Electoral Reform Committee proposes 49 changes to Malaysia’s voting system

PUTRAJAYA : After two years of survey and study, the Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) has put forth 49 recommendations to overhaul the voting system in Malaysia to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

ERC chairman Tan Sri Ab Rashid Ab Rahman said the recommendations were handed to Muhyiddin in Parliament today.

Electoral Reform Committee chairman Tan Sri Ab Rashid Ab Rahman speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur May 4, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Electoral Reform Committee chairman Tan Sri Ab Rashid Ab Rahman speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur May 4, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

“With the submission of these recommendations, we hope to see future elections being held with integrity and freedom that will gain the trust of everyone.

“The report contains 49 suggestions whether in the form of amendments to existing laws or formulating new laws that are important in an electoral system,” Ab Rashid said today during a press conference in Putrajaya.

The recommendations include having new members appointed to the Electoral Boundary Commission on a yearly basis instead of the current practice of eight years such as when the redelineation exercise was carried out just prior to GE14.null

Other recommendations include new laws governing public funds, donations and private money channeled into political parties; appointing international and local observers during elections; making political parties register with the Election Commission (EC); making sure one candidate competes for only one seat; and for the EC to have greater authority in regulating the polls.

“We are also preparing rules and laws so that government agencies handling elections do not have overlapping duties.

“We will detail what they have to do, where their job starts and where it ends to avoid unnecessary complications,” Ab Rashid said.

He added that while its main task is complete, the ERC will be around for another three months to help facilitate questions from the public, government and media regarding the reforms.

“We are given the next three months to wrap up. After this anyone needs more information on this we can accommodate them. But not alone, in groups please.

“Once we close shop there won’t be meeting anymore,” Ab Rashid said, jokingly.

“But this will exclude me, I think I should retire,” added the 81-year-old.

BY : R. LOHESWAR – MALAY MAIL

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