Ensure Transparency and Robustness of our election system
Politics and Policy: Building a credible election system
14 May 2020
Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, the chairman of the Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) wanted Malaysia to come to the stage where the Election Commission (EC) not a subject of ridicule or complaint and find the Australian’s election handled well without the need for police for monitoring. Australians are the electoral body when it comes to voting. In April, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin welcomed the recommendations and looked towards the committee’s implementation plans, ERC chief executive Amerul Muner Mohammad said in a text message to The Edge.
Voter education EC’s top priority in 2020
23 January 2020
The Election Commission (EC) will create modules for voter education. The EC chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun said it is in EC’s plan to visit 2,400 secondary schools nationwide for this purpose. The modules will be made public to show that it is an education not indoctrination of students.
Electoral Reform Committee submits interim report with recommendations to Dr Mahathir
13 January 2020
Nine recommendations have submitted by the Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) through its interim report to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. These include proportional representation voting system at the Parliamentary level; standard operating procedures for caretaker government; a free, fair and balanced media coverage; special body to manage re-delineation for election; restructuring the Election Commission by having election management body, political and electoral financing; inviting election observers; fixing the date for Parliament and State Legislative Assembly (DUN) dissolution and the cooling period before voting day.
ERC moots jettisoning current election system for proportional representation
30 December 2019
The Election Reform Committee (ERC) suggests a “proportional representation” (PR) system to replace the current “first-past-the-post” (FPTP) electoral system for parliamentary seats only.
Nearly 360,000 names axed from electoral roll
14 November 2019
The Election Commission (EC) has cleared nearly 360,000 names from the electoral registry. Out of the total, 348,098 names were voters who have deceased and 11,799 are those whose citizenship had been revoked. “The people who have been dropped off from the electoral register involve those who have died and those who have lost their citizenship based on information provided by the National Registration Department (JPN),” Deputy Law Minister Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said. The commission is also looking at other issues linked to “phantom” voters, including those aged above 90 and early votes from retired military and police officers.
- A task force had been set up with JPN to verify information related to citizenship to streamline data on the automatic registration system.
- The EC and the Royal Malaysian Police and the Malaysian Armed Forces to get updated details on the localities of their officials, especially those who have retired from service.
- The EC and non-governmental organisations
- The EC and political parties
The Pakatan Harapan Government will free the Election Commission from the grips of the Prime Minister and other politicians by placing the Election Commission fully under Parliamentary monitoring.
4 May 2019 – The government has given the ERC two years to conduct studies on improving the election process. For starters, we have identified 15 components for improvements, which include the possibility of changing the election system from the present one of ‘having the most votes’ to a representational one which is practiced in many other countries. ERC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said.
2 April 2019 – EC, UNDP to foster cooperation on Malaysian election reforms. Through this cooperation, UNDP will provide EC with technical consultation assistance in improving the electoral rolls and capacity building through Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE).
26 Mar 2019 – Interim report on election reforms to be handed over to PM by year end. Among the reforms are registration of voters, the registration of political parties, the electoral system used, re-delineation, the caretaker Government, voter education, media management, political funding, and the duties and responsibilities of the EC.
A quota will be established to ensure that civil society representatives become members of the Election Commission of Malaysia.
Appointment of members of the Election Commission will be through the process of approval by the Parliament.
A Special Committee will be formed under the Deputy Prime Minister to work with civil society in creating and publishing a guideline for a Caretaker Government. This will be expedited to ensure there is no abuse of government assets in GE15.
The Pakatan Harapan Government will lower the voting age limit to 18 years. Registration will be automatic based on details at the National Registration Department.
Automatic voter registration ready by January 2021
13 November 2019
The automatic voter registration system will be ready by January 2021, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law) Datuk Liew Vui Keong. Those who have not registered and all 18 year olds will be able to exercise their right to vote. The EC has established a Voter Registration Improvement Policy Committee to make improvements in voters’ registration issues. A Special Task Force on Election Campaign is established during the election to focus on coordinating matters involving election campaign monitoring. The MACC has agreed to establish an MACC Operating Room for 24 hours during the election campaign period. An EC task force committee and the National Registration Department has been set up for the purpose of disseminating citizen information on voter registration matters, particularly the implementation of voter registration.
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04 September 2019
The status of the full implementation of Undi 18 is expected to be known as early as the end of next year or by the end of 2021, said Election Commission (EC) chairman Azhar Azizan Harun. He said the EC had to take into account some of the requirements and engagement sessions to provide a comprehensive and practical approach within the next 18 to 24 months.
28 August 2019 – Youths aged 18 and above are now eligible to register themselves as voters ahead of the 12th Sarawak State Election (PRN) which is expected to be held by early 2021. Electoral Reforms Committee (ERC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said this was because the Bill to reduce the voting age limit to 18, was passed in Parliament recently.
C4 – The confirmation from the Election Commission that youths who are 18 years and above are eligible to vote in the upcoming Sarawak State Election is a victory for democracy. The lowering of the age to vote will expands the current electorate in Sarawak by 1.22 million people to 2.04 million people (data provided by Sarawak ROSE – https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/07/17/sarawak-based-cso-wants-automatic-voter-registration-in-place-before-next-state-polls). This will give hope for more voices will be added to the Sarawak State Assembly as the younger generation has seen the effects of cronyism and corruption on their prosperous yet impoverish state. With new voices in the assembly will bring the current Gagasan Parti Sarawak (GPS) administration accountable to the numerous allegation of corruption and bad governance that has plagued the state.
15 August 2019 – The Election Commission (EC) is studying the possibility of implementing electronic voting (e-voting) to cater to an estimated 22 million voters in the next general election. Suggestions of an online voting system came up following the recent changes to the country’s voting laws.
- AskLegal, a news portal on the Malaysian legal system, takes on the lowering of the voting age in the country to 18 years of age.
16 July 2019 – The Bill to amend the Federal Constitution to lower the voting age to 18 has been passed at the Dewan Rakyat. The Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 to lower the voting age was passed with a total of 211 votes in Parliament on Tuesday (July 16). The Bill requires a two-thirds majority of at least 148 votes from the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat to amend Article 119 and Article 47 of the Federal Constitution.
To create a healthy competition, the Pakatan Harapan Government will allow all registered parties who are contesting in the election to have air time on TV channels and radio stations run by RTM. We will also ensure RTM’s coverage of the election is fair and just.
Malaysia Baru and its Promise of Media Freedom
November 19, 2019
In April 2019, Malaysia jumped 22 places to 123rd in the latest World Press Freedom Index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders. The general environment for journalists is much more relaxed, and the readers are able to enjoy a more balanced range of perspectives compared to suppression of speech of the past. The government acknowledged the importance of media independence by establishing the Malaysian Media Council and a guiding Code of Conduct. Its formation is spearheaded by a group of Malaysian senior journalist groups.
The Pakatan Harapan Government will ensure a fair ratio in future delimitation exercises. We will announce transparently to the public the formula being used to determine the number of voters and the size of each constituency.
21 August 2019 – The Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) will propose to the government, the setting up of a special commission to carry out re-delineation of electoral boundaries in this country. Its chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said the move was aimed at reducing the workload of the Election Commission (EC), thus enabling it to focus on its main role of conducting the elections.