Nazri explains withdrawal of Bill to amend Election Offences Act
KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 — The withdrawal of the Election Offences Act (Amendment) Bill was not done in haste but upon the agreement of the Election Commission (EC), the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (picture) said the government had discussed the matter with the opposition leader and the EC before withdrawing the Bill.
Just before the start of Question Time, M. Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) had asked for an explanation on the withdrawal of the Bill which was passed by the Dewan Rakyat on April 19 and was being debated in the Dewan Negara.
Nazri said: “When it was debated in the Dewan Rakyat, we made three amendments. When it was debated in the Dewan Negara, they (the senators) wanted to make two more amendments. It would be meaningless to make all the five amendments.
“We asked the opposition leader and the EC for their agreement to withdraw the Bill. That was a requirement of the EC. If you are dissatisfied, turn to the EC,” he said in his reply to Kulasegaran.
Nazri also said that the Cabinet was only responsible for facilitating the amendment of the Bill and was not involved in amending it.
The Bill, tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on April 9, sought to make amendments aimed at improving the election process, including extending from 50 metres to 100 metres the distance from any polling centre where the public can be, except voters who have come to cast their ballots. — Bernama