Voter group demands resignations of EC chairman, deputy
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 ― MyOverseasVote (MOV) are calling for the Election Commission chairman and his deputy to resign over delays in the implementation of overseas voting for Malaysians.
In a statement today, the group accused EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof and his deputy, Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, of “deceiving and cheating” Malaysians abroad of their right to vote as a result of the commission’s “deliberate inaction” in implementing overseas voting before the 13th general election, now said to be as early as November this year.
The group explained that on August 25 last year, Abdul Aziz (picture) had announced all Malaysians living overseas would be able to vote by post.
On September 14, more than a year since his announcement, Aziz said that the Attorney-General’s Chambers was “still studying whether an amendment to the Election Act was needed” before overseas postal voting for Malaysians can be implemented.
“In order to deflect attention from their thirteen months of deliberate inaction, Abdul Aziz and his deputy have repeatedly expressed their disappointment at the small numbers of Malaysians overseas who have registered to vote overseas,” MOV said.
“This is despite the fact that it is currently impossible for Malaysians who are not students or government servants to register as overseas voters,” it added.
The group pointed out the EC was entrusted with the “preparation and revision of electoral rolls and the conduct of elections to the Dewan Rakyat and the State Legislative Assemblies”, and given a RM700 million budget.
They added that the commission was given “wide rule-making powers” by Article 113(5) and by the Elections Act 1958, allowing the commission to ‘make regulations for the registration of electors’, ‘to make regulations for the conduct of elections’ and ‘for all matters incidental thereto’.”
“It is inconceivable that the EC, with its own legal staff, does not know its own rule-making powers,” they said, adding the commission had “already made the Elections (Postal Voting) Regulations 2003 which set out the present categories of eligible postal voters”.
“Furthermore, regulation 3(f) of the Regulations specifically allows the EC to gazette new categories of postal voters without obtaining the approval of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or the Dewan Rakyat.
“The EC has quietly used this to gazette spouses of police officers in the Pasukan Gerakan Am, who were not previously eligible to be absent/postal voters, as postal voters,” they claimed.
MOV reiterated their call for Abdul Aziz and Wan Ahmad’s resignation, saying “It is clear that their aim all along has been to deceive overseas Malaysians with promises while having absolutely no intention to implement overseas postal voting.”
The group then sought for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to appoint a new chairman and deputy who would be able to command the confidence of the Malaysian public.