An election watchdog rejects the commission’s explanation that it is hamstrung by the law.
PETALING JAYA March 16, 2012: If it has the will, the Election Commission (EC) can find a way to ensure the integrity of the electoral roll in Sabah, according to election watchdog Tindak Malaysia.
The group’s founder, Wong Piang How, today rejected EC chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof’s recent explanation that the law prevented the commission from taking action in the case of 13,000 dubious voters in the East Malaysian state.
“Does he want to do it?”
he said in reaction to Abdul Aziz’s statement that the EC could not drop those names from the roll “except on strong grounds”.
Wong said the EC should have put those names on a supplementary roll and displayed them for public scrutiny and objection.
“If there is an objection on an elector in the principal roll, he cannot delete it immediately, but he can put the suspect voter’s name on the supplementary roll for public objection,” he said.
“He also has the power to conduct a public inquiry over names that are objected to. All of this is provided for under the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations of 2002.”
Wong quoted Section 17 (3) (A) of the regulations, which reads:
“If [a] prima facie proof … is given, the Registrar shall require proof of the qualification of the person in regard to whom the objection has been made, and … if such person’s qualification is not proved to the Registrar’s satisfaction, [he] shall expunge such person’s name from, or, as the case may be, refuse to include such person’s name in the supplementary electoral roll.”
According to Wong, the procedures mentioned in the section imply that the EC chief has “enough authority to remove the doubtful voters from the electoral roll.”
He also said that Section 25 (2) (d) allowed the EC to strike out any superfluous entry in the principal entry roll and Section 25 (2) (g) allowed it to strike out the name of any person not entitled to remain in the principal or supplementary electoral roll.