Postal voting facilities for Malaysian citizens living abroad, apart from absentee voters, will be implemented for the 13th general election (GE).
Election Commission (EC) secretary Kamaruddin Mohamed Baria said this was in line with recommendations from the Special Election Committee on Improving the Election Process for Malaysians living abroad and absentee voters to be given postal voting facilities.
For this to be implemented, the EC was finalising the policies, logistics planning, manpower and financial allocations before amendments on the Election Regulations (Postal Voting) 2003 was made, Kamaruddin (left) said.
“After the regulations are finalised, the EC will set a date for its implementation and will be brought for approval by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Kamaruddin explained that although the third meeting of the fifth session of the 12th Dewan Rakyat had ended, and new regulations had not been tabled, it did not mean the regulations could not be enforced during the GE.
“The EC will ensure that the date for implementation of the regulations is set, so it can be used in the general election.
“Tabling of the regulations at Dewan Rakyat, according to Section 17 of the Election Act 1958, is required by law after it is approved by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, setting of the enforcement date and gazetting of the regulations are done,” he said. – Bernama
Sound familiar, folks?
Remember the indelible ink fiasco in the run up to the 12th GE?
Here’s an excerpt of what I wrote on 6th May, 2008, to remind you.
“Malaysiakini has it on record that in December, 2006, Rashid poo-pooed a proposal from Bersih to use indelible ink as “archaic”.
6 months later, in June, Malaysiakini reported that Rashid did an about-turn and announced that the EC was in principle agreeable to the use of the indelible ink, subject to two issues being sorted out.
One of those issues was whether there was a need to amend legislation such as the Election (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981 to allow for the implementation of the the proposal.
Rashid is quoted as saying, “We hope we can carry out the proposal in time for the forthcoming general election because there have been a lot of requests on this, especially from the opposition”.
Note that at this time, Rashid was well aware that the use of the indelible ink might well need amendments to the law if it was to be effected at the next elections.
Malaysiakini further reports that in July last year, at a meeting between Rashid and BERSIH reps, the former had said that use of the indelible ink was also subject to prior approval of the Fatwa Council. Further, Rashid had said that the EC was not as yet allowed by law to compel voters who had cast their ballots to be marked with indelible ink and such a move must be done voluntarily by the voters.
Note here that Rashid was already aware of this issue as early as July last year.
On 8th August last year, Malaysiakini reported that the National Fatwa Council had okayed the proposed use of the indelible ink and five days later, Malaysiakini reported that the EC had finally approved the use of the indelible ink for the next GE.
Now, having said earlier that the EC hoped to be able to use the indelible ink for the next elections, one would have expected that Rashid would have got the AG’s Chambers to get into Parliament the necessary bill to amend the law to address the problems to the use of the indelible ink that he was plainly aware of.
On 7th January, 2008, Malaysiakini reported that Rashid had said that nationwide polls were “around the corner”.
To quote Rashid : “When I say the election is around the corner, you better believe me because it is not a joke,”
And still no action taken by the EC to have the necessary laws passed to allow for the use of the indelible ink at the polls that were “around the corner”.
Parliament was dissolved on 14th February and the EC fixed polling day on 8th March.
Then came the bombshell. Four days before the last GE, Rashid announces that the indelible ink will not be used.
You honestly believe the EC is going to give the vote to overseas Malaysians?
You honestly believe Najib, UMNO and BN are going to give us any of the BERSIH demands?
What, and sign their own death warrant?