PAS found that thus far, after numerous challenges from the party and NGOs the EC had erased 120 361 dubious voters from the official roll, amounting to 0.98% of the entire electoral roll with 12mil voters. The EC has released a statement that from July to Sept 15th 69 293 voters had been removed with help from the JPN. And another 50 000 voters are under investigation for error of registration. Such a mass erasure cannot be explained by clerical errors -and should not go without some form of accountability from the EC or the JPN! The amount is enough to influence election results-the criteria for election court to uphold an election result challenge! If the situation is not addressed this alone can render the election results suspect!
The practice to not answer complaints of electoral rolls weaknesses had finally backfired on the EC. The accumulated weaknesses would snowball and crush any credibility of the EC in performing one of its Constitutionally mandated job ie compiling the nation’s electoral roll. The person in charge ie the Chairman, should step down to take responsibility rather than do as in the past, to claim that he is no expert in this area!
The EC has a huge budget to handle the job. Failing that it can recommend to do automatic voter registration to simply its job. It has done its best to refute the argument of automatic registration as though this is what that will favour the ruling party that it has been accused of protecting!
So the credibility of the 13th GE will be challenged if the electoral roll is not revamped. It is interesting to compare how Indonesia handle it. When a voter complaint that there are 1/4 of voters not registered and therefore challenge the representativeness of the Indonesian election the Constitutional court ruled that any citizen can vote according to his/her registered address provided he/she show his/her ID card!This effectively make the voter registration automatic! Is there any chance that the Malaysian counterpart would follow suit?
Now we would like to see if there is any resolve to really reform the electoral system. The Parliamentary Select Committee has been given a 6-month period to perform its job-but there is no guarantee that the 13th GE will not come up before that. So it is not necessary for the PSC to come out with reform recommendations. The government have parliamentary seatings to approve legislative changes if they want to. So -let’s see where the resolve is.