The Election Commission of Malaysia had been criticised over and over again for creating questionable actions that worry the Rakyat during the voting process. We believe that returning the confidence on EC is key under the new government.
The only way to clean the EC’s name is to proposed a full reform on how things should be done in GE15. With a long 5 years of time available, we believe that the commission have more than enough time to sort things out for the future of cleaner elections.
What We Would Like to Reform
(1) Educating The Public on Polling Procedures
We believe that this should be repeated every single election to new voters or as an update to what has changed over the years by EC. Every single time Malaysia goes to the polls, EC should list out the do’s and dont’s rather than relying on stupid Facebook posts shared over and over on our news feed or Whatsapp messages.
A gigantic ad campaign that creates awareness should be done by EC making sure every single voter is aware or prepare them to expect certain things.
Talking to polling station staffs, we learnt that there are criteria on how stained ballot papers could still be accepted. This wasn’t communicated by the EC to all of us.
Take for example, a marked ballot paper with an X in Pakatan’s box sees indelible ink stained on the Pakatan’s candidate boxes would still be accepted.
The ballot paper considered ‘undi rosak’ only happens when there is an X Pakatan’s box but the finger stain is in BN’s side of the paper. See illustration below. Note that only stains are allowed but not scribbles or writings on the ballot papers.
Furthermore, Cycbertrolls caused a stir at the last minute the night before GE14, Facebook sharing & Whatsapp messages flew across the region and caused confusion all over with issues regarding attire that might jeopardise one’s voting chance.
EC should educate the public beforehand on their official Facebook page, TVs and newspaper ads before the election to lower negate internet trolls that love to cause a stir in the cyber world.
Worst still, cases where ballot boxes are sent into respective schools for safekeeping causes the public to swarm the cars that send those boxes thinking those are fake votes. You might be right and you might be wrong! Who knows? But the EC should explain how these ballot boxes would be dealt with and make the public aware of this issue.
There’s no point creating fights with the Federal Reserve Unit over confusion caused by EC. We are all Rakyat bersama confused by poor management on top!
(2) Make Voting Powers Even
In GE13, BN won 140 vs 82 seats while Pakatan Rakyat won 5.6 million vs 5.2 million votes that goes to BN. We didn’t manage to change the government in GE13 although Pakatan won more votes. The value of every single vote is different and it really creates unfairness from within.
We would use the data from GE13 since it had been compiled. We believe that only a full revamp would allow voting to be as fair as it is.
First, Parliament seats totaling 222 can be increased to 223 but would still be in place as these would represent the voice of the Rakyat.
Borrowed from America’s style of voting for the President, each state carries different voting power for the new leader due to its population.
Meaning although Kedah has only 15 Parliament seats but the voting power would be increased to 18 in equivalent seat power to determine a new government.
The State’s preference to Barisan or Pakatan would be skewed towards how many seats they’ve won. Meaning if Pakatan wins 4 seats out of 6 in Malacca in this round’s election, it would contribute 8 equivalent seat power to the government’s vote.
That being the case, states such as Kelantan or Terengganu won by PAS with 26 equivalent seat power be a problem that causes a hung Parliament.
Obviously the idea of seats power just a part of the plan to mediate the value of every vote. This is why we still think that GE13 is an ideal environment for this to work out where it is only Barisan versus Pakatan Rakyat and there’s unlikely case of a hung Parliament happening.
We could draw up something like this in just minutes, we really hope that EC could draw up a better one in the next 5 years.
This structure could also curb on problems regarding non-voters that felt their single vote would not count. The adjusted number might increase the voter turnout that might felt that they can actually make a difference just but turning up to vote.
(3) Automatic Voter Registration
Every adult in the country has the right for one vote State and one vote Parliament. Why not automatically register every single adult that is eligible to vote? Pejabat Pendaftaran Negara has all our details.
Again, automatic registration could increase the number of turnout knowing that they have been registered automatically and it is their duty to vote for the government. One might laze around thinking that since they have not registered and their vote might not make a difference, they might as well don’t vote at all
For some, procrastination continues over the course of their lives and ended up not voting for the last 30 years which is equivalent to 6 elections! What a waste.
If we pre-register a voter, all the voter has to do is to queue up during the upcoming general election. I can almost estimate that the voter turnout percentage would automatically increase with auto registration.
If a voted has been registered and still don’t turn up then it would already fall to the right of choosing not to vote.
(4) The Election Commission Should Have Power Above The Prime Minister
EC should be the power above the Prime Minister. The check and balance system isn’t in place to curb on the overpowering effect on the board that picks you for the government in the future.
‘Never bite the hand that feeds you’. EC could never see their power higher than the Prime Minister’s office if this continues. This is really another department that the current government should revamp in the near future.
In the past few years, Malaysia had given reasons to foreign media to portray that our elections aren’t fair as EC is under the Prime Minister’s office. We should repair that clearing our name from disgraceful issues like these with the new government in place.
EC should be as independent as it can be and detach itself from being part of the Prime Minister’s department, it is only fair that the finance ministry allocate an annual budget to finance the operations of EC.