MEMBER of the Election Commission, Yusop Mansor congratulating some of the officers out of the 26 presiding officers for Sabah and Labuan in anticipation of the upcoming 13th General Elections.
Member of the Election Commission Yusop Mansor congratulating some of the officers out of the 26 presiding officers for Sabah and Labuan in anticipation of the upcoming 13th General Elections.
The Election Commission (EC) disclosed 10 new elements including four new rules to be implemented in the 13th general election which it says is the Commission’s effort to ensure an improvement and better transparency during the running of election process.
The use of indelible ink, the replacement of postal voting in favour of early voting by police and military personnel, allowing the disabled (OKU) to be accompanied by someone to help the voting process and abolishing the process of protest during nomination are some of the departures from past practices. Another significant change is not allowing the withdrawal of candidacy.
The rules are in accordance with the recommendations in the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform presented to Parliament on April 3rd last year. They were gazetted last year and came into force following the 2012 amendment to the General Election Regulations (Process of General Election) 1981 and the 2012 amendment to the General Election Regulations (Postal Voting) 2003.
The use of indelible ink is a compulsory rule whereby the left index finger of each voter will be marked before being given the ballot paper. This rule which will be used for the first time forbids any voter who refuses to comply from being issued the paper.
The Election Commission (EC) also disclosed an introduction of the early voting for military personnel and their spouses, General Operations Forces and their spouses, as well as police personnel unable to vote on polling day.
This enforcement will involve 273,819 voters comprising 163,017 voters from the military and 110,802 from the police.
There are also new rules governing postal voting. Malaysians who live abroad who meet stipulated conditions are also allowed to vote early through the postal voting method. The conditions for them to be eligible to vote are that they have to be registered voters and had been in Malaysia or had returned not less than 30 days in five years prior to the dissolution of Parliament or state assembly.
However, Malaysians living in southern Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and Kalimantan in Indonesia are denied postal votes and have to return home to cast their vote.
The EC has also abolished the process of protest during nomination, and the three-day cooling off period to withdraw candidacy.
The new elecoral practice also gives special considerations to media personnel. For the first time all Media personnel including journalists, photographers, cameramen and technicians on duty outside of their voting areas are eligible to apply to be postal voters.
Other registered voters qualified to apply for postal voting are staff of the EC and policemen or members of the military who are on duty on the day of early voting.
16 non-governmental organisations (NGO) have been appointed as GE13 observers, with five in the peninsula, eight in Sarawak and three in Sabah.
The EC, with the cooperation of the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry, will give equal access to all political parties contesting in GE13 to present their manifestos on Radio Television Malaysia.
Other new elements to be implemented for GE13 are:
- A campaign period of not less than 10 days.
- Representatives of candidates in voting rooms to be given a clear view of voters going to the voting booths.
- The exhibition of the Electoral Roll be extended from seven days to 14 days.
- Creation of the GE13 portal (www.pru13.gov.my) for access to the latest information. (Insight Sabah)