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EC's proposal: DAP reiterates that the EC must hold all party meeting to seek prior consensus


Press Statement
by Kerk Kim Hock

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): Election Commission (EC) Chairman Datuk Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said two days ago that the Election Commission was seeking powers to transfer voters from one constituency to another based on address in their identity cards to overcome the problem of phantom voters and allegations of fraud.

I wish state that DAP MPs are prepared to support any proposal the EC may make to solve the phantom voter problem. However, I wish to reiterate the DAP s calls that:

1. The EC must hold an all-party meeting to deliberate and decide on the effective ways to ensure that the next general election is free, fair and clean

2.that the EC must totally clean up the electoral rolls before the dissolution of the present Parliament

The Election Commission Chairman Datuk Abdul Rashid had in fact in September last year said that the practice of moving voters from one constituency to another was not something new and all political parties had been doing it over the last 20 years.

I contacted Datuk Abdul Rashid on 4.9.2002 and he had clarified to me that he did not say that all political parties were involved. He said that the shifting of voters had happened over the last 20 years and " may be political parties are involved".

The Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad said on 3.11.2002 that over the last 30 years, about 2.8 million voters did not vote in the constituency where they live in and majority of them were transferred by the Opposition parties, especially PAS, to the villages and fringes of small towns.

It is up to the Election Commission and PAS to reply to the allegations made by the Prime Minister. However, DAP has many times said that the Barisan Nasional was involved in creating phantom voters or the import voters, a new term used by Abdul Rashid.

It has been almost 4 months since Datuk Rashid reveled the practice of import voters, it is time that he informs Malaysians what has been the progress so far in his efforts to get rid of such phenomenon.

I wish to stress that as an independent body, the Election Commission must obtain the prior views and consensus of all political parties when making any proposal to change the election procedures, rules, regulations and laws.

A democratic election is one where the government is elected on the freely given consent of the voters. As such, the Election Commission must strive to ensure that every part of the electoral processes, whether it is the voter registration exercise, the campaign period and the campaign tactics, must meet the objective of a free, fair and clean election.

(20/1/2003)


* Kerk Kim Hock, DAP Secretary General and MP for Kota Melaka