MEDIA STATEMENT (16 NOVEMBER 2017) : RESPECT THE INTEGRITY OF THE ELECTORAL ROLL AND THE RIGHT TO VOTE

Bersih 2.0 rejects the excuse given by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Razali Ibrahim when he attributes discrepancies in the electoral roll to ‘human error’ in his speech yesterday.

Malaysians seek more from our ministers than the condoning of mediocrity, especially in regards to the Election Commission (EC)’s failure to act or respond to errors and discrepancies in the electoral roll.

Bersih finds Razali’s response to the question on methods to prevent ‘human errors’ particularly alarming.

“Why should the people celebrate the EC for doing what it is mandated to do – to register new voters and maintain the electoral roll? If the voters are registered wrongly, it is only right that the EC should seek to correct the mistake rather than wait for someone to lodge a complaint. The EC should uphold the right to vote and not stand in the way of that right,” Bersih chairperson, Maria Chin Abdullah comments.

At present, affected voters will need to go to the nearest office and make the application to change their addresses. It will take 3-6 months before these changes will be reflected in the electoral roll. This will impede the affected voter’s right to vote in the upcoming elections.

Furthermore, under section 9A of the Elections Act, no citizen can challenge the electoral roll once it has been certified or re-certified by notification in the Federal Gazette, except for the affected voter. As such, EC must take immediate and strict steps to monitor and ensure that there are no discrepancies in the supplementary electoral roll.

MP’s are elected representatives of the people and should, therefore, adhere to the greatest attention to detail, as their policies and decisions would impact the lives of 31.2 million Malaysians. Parliamentarians should not be doling out excuses on behalf the EC such as ‘human error’ without proper discussion and inquiry into the matter, as this impacts the legitimacy of the 14th General Elections.

Issued by:

Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee

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APPENDIX

Section 9A of the Elections Act 1958 reads:

9A. Certified or re-certified electoral roll shall be deemed to be final.

After an electoral roll has been certified or re-certified, as the case may be, and notice of the certification or re-certification has been published in the Gazette as prescribed by regulations made under this Act, the electoral roll shall be deemed to be final and binding and shall not be questioned or appealed against in, or reviewed, quashed or set aside by, any court.