The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) welcomes the public display of Draft Supplementary Electoral Roll (RDPT) for 1Q2019 for 14 days from April 30 to May 13, 2019 which contain 26,136 applications of new voters and 11,655 applications for change of voting constituencies in accordance with Regulation 13, Election (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002.
However, based on previous experiences, Bersih 2.0 believes there is room for improvement in the display and objection processes.
Up until 4Q2016, the EC has issued the RDPT in database format to enable credible stakeholders to analyse the data in an efficient and effective manner. However, since 4Q2016, the EC has ceased issuing the supplementary roll in such database format. This has taken place around the time when dedicated data watchdog teams such as Malaysia Electoral Roll Analysis Project (MERAP) started noticing increasing and illegal movement of voters since 3Q 2016.
Even though the database format has been made available after GE14, the RDPT on display since 2017 does not contain sufficient data as compared to before. Important information such as addresses of voters are being left out, which render effective and efficient analysis impossible. The change in data format is unexplained and alleged by MERAP as a measure to prevent effective and efficient detection of widespread electoral roll malpractice leading up to GE14.
In the run up to GE14, there were many instances of abuse of addresses. For example, high numbers of voters were being packed into singles addresses, army camp which was still under construction or non- existence addresses.
Although the Home Ministry has introduced measures to tighten up control to avoid falsifying addresses on MyKad to avoid recurrence of such offences, there is no guarantee that such abuses would be eliminated completely.
Although Regulation 15 of the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002 allows for valid objections to be raised following the public display, the law has been abused by some. In 2017, a certain party made blanket objections based on racial profile of those who applied to be voters.
In view of the above, Bersih would like to propose the following :
1. Implement a programme where credible stakeholders are admitted as accredited data analysts to be given access to the RDPT in database format and with detailed data such as addresses and source of registration. Such data should also be provided free of charge. The accredited data analysts are to submit their findings to the EC and undertake not to abuse the information provided to them.
2. Allow accredited NGOs to observe the objection process to ensure no further abuse of Regulation 15.
3. Sufficient time must be provided to voters whose name has been objected to contact the EC. Furthermore, reasonable effort must be made to contact voters whose names are being objected.
4. Investigate electoral roll malpractices that occurred in 2016 and 2017 and initiate legal action in accordance with section 3(1)(a) of Election Offences Act 1954 where any person who knowingly makes any false statement on or in connection with any application to be placed on any register of electors; shall be liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding five thousand ringgits as well as losing his or her right to vote for 5 years. In the case where the convicted person is an elected representative, he or she has to vacate the office.
Bersih 2.0 stands ready to assist the EC to further improve its transparency and management of the display and objection process for the RDPT.
Statement issued by :
Steering Committee of Bersih 2.0