All political parties, both government and opposition, should take a joint stand on Thursday to demand  that the  Election Commission  stop wasting time and resources and focus on its primary constitutional duties to conduct free, fair and clean elections

Speech 2
 launching of the DAP Veterans Club
by Lim Kit Siang

(Kuala Lumpur,  Sunday): Election Commission secretary Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said yesterday that an  election monitoring squad will be set up for each of the parliamentary constituencies to monitor polling day and campaigns during elections. 

The squad,  equipped with two four-wheel-drive vehicles,  would include commission officials, candidates and representatives from the police and local authorities, to  move around the constituency during the campaigning period to ensure all candidates adhere to the stipulated legislation and by-laws. 

The  squad would be empowered to stop   any activity which contravenes the law and take  action against the offenders.  It would be  assigned to immediately remove banners or posters displayed at unauthorised areas and stop campaigners who give political speeches after the stipulated time.  (Sunday Star)

This is one of the most ridiculous proposals to come out of the Election Commission, not just because no candidate in any  election would be so free as to be tied down in such a squad but because of the Election Commission’s total misconstruction of its constitutional mandate and what should be its primary  responsibilities.

All political parties, both government and opposition, should take a joint stand on Thursday in their meeting with the Election Commission  to demand  that the  Election Commission  stop waste   time and public  resources and focus instead on its primary constitutional duties to conduct free, fair and clean elections.


All political parties should ask the Election Commission to accomplish  the following eight tasks before coming out with fanciful ideas like the monitoring squad: 

  1. Draw up a clean electoral roll, by removing the some three million phantom voters on the electoral roll in a six-month clean-up operation involving the co-operation of all political parties.  The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir and his deputy, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had said  that there were at least 2.8 million “phantom” voters.

  2. Ensure a comprehensive and inclusive electoral roll with the highest possible percentage of eligible voters on the electoral register. Wan Ahmad said there are 1.5 million Malaysians aged between 21 and 30 who had yet to register as voters.  Together with eligible voters above 30 years who have not registered as voters, there are easily some two million voters in the country  who have not registered themselves on the electoral roll.  The Election Commission should aim to register at least 90 per cent of the two  million unregistered voters in the next six months. 

  3. Prohibit unfair, dishonest and one-sided media coverage, whether print , radio or television during the election campaigns, so that the “below-the-belt” and unethical cartoons, write-ups and telecasts against the Opposition  in the 1999 general election would be things of the past. 

  4. Prohibit money politics, not only by candidates but also by political parties, and their excessive election expenditures. 

  5. Prohibit abuse of government resources and funds during election campaigns. 

  6. A Code of Conduct spelling out the do’s and don’ts of a caretaker government after dissolution of Parliament. 

  7. Standing practice to refer all proposed election laws and regulations  to all political parties for consultation and input; and 

  8. The execution of “Akujanji” by the Election Commission Chairman, members and officers to conduct free, fair and clean elections  and to uphold and protect the independence, professionalism and integrity of the Election Commission.


It is only after it has accomplished these eight tasks that the Election Commission can  allow itself to indulge in the luxury of  the proposal of an election monitoring squad, equipped with two four-wheel-drive vehicles each,  to deal with less consequential matters and which have not  posed major problems up to now.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman