Election Commission - For Greater Fairplay & Democracy

Memorandum to Election Commission
by John Chung, Khong Chee Seng, & Ong Chee Kein

(Putra Jaya, Saturday):

For Greater Fairplay and Democracy

The EC's decision to conduct year-round voter registration at all post offices as of 16 of July 2002 is in the right direction. This new measure allows citizens who attain the rightful age of 21 to register themselves as voters immediately and conveniently.

However, we like to bring the EC's attention to numerous complaints we received from the public that quite a number of post offices in the country are not ready to register voters. One of the most common excuses was " sorry, the system links to SPR is down". We hope the EC will look into the matter urgently to rectify the problems.

The figures revealed by the EC on registered new voters were very low compared to the potential pool of new voters. To overcome this problem, we hope the EC could be more proactive in its approach by stepping-up its publicity, besides working closely with political parties to conduct mobile registration exercise in community halls and shopping malls. The best way to resolve this problem is to automatically register new voters according to their last address as soon as they reach the age of 21.

We have in the past proposed numerous suggestions to improve and reform the registration exercise and other aspects of electoral system whenever we met up with the EC. For instance, we have always wanted the EC to lower the voting age to 18. We hope the EC will speed up reforms in the electoral system for greater fairplay and democracy in the country.

The EC is now asking for wider powers in handling elections, especially in the area of enforcement. While we welcome some of the suggestion made by the EC (such as removing the Electorate Roll Check Points run by the contesting parties as the EC is already providing the service at all polling centres), we are very disappointed with the EC for not taking more steps to regain the confidence of the people in general, and the political parties in particular.

The EC should seriously consider taking the following steps to ensure greater fairplay and democracy in future elections:

Phantom voters
  • Clean up all electorate rolls and make it available for public inspection
  • All voters to wear an identity card (with photo of voter) specially issued by the EC (To emulate the Indian elections)
  • All voters to be marked with a special ink after casting of votes (To emulate the Philippines election)


  • No transfer of voters from the original constituency without prior notice
  • No change of polling station for voters without prior notice
  • Agents and representatives of candidates should be allowed to monitor polling procedure in police depots and army camps

Delineation exercise

  • All delineation exercise should be carried out independently without any intervention of the ruling parties
  • To uphold the principle of "one man one vote", the ratio of voters of different constituencies should not exceed the 2:1 ratio at all times

Expenditure and money politics

  • The EC must ensure that all candidates to adhere to the stipulated limits.
  • All ministers and government leaders are prohibited from using government vehicles and other facilities for campaigning purposes

Media control

  • The EC should ensure that all political parties are given equal opportunity to appear in the state-owned electronic media, such as TV and radio stations
  • The EC should ensure that all political parties are allowed to advertise in all media

Ceramah permits

  • The EC should ensure all political parties are given equal opportunity in holding political ceramahs and gatherings

Campaign duration

  • The EC should ensure sufficient time for election campaigns. The current 10-day period is simply too short and unfair to the opposition which have no access to electronic media and insufficient space in the print media. At least 3 weeks should be allotted for election campaign


  • The deposit set by the EC is prohibitive to candidates with weaker financial standing. The EC should revert to the amount (RM3000 for state seats, RM5000 for parliamentary seats) set prior to the recent amendments


* John Chung, DAP national publicity bureau assistant secretary, Khong Chee Seng, DAP national Consumer bureau secretary, Ong Chee Kein, DAP national Publicity bureau committee member