"citizens are free to assemble peacefully", and claim that police can
stop any assembly without any proof that the assembly is peaceful or
not, since it has not begun yet, because the law states that. Well,
this law is INVALID because it is unconstitutional. And the Parliament
that passes the law also does not respect the constitution.
Indelible ink may be backward but it is the most sure way of ensuring
that phantom voters cannot vote more than once. It is also the
cheapest, and Malaysia already bought it. What a waste of public
Do you trust the EC to implement the biometric when it failed to
implement even the BACKWARD indelible ink?
The most logical reason is that the EC encourages phantom voters to
exist and vote many many times. It is a different story if the ink has
not been bought.
As to complaints that people don't like to dirty their fingers. Come
on. Maybe you also entertain complaints that citizens don't want to
travel far to vote. Citizens should be proud to show that they have
voted. We also know who has voted and who don't.
As to complains that many people would have unknowingly dirtied their
fingers with the indelible ink. Tough luck for them. If they can't
even find the voting stations, nobody is to be blamed. The EC is just
If India, Indonesia, Zambia and Zimbabwe can use indelible ink without
problems, why can't Malaysians? Which simple means that Malaysians are
even more backward.
Read the article 119 of the constitution. Automatic registration is
MANDATORY according to the constitution. It is the other way round.
The EC functions is to ensure that every citizen can VOTE, not for EC
to give them choices. Democracy is not about choice, but about voting.
This EC spokeman is either so stupid or just don't bother to read the
The constitution states VERY CLEARLY, "ENTITLED TO VOTE".
No mention about needing to register or not.
As to para 119(4), mention about electoral rolls, if it does not
comply with 119(1), then it is not valid.
It is just meaningless to ignore the first sentence, in favour of
subsequent statements. Just ridiculous which show how dishonest the EC
l (1) Every citizen whom
(a) has attained the age of twenty- one years on the qualifying date;
m (b) is resident in a constituency on such qualifying date or, if not
so resident, is an absent
is entitled to vote in that constituency in any election to the House
of Representatives or the
Legislative Assembly unless he is disqualified under Clause (3) or
under any law relating to
offences committed in connection with elections; but no person shall
in the same election vote in
more than one constituency.
l (2) If a person is in a constituency by reason only of being a
patient in an establishment
maintained wholly or mainly for the reception and treatment of persons
suffering from mental
illness or mental defectiveness or of being detained in custody he
shall for the purpose of Clause
(1) be deemed not to be resident in that constituency.
l (3) A person is disqualified for being a elector in any election to
the House of Representatives or
the Legislative Assembly if-
m (a) on the qualifying date he is detained as a person of unsound
mind or is serving a
sentence of imprisonment; or
m (b) having before the qualifying date been convicted in any part of
the Commonwealth of
an offence and sentenced to death or imprisonment for a term exceeding
he remains liable on the qualifying date to suffer any punishment for
l (4) In this Article "qualifying date" means the date by reference to
which the electoral rolls are
prepared or revised, and "absent voter" means in relation to any
constituency any citizen who is
registered as an absent voter in respect of that constituency under
the provisions of any law
relating to elections.
'Using indelible ink is a backward practice'
Stephanie Sta Maria
| June 30, 2011
The Election Commission explained why some of Bersih's demands could
not be met and why in some instances it had no power to act.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Election Commission (EC) has finally broken its
silence over the Bersih 2.0 rally to explain the complexities behind
fulfilling Bersih's eight demands.
In a luncheon entitled "Bersih's demands – What is EC's explanation?"
EC deputy chairman, Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, began by expressing regret
that Bersih had opted for this path instead of continuing further
negotiations with the EC.
"I daresay representatives of both Bersih and EC were satisfied with
the outcome of the talks last November," he told a crowd of about a
hundred people this morning. "Back then Bersih had 17 recommendations
which we went over in detail and provided an explanation for each
"In January (Bersih chairman) Ambiga (Sreenevasan) requested for
another round of talks but we asked that it held after the Sarawak
"The next thing we knew a Bersih rally was being planned for July 9.
And what were once recommendations had now become demands."
Indelible ink is backward practice
According to Wan Ahmad, Bersih's demand that indelible ink be used to
prevent voter fraud would make a mockery of Malaysia's development,
not to mention spark chaos on election day.
"Countries that use indelible ink are countries like Indonesia, India,
Zambia and Zimbabwe," he pointed out. "These are countries with more
than double the population size of Malaysia and where not all its
citizens own identification cards."
"These countries are not up to our level so why should we adopt their
system? This is a choice between progression and regression."
Wan Ahmad also raised the possibilty of voters not wanting their
fingers inked and questioned if they would then be barred from voting.
"Disqualifying them would go against their rights," he said. "I also
heard that indelible ink can be easily obtained from Thailand. What if
voters ink their fingers themselves before casting their vote? Can you
imagine the chaos that will erupt when they are barred from voting?"
He added that the reason behind this demand was a concern that one
voter would cast two votes and insisted that this was almost
"A voter is only registered under one MyKad number and can't use two
different numbers to vote twice," he asserted. "Furthermore we will
soon be introducing a bio-metric system to match a voter's thumbprint
to that on his MyKad. With these measures indelible ink is
EC has no right to relocate voters
On Bersih's demand for an electoral roll clean-up that included
removing the names of deceased voters, Wan Ahmad stated that this is
highly dependent on the family of the deceased.
He explained that unless the family reported the death to the
Registration Department the deceased would remain on the electoral
roll. This, he added, was a problem in rural areas and East Malaysia
where people neglect to register births, what more deaths.
"Reporting a death isn't a top priority unless the deceased has a
will," he said to laughter from the crowd. "It's not a laughing
matter, it's reality. But the minute the Registration Department's
system is updated so is ours."
Wan Ahmad also refuted allegations that voters were being moved to
different constituencies without their knowledge.
"EC is not allowed to do that," he insisted. "If that voters no longer
lives at the address on his MyKad and wants to register to vote in a
different constituency, then he has to send in an application to do
"We don't move people around at our whims and fancies. And we will
soon have a system whereby the head of the house can key in his MyKad
number and view the voters registered under that address."
Automatic registration contradicts democracy
Wan Ahmad also ruled out the possiblity of automatic voter
registration on the basis of upholding an individual's freedom of
choice. He also said that it would involve amending Article 119 of
Constitution which would be an ardous process.
"Those who wrote the constitutions, placed importance of freedom of
choice whether or not to vote." he said. "We don't practice mandatory
voting in this country."
"Democracy also requires intelligent people. Automatic registration
would enable even a mad man to cast his vote which will not contribute
anything to the process."
Qouting a survey conducted by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia on the
reason behind the large number of eligible but unregistered voters,
Wan Ahmad noted that the answer lay in their attitude.
"Most of those surveyed said their were either lazy or indifferent,"
he said. "So if these people are automatically registered they won't
take the election process seriously at all."
No need for longer campaign period
Wan Ahmad deemed the demand for a longer campaign period as
unnecessary considering Malaysia's size and the social media's reach.
He said that the 21-day period as requested by Bersih only made sense
for countries like Indonesia due to its vastness and huge voter base.
"We feel that the current seven or 14 day timeframe is reasonable," he
stated. "We are a developed country and even voters in the rural areas
are aware of the policies of each political party."
"There has never been a voter who has asked for a longer campaign
period in order to understand what (opposition leader) Anwar (Ibrahim)
or (PAS spiritual Leader) Nik Aziz (Nik Mat) stand for."