A group of youths have started a campaign to lower the eligible voting age from 21 to 18 years old, saying young adults were the largest age group in the country. Calling themselves Undi18, the six youths kicked off a signature campaign last Saturday to generate support for their call to give young Malaysians a bigger say in the country’s direction. “As of now, we have several hundred signatories for the petition, but ideally, we are looking at between 5,000 and 10,000 petitioners in the next five months before we submit it to the Prime Minister’s Office,” director of Undi18, Tharmelinggem Pillai told Malay Mail Online. Although conceding it was unlikely that an amendment to Article 119(1) of the Federal Constitution to lower the voting age can be done in time for the next general election, he said the group was hoping for this to occur by the 15th general election.
Articles about voting issues in Malaysia.
Malaysia: Election Commission chairman says Malaysia not ready for automatic voter registration | The Star
The extra sensitive job scope of the Election Commission is among the factors for Malaysia not being ready to implement the automatic voter registration system. EC Chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah said the commission did not want to be blamed for any problems arising from any changes related to voter registration. “There may be some things which we do not deem serious, but is taken seriously by certain parties. Especially when we make changes. “If we are not prepared, but we proceed to do the changes, then many issues will arise,” he said when he appeared as a guest in the Slot Khas Ekspresi programme on Bernama Radio with the discussion “Voting and the Responsibility of a Citizen”.
The Election Commission (EC) could be remodelled after its counterparts in India and New Zealand for greater checks and balances in the way it runs elections, the Society of the Promotion of Human Rights Malaysia (Proham) suggests. Proham chairman Datuk Kuthubul Zaman highlighted the public’s perception that the EC lacked independence, noting among other things that the voting regulator is parked under the Prime Minister’s Department and have its members appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the prime minister’s advice. “So I think we need to learn lessons from different democracies,” he said at a roundtable discussion last night. Kuthubul gave the example of New Zealand’s division of election-related responsibilities, listing various features such as its chief electoral officer is a staff under the minister of justice instead of the prime minister, while electoral enrolment centres tasked with handling voter registration and voter list maintenance.
The word in Putrajaya these days is that the next general election will be held as early as next year although the term of the present administration will only end in May 2018. All indications point to the possibility of an early poll and the order has been given to heads of the Barisan Nasional component parties to activate their campaign machinery soon. One component party has already notified its chosen candidates to enable them to get down to work in the respective parliamentary constituencies and to work with the respective division heads to get operations started. Last week, former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam predicted that the Barisan will hold the next general election “very soon,” saying this had to be done before Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s new party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, gained a foothold.
Malaysia: Automatic registration won’t work if Malaysians don’t bother to vote, EC chief says | Malay Mail
It would be impractical to implement automatic voter registration now or in the near future as there are still many Malaysians do not vote during elections, Datuk Seri Hashim Abdullah has said. The Election Commission (EC) chairman said it was more necessary now to spread awareness among Malaysians on the importance of casting their ballots, adding that the automatic registration of voters would only be feasible once the electorate understands the importance of participating in an election. “Automatic voter registration is not a solution. If we do this, where is the benefit when in this current situation only 70 per cent of Malaysians go out and vote, and the remaining 30 per cent do not do so,” Hashim told Malay Mail Online in a recent interview.
Malaysia may be one of the leaders among nations that embraced the digital revolution but it is likely to say a resounding “no” to electronic voting or e-voting. Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof (pic) said it was better for the country to stick to the conventional method of voters having to physically cast paper ballots at polling stations nationwide. He said the system used in Malaysia had been time tested and there was no reason for the country to follow in the steps of nations that had introduced e-voting. “There is no concrete evidence as yet to suggest that e-voting is a fool-proof system and cannot be manipulated. “The current system is still the best. There is no need for us to go e-voting because it is not only unnecessary but highly risky in terms of security,” he told The Star.
Major Zaidi Ahmad was demoted from his post as commanding officer at the Butterworth airbase after he complained publicly about the inefficacy of the indelible ink used in Election 2013, his court-martial heard today. Captain Nor Asyikin Mohd Azmi, an officer in charge of keeping documents of officers’ personal details including ranks and positions, told the military court that Zaidi was moved to the administrative post after he blew the whistle about the ink meant to prevent repeat voting. “Major Zaidi was transferred to the Human Resources Department at the Air Force headquarters on May 3, 2013. “It was a temporary position as a second staff officer in research,” she told the court.
An airforce major being court martialled for blowing the whistle on the indelible ink used in Election 2013 won an early reprieve today when a military court set aside five charges against him for going public. But Major Zaidi Ahmad remains in the dock with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) court, however, over two other charges for sending messages of a political nature. “I am thankful that at least in this early stage we can show that the charges were not right,” said lawyer Hanipa Maidin who is representing the major. Hanipa explained that the military court today set aside as defective five charges for violating council orders on the use of indelible ink during the election and for making a statement without the authorisation of the Defence Ministry. But the Sepang MP explained that the prosecution could still amend the charges later.
Malaysia: More rallies promised if Malaysia ignores demands for electoral reform | Australia Network News
The co-chair of Malaysia’s Bersih movement has promised another street rally if the government ignores the peoples’ demand for electoral reform. Speaking to Radio Australia’s Asia Pacific, Ambiga Sreenevasan says the Election Commission must clean up its electoral rolls before proceeding with its delineation of parliamentary and state constituency boundaries. The states of Sabah and Sarawak will be among those affected by the changes. She says the movement is very worried about the Electoral Commission’s plans. “What the election commission is planning to do, and they are pushing on ahead as I understand it, is to do the re-delineation process based on the electoral role which was used in the May elections. “That would be wholly unacceptable.”
The Election Commission is looking into replacing the indelible ink with a biometric system as proposed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim. Its deputy chairman Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said amendments to the laws must be made if it were to scrap the use of indelible ink. “We are still scrutinising the matter internally,” he said, adding that the biometric system should be more suitable for Malaysia as it was at the forefront of digital as well as information and communication technology. He pointed out that the national registry system and MyKad were among the best in the world.