‘EC chief and deputy must go’

James Lim | September 19, 2012
A non-governmental organisation has reiterated the call to allow postal voting for Malaysian citizens living abroad.
PETALING JAYA: MyOverseasVote, a loosely formed non-governmental organisation to safeguard the electoral interest of Malaysians living abroad, today accused Election Commission chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof and his deputy Wan Ahmad Wan Omar of deceiving and cheating Malaysians living overseas.
In a statement, MyOverseasVote also called on both the EC top-ranking officials to resign immediately as they had failed to keep up their promise to allow Malaysians residing overseas to vote at the upcoming general election.
“Abdul Aziz has given the clearest indication yet that the EC has no intention of implementing overseas voting for Malaysians before the 13th general election… in contempt of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform, which were endorsed by the Dewan Rakyat.”
“The EC is the body entrusted by the Federal Constitution with the preparation and revision of electoral rolls and the conduct of elections to the Dewan Rakyat and the State Legislative Assemblies.
“The EC has its own legal staff and a RM700 million budget and is given wide rule-making powers both by Article 113(5) and by the Elections Act 1958,” the NGO said in the statement.
MyOverseasVote highlighted the jurisdiction of the EC, among them the ability to “make regulations for the registration of electors, to make regulations for the conduct of elections and for all matters incidental thereto”.
“These regulations can be made by the EC with the approval of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and then laid before the Dewan Rakyat, which can reject them.
“Sub-section 16(n) of the Act specifically gives the EC the power to make regulations to prescribe the facilities to be provided for voting by post and the persons entitled to vote by post.”
“It is inconceivable that the EC, with its own legal staff, does not know its own rule-making powers.” said MyOverseasVote.
The statement said the EC drafted the Elections (Postal Voting) Regulations 2003 which set out the present categories of eligible postal voters.
Furthermore, regulation 3(f) of the Regulations specifically allows the EC to gazette new categories of postal voters without obtaining the approval of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or the Dewan Rakyat, the NGO said.
“In order to deflect attention from their 13 months of deliberate inaction, Abdul Aziz and his deputy Wan Ahmad, have repeatedly expressed their disappointment at the small numbers of Malaysians overseas who have registered to vote overseas.
“This is despite the fact that it is currently impossible for Malaysians who are not students or government servants to register as overseas voters,” added MyOverseasVote.
The NGO said Malaysians have had enough of EC’s deceit and inaction and that it was clear that the aim of the EC “all along has been to deceive overseas Malaysians with promises while having absolutely no intention of implementing overseas postal voting before the 13th general election”.

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