Govt officially sets up Election Reform Committee

Azura Abas

PUTRAJAYA: The government has formed a special committee to review Malaysia’s election system and laws. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in announcing this today said the Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) will be chaired by former Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman. It said Abdul Rashid has vast experiences in managing elections in the country and he would be assisted by several committee members, who were currently being identified to execute the responsibilities tasked to the ERC. “The committee is given two years to complete its tasks including submitting report and acknowledgements, which the government will fine tune and implement. “In the process of reviewing all election management aspect, the committee is required to get feedback and proposals from various quarters especially stakeholders comprising political parties, politicians, electorate and non-governmental organisations. “The stakeholders will be given the opportunity and space to submit their views and proposals,” said PMO in a statement. The committee, it added, would also study existing systems, which had reached certain standards, that were successfully implemented in other democratic countries. “The committee will refer to countries that have established election management and system which are based on principles accepted by all to be `free, fair and transparent’ and has reached the desired level-playing field.”

(File pix) The Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) will be chaired by former Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman. Pix by Azhar Ramli

The PMO has also listed several of the ERC’s terms of reference including to conduct overall review of the election laws and other related laws, which touched on election management and processes. The committee will also study on the need of creating suitable election system in accordance to the needs of social order comprising the current situation of the society, politics, economy, socio-culture and others. It will also come up with needed acknowledgements to form suitable laws based on international election management standards. “(The ERC) will also study on the need to form caretaker government after the dissolution of parliament and state assemblies as well as to formulate laws to empower electoral management body to register and monitor political associations and political parties,” it said. The committee, it added, would also form relevant work committees including in the formulation of election laws amd other relevant laws after the government had received and approved submitted report. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd