Monday 4 June 2012

NGO wants monitoring body to oversee electoral reforms


An NGO wants Parliament to establish a monitoring committee to set a time-frame and road map to implement the 22-point electoral reforms proposed by the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reforms in March.

The Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) made the request when they presented the findings of a roundtable discussion to the Election Commission (EC) on Friday.

The discussion conducted on May 21 saw some 25 individuals giving feedback on the PSC’s 22-point reforms and on the electoral system in general.

Detailing the meeting with the EC in a statement yesterday, Proham urged the commission and the federal government to focus on the electoral reform agenda and not be distracted by issues pertaining to the mammoth Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28.

Besides the monitoring committee, the NGO also urged for the appointment of a supervisory unit consisting of EC’s representatives and civil society groups such as Bersih, Malaysia for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel) and Tindak Malaysia.

ramon navaratnam interview 071108 04“The unit will oversee the cleaning up of the electoral rolls within a short time-frame before the 13th general election is called,” Proham moderator Ramon Navaratnam (left) proposed.

He said there is an urgent need for the EC to work with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Bar Council, Bersih and the PSC to amend the laws so as to empower the unit to remove dubious voters “within a month”.

Proham, during the meeting with EC, also raised a string of irregularities in the electoral roll, some of which include 50 voters bearing foreign names registered in Kampung Melayu Majidee, Johor Baru with no house number and road names.

The NGO also highlighted an urgent need to probe some 3,457 voters alleged to have been transferred out from their original constituency without their knowledge.

According to Proham, EC chief Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said he would consider the initiatives proposed and added that the monitoring committee could perhaps come under the office of de facto law minister Nazri Abdul Aziz.

Meanwhile, the EC also informed Proham of a month-long campaign beginning June 1 aimed at allowing some 12.6 million newly registered voters to verify their voting details.

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