Mafrel Will Monitor General Election

November 19, 2007   
PUTRAJAYA, Nov 19 (Bernama) — An independent body, Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel), will conduct overall monitoring of the coming general election to ensure good election practices.

Its chairman Abdul Malek Hussin said a monitoring task force had been set up to monitor the general election in four regions — Northern, East Coast, Central and South, and Sabah and Sarawak.
“The Election Commission (EC) is supportive of our intention to monitor the next general election,” he said at a joint press conference with EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman here today.
He had earlier submitted the final reports to the EC on Mafrel’s monitoring of three by-elections, namely in Batu Talam, Machap and Ijok.
Abdul Malek said Mafrel held a dialogue with the EC today to present its views and suggestions to enhance the country’s election practices through such reports.
“We’ve got official recognition from the EC on the importance of observing and monitoring the general election in a free and non-partisan way.”
Abdul Malek said some of the weaknesses mentioned in the reports had already been rectified, in the process of being rectified or could be rectified.
Abdul Rashid, meanwhile, said that some of Mafrel’s suggestions could not be done by the EC as it was bound by law, for instance, on the electoral roll.
“It cannot be changed at will even if felt suitable as it has to comply with the requirements of the Federal Constitution. It can only be amended through the legal process,” he said.
On Mafrel’s suggestion to review the campaign period which was said to be short, Abdul Rashid said this did not require the law to be amended and the EC would look into the matter.