(The Star) EC willing to study grouses on elections

Abdul Rashid: Does not agree to the use of indelible ink

PUTRAJAYA: The Election Commission is open to suggestions from groups that are unhappy with the way elections are being conducted.
Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said that if Opposition parties had a problem with the matter, they could discuss it.
However, he said, any change to the procedures of election would have to get the green light from the Cabinet followed by amendments to certain laws via Parliament.

“Any change means changes to the law. We (EC) are not in control of the law so it will be done in Parliament after the Executive agrees. It is not so easy,” he told reporters here yesterday after exchanging letters with Indonesia’s deputy chairman for Electoral Management Body.
Abdul Rashid was commenting on the statement by Bersih, a coalition of 25 non-governmental organisations, asking the EC to introduce the use of indelible ink to prevent multiple voting.
He, however, did not agree that the indelible ink was an improvement, describing the method as archaic.
Abdul Rashid said the electoral roll, estimated at 10.3 million during the 2004 general election, was currently standing at about 10.1 million – a reduction of 192,000 voters.
“This reduction is due to the Election Commission removing 184,000 names of voters who are dead, and names of those who are no longer Malaysians.”
He said a check with the National Registration Department showed that 8,000 voters had surrendered their citizenship since Sept 30.
“This reduction in the electoral roll was greater than increase in new voters,” he said.
On the proposal to the Government to amend election laws to allow automatic change of addresses of voters by the EC, Abdul Rashid said it was still being considered by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.