MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, January 31, 2019

Bersih moots EC be given power to issue fines for election offences

In light of the high number of election offences committed in the Cameron Highlands by-election, electoral reform NGO Bersih has suggested that the EC be given the power to issue fines for minor offences.
Speaking at a press conference today, Bersih chairperson Thomas Fann urged that the Election Offences Act 1954 be reformed to allow the EC to enforce some of its provisions.
“We want to recommend that the EC be given more power to enforce election laws, including the power to fine candidates or others for minor offences like treating such as giving free ice cream and free food or wearing a party logo badge into a polling station.
“There is a clear need to differentiate what are considered minor offences and what are considered serious offences. Right now, the election law does not differentiate. An election offence is an election offence.
“[...] but we are suggesting there should be a differentiation in the law (where) the EC is given the power to issue compound fines. It is like speeding. You are given a compound fine or you go to court,” he explained.
Fann further mooted that the EC hold pre-election briefings for all candidates and their agents on election laws.
“It doesn’t have to be a long two-day seminar, but I think a three-hour briefing would help candidates and their agents a lot. So we will see a decrease in offences committed,” he said at the NGO’s office in Petaling Jaya.
Other suggestions he made were that the EC set up polling stations in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to allow outstation voters to vote in future by-elections.
He also urged for political parties be consulted before election laws are reformed to specify how the use of government resources is an offence.
More transparency
Fann also commended the EC for its performance in the Cameron Highlands by-election.
Specifically, he supported how the commission had facilitated “pre-checking” of the candidates’ nomination papers and its live broadcast of the vote-counting process.
He also lauded the EC for issuing warnings and lodging police reports against election offences as well as its quick release of the by-election results.
“We commend the EC on these improvements. The measures taken by the EC have resulted in greater efficiency, transparency and respect for existing laws.
“(They also) further restored public confidence in the EC, an institution that was (previously) marred by allegations of bias and electoral misconduct,” Fann said. - Mkini

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.