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Saturday, June 01, 2013

A truly independent Election Commission

In a parliamentary system of government with general elections, the election commission must be fair. Since 1957, Malaysia has had 13 general elections. At the beginning, the difference in the number of voters between constituencies was not more than 15%. The Federal Constitution was amended to make it 50%. Then,  a further amendment abolishes the limits.

The 13th General Election on May 5, 2013 showed weaknesses and discrepancies such as doubts on immigrants becoming voters. The Election Commission (EC) insists that there are no major weaknesses. But, many Malaysians believe that it should not be under the Prime Minister's Department. It must be truly independent.

Today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib announces a Special Parliamentary Committee to oversee EC. The public would like to know how it ensures independence of EC.

YAB Najib should get the views of various parties and organizations such as Pakatan Rakyat and NGOs to find out the acceptable ways of making sure that EC is seen to be fair. For example, the ways with which important personnel such as secretary-general and secretaries are appointed should be transparent.


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