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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

YOURSAY | EC must obey the law set by Parliament, period

 


YOURSAY | ‘What a lame excuse to blame MCO for Undi18 delay.’

EC delays Undi18 to next year, youths under 21 likely can't vote in GE15

Dr Raman Letchumanan: Election Commission (EC), what a funny excuse to delay the implementation of Undi18.

How come you could conduct elections in Sabah during a period of severe and rising Covid-19 infections but not this?

Apart from the threat of the pandemic itself, there was a lot of physical planning and coordination with multiple agencies, more so in a vast rural setting. You did it all admirably, within a month.

I remember you said then, the experience will come in handy to plan and hold elections at any time.

So, don't give us this kid's excuse for not doing his homework. If you can do it in Sabah, why not for the rest of Malaysia?

The National Registration Department (NRD) has all the details of the 18-20 age group. Your existing software just needs to capture these additional 1.2 million voters.

It is very much similar, in fact easier, to get the eligible unregistered 5.6 million voters to also register. Probably the automatic registration can wait for next year if need be.

There was almost bipartisan support and a time frame set by Parliament. You follow the laws set by Parliament.

As an independent body, you should refrain from following the orders of the government, if any. That's why you are appointed by the Agong.

If you still need help, there are software specialists who can provide pro-bono service. Just ask.

Myviews: The Act of Undi18 has been passed by Parliament and the Senate. It has also been gazetted. You have no choice but to implement it because it is now a law, Covid-19 or no Covid-19, movement control order (MCO) or no MCO.

Your excuse is that implementation is being affected by MCO. Hello, what have you been doing during MCO? Sitting pretty and collecting gaji buta (free salary)?

It's the best time to update your software skills and fine-tune all necessary preparations. Or is it that you are merely following instructions from higher up?

If it is your mediocre performance at not being able to do what you are tasked to do, move aside as there are others who are prepared to do it.

EC, as an independent body, must obey the country's laws. Period!

Kita Orangbiasa: An 18-year-old can be an MP or assemblyperson as he or she can contest in elections, but they cannot vote. What logic is this, EC?

The Undi18 amendment was unanimously supported by the Dewan Rakyat and was also passed by the Dewan Negara. It was gazetted in September 2019.

What has the EC been doing since then? What is so difficult when the NRD is fully computerised? What part of the EC’s preparation was affected by the MCO?

In announcing the delay for such reasons, the EC seems totally incompetent.

Newday: EC, it is a very poor excuse to use Covid-19 as a reason for the delay. You raised the issue of consultation, but what consultation is required?

Why is there a need to consult with political parties and especially NGOs? These political parties and NGOs have specific agendas.

As for other preparations, what are they? Coming up with lame excuses on why you are not doing your job? You are an administrative body. The legislation has been passed. Do your job!

LBoy: Indeed, there is no need for voter registration. Voter registration is a relic of the past when all records were stored manually and there was no way of checking voting eligibility unless the person has registered to be a voter.

Anonymous_47029368: Undi18 can be done now through the existing system? Not so simple.

Logic already tells us now with millions of new voters, there will be a need to request more money allocated to run the election, more staff to administer and vet, more physical space for voting stations and more time for new voter list to be vetted by all political parties.

It’s not just pressing a button and all is done. Otherwise, some would use it as an excuse to question the integrity of the general election and this can destabilise our country.

Actually, nobody really knows how those new young voters would vote. However, it’s better to be safe and allow more time to make the necessary changes.

With the very high stakes in the coming GE15, our country just cannot afford to have people questioning the integrity of the election system.

Gasinggeorge: If the original time frame (no doubt generous) can’t be met, and the EC did not ask for an extension sometime last year, then it’s too late now to come out with excuses, so at least the chairperson must resign.

This is too important to just shrug shoulders and allow incompetence and/or political interest to prevail without consequence.

Two Come Out: The change is for Parliament to decide not for a group of 10 people or something. The EC cannot go against the will of Parliament.

When Parliament reopens, it should be censured for defying Parliament.

Cphangcolin: To those aged 18-20 and all those younger than that, please remember the government that denied your right to vote, despite it passing through Parliament with a two-thirds majority.

We all know why they are doing this - they are focusing on maintaining power while youth unemployment skyrockets and wages remain stagnant.

They know the youths are angry and they are afraid. Remember the ones taking away your rights and punish them in the next election.

MarioT: There is fear by the powers-that-be if the younger generation is allowed to vote, they will vote for change. - Mkini

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