Thursday, December 15, 2016

14th General Election: The Voters And The Election Commission

Malaysia’s next general election must be held on or before June 24th, 2018. However, the Prime Minister can ask His Majesty the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve the Parliament at any time before this five-year period expires. 
A general election should be held no later than 60 days in West Malaysia and 90 days for East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) after the dissolution of the Parliament. Political observers and pundits are fast speculating, the embattled Prime Minister Mohd Najib Razak might call for a snap poll. 

Based on the Article 113 of the Malaysian Federal Constitution, it is responsible to the Election Commission (SPR) in the way of managing and administrating such as:
1. The electoral constitution is by draw up the border
2. Voter’s list is prepared and check for election
3. Parliamentary and State Legislative Assembly constitution is well manage in the election process

The Constitution per Article 119 (1) denotes the qualifications of a registered voter:
1. When the voter reaches the age of 21 years old on the qualifying date
2. To reside in the election of the qualifying date or as absentee voter
3. For the electoral list, it is listed in the document by voter’s names in the electoral constituency.

Based on the Election Rules 14 and 15 in 1959, the name which is not listed is not allowed to vote. This checking and validation can be done at the city/village level, such as village head complexes, town halls, official government building or at places that can be accessed by the local community. 

There are three types of absentees excused in the election process:-
1. Malaysian citizen who works in the Federal Armed Forces or Commonwealth countries, or the wife is staying in the place where provided by the Armed Forces authority from the date of application and register as voter in electoral district
2. Malaysian citizen that is living oversea with his wife and working with the State and Federal, Government or local ,semi-government and has registered himself as voter in the electoral constituency
3. Malaysian citizen and his wife studying abroad, who has register himself as voter in the electoral constituency

A registered voter is not allowed to vote for the State Legislative Council or House of Representative such as:-
1. The person is unsound minded or serving a jail sentence on the qualifying date
2. Jailed for more than 12 months on the qualifying date in any of the Commonwealth countries
In an earlier statistical report by SPR until December 31st, 2015 some 17, 658,700 Malaysian citizens whom reached the age of 21 years qualified to register as voters. From the figure disclosed, some 13,468,946 has registered while 4,189,754 failed to do so.

However, in a twist of event, the recently released third quarter 2016 electoral roll update by SPR, showed an astounding figure of 501,799 newly registered voters were added to the electoral roll. This astronomical rise could be influenced by rumour of voting deadline viral over the social media on the coming 14th General Election.

On the flip side, some political figures are doubtful and began questioning the legitimacy of the increase reported. They seemed not happy if someone does a good job? They never will…