 7 days, and the fees of RM10 on the objection is to be cancelled. There will be no maximum number of objections.
Revised voting process
There will be no serial number on the ballet papers but only on counterfoil. The respective polling agents should have a clear view to identify the incoming voters. The disable can be assisted by a person above 21 years old. The recounting process can only be allowed when the vote differences between two candidates is less than 2%, and previously it is 4%. On the marking of Ballot papers, the "X" is the only approved mark on the ballot papers, other type of marking or sign will be rejected.
Nomination process improvement
The "objection period" during the nomination of candidates is to be removed, and the "3-days cooling off" period is cancelled.
To strengthen the SPR
To gain public trust, the PSC resolved that SPR must stay independent under the laws and not to be influenced by any parties. For the SPR to guarantee to function and be responsible with more play, they should be more power granted to SPR for them to enforce and execute the laws there is. The present manpower and allocation will also have to be increased to enable them to execute their job effectively and efficiently.
The committee hopes all the recommendations are to be implemented before the 13th General Election. The rest of the issues are still under discussion and will reach a decision in the final report.
After going through the Interim Report presented by the PSC and he found satisfactory and the committee has done a good job in compiling the first 10 interim recommendations to bring about a "Free and clean" election process in Malaysia. Although this is not the full recommendation as yet, but it does helped. The final complete report will surely show some more good measures to be recommended to SPR soon. The Parliament will see to adopt and approve the recommendation in the sitting tomorrow. MP Hiew said that all these recommendations of the PSC must be implemented and incorporated into the election system before the PRU13, or else it serves no purpose and cease its function to bring about a "Free and Clean" election in Malaysia.
* Dr Hiew King Cheu, MP for Kota Kinabalu