Thursday, March 23, 2017

Is Election Commission only interested in registering a particular creed of Malaysian citizens as voters?

Media statement by DAP ADUN for Kampung Tunku Lau Weng San on 22nd March 2017 in Petaling Jaya:

The Election Commission of Malaysia must not only act fair and independent but also must be seem to act fair and independent not only in conducting election but also in simple processes as in registering new voters.

When I was in EC Selangor branch office on 13th October 2016 to submit my objection against EC’s proposal to re-delineate the boundary of Petaling Jaya Utara parliamentary constitution, I snapped a photo of their pre-planned activities on that month and I reproduced the schedule as below:

1. 5th October 2016 - Perbadanan Prima @Perbadanan Prima, Putrajaya
2. 5th October 2016 - IPD Sg. Buloh
3. 5th October 2016 - MARA (GMI) Kajang
4. 7th October 2016 - Masjid Hasanah, Bangi (Friday)
5. 11th October 2016 - UiTM, Shah Alam
6. 11th, 12th, 13th October 2016 - TUDM, Subang
7. 14th October 2016 - Masjid At-Taqwa, Selayang Baru (Friday)
8. 21st October 2016 - Masjid Nurul Iman, Rawang (Friday)
9. 28th October 2016 - Masjid Al-Ridhuan, Ampang (Friday)

Certainly, we must commend on EC’s hardwork in registering new voters outside their offices in the month of October last year but one legitimate question needed to be asked is whether EC is only interested in registering voters from a particular race or religion instead of going all out registering new voters from different races, creeds and faiths in various religious institution?

Moreover, Pakatan Harapan has been inviting EC to conduct various voters registration exercise in places when there will be potentially high number of unregistered youngsters since 2016 when our request for EC to reappoint Assistant Registrar Officer (ARO) was turned down or not given any responses.

I wish EC will be more proactive in engaging various parties in registering new voters. After all, we are just volunteers to assist EC in carrying out its constitutional duty.

How would you know if you are being objected? What are your rights if you are being objected?

I would like to remind all Malaysian citizens who have registered as new voters via Form A (Borang A) to be vigilant and constantly check their registration status via, for those who are being objected will have an error message shown in their status: “Dalam Proses Siasatan Kerana Pemilih Dibantah”.

A person who sees such message in his/her registration status will expect the EC to notify him/her via a notice name “Form D” posted to his IC address via registered mail. Although there is a legal right for anybody from the same constituency to put up their objection in accordance with Regulation 15(1) of the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002, such right maybe abused as we have seen recently when there are large number of non-Malay voters registering to vote in constituencies contested by UMNO being objected. 

However, EC has a role to play under Regulation 15(5) to request for more information from the objector. Under Regulation 15(6), such objection will be disallowed if such request is not entertained. Under Regulations 15(7), such objection will also be disallowed if EC believes that the objector is not entitled to object.

Once an objection is allowed, Regulation 17 will be kick-started, EC must call for an Inquiry and the objector will have to present his prima facie proof to establish his objection. However, I urge EC to also take note of Regulation 17(5), even though the person being objected is absent from the inquiry, the objector will still have to present his case with his prima facie proof. 

Under Regulation 17(8), if such prima facie proof is not presented by the objector, the objection will be deemed as failed. 

Under Regulation 18, such failed objection will be deemed as without reasonable cause and the person so being objected is entitled to a claim for expenses incurred not exceeding RM200. I was made to aware that the EC is only awarding RM100 to each person so being objected. For those who believe they are entitled to be paid RM200, they must bring evidence to substantiate their claim, i.e. loss of income, loss of tuition fees in terms of the number of credit hours so lost, additional expenses in taking a taxi to EC office etc.

In any case, Regulation 20(1) also allows any person so aggrieved by the decision of the EC to appeal its decision to the level of an “Adjudicating Officer”. In many instances, EC does not seem to have invoked Regulations 15(5), (6) and (7) to filter out any mala fide, unqualified or unjustified objections. EC also does not seem to have informed those who are being objected and whose names are expunged from the electoral roll that they can still seek for redress under Regulation 20(1). 

Therefore, it is the intention of this press conference to not only highlight the existence of these regulations to EC but also to inform the public the right they enjoy in the case of them being objected. It is also strongly advised that for new voters who were being objected, who was absent for the inquiry, to present themselves at the EC office afterwards and request to appeal against the EC’s decision if their names were already expunged from the electoral roll. Alternatively, they can re-register themselves on the spot since they are already present at EC office.

Skim Teksi Percuma to be extended to Malaysian citizens to register as voters and to attend EC inquiries

In view of the difficulties that unregistered Malaysian citizens in Klang Valley are facing and the hassle they have to go through either in registering themselves at post offices or attending inquiries at EC office, my service centre will be extending the Skim Teksi Percuma to them whereby those who wants to go to post offices or EC office in Shah Alam, Kuala Lumpur or Putrajaya to register voters can call my office during office hour to request for such free services.

In addition to that, for the people of DUN Kampung Tunku and those staying surrounding, there will be several outdoor voters registration exercise conducted by fellow ADUNs with the limited resources we have. We will announce the details from time to time via our social media websites.

Lau Weng San
ADUN Kampung Tunku

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