I’m joining Bersih 3.0 because I want my vote to count

April 20, 2012
I do not have confidence in the Malaysian electoral system.  I’m not confident that my vote will count, and that my voice will be heard.  In a genuine, open democracy, each vote has equal value – every vote counts.
There are currently 42,051 known dubious names in the electoral roll and further irregularities: 79,098 voters are registered at a mere 354 addresses.
Although relatively small given the Malaysian voting age population, these numbers can make a huge difference in the outcome of elections.  Marginal seats can swing very easily with small numbers of votes.
The Election Commission’s response to these questionable electoral roll figures has been unimpressive. The commission’s chief reportedly said that his ‘hands were tied’ on cleaning up the electoral roll, and downplayed the importance of an accurate electoral roll.
For a democracy to function effectively there must be absolute faith in the electoral system, so that citizens will exercise their right to vote and make their voice heard.
One way of ensuring confidence in the electoral system is engaging independent international observers to monitor the elections.
Malaysian officials have previously observed elections in Thailand and other countries, demonstrating that the Malaysian government endorses this practice.
However the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform made no mention of inviting international observers for the upcoming 13th General Elections.
This is why I will join Bersih 3.0’s Duduk Bantah on April 28.  Besih 3.0 demands a cleaned up electoral roll and the engagement of independent international election observers.
This must be done before the 13th General Election to send a clear message that Malaysia respects its citizens and is serious about ensuring a clean and accountable electoral system.

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