Polls reforms chair dismisses electronic voting, says it will cause controversy

Yiswaree Palansamy
File photo showing electronic voting devices for PKR's election displayed at the party’s Petaling Jaya headquarters. The party's election would see the implementation of electronic voting for the first time. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 29 — The Election Reforms Committee (ERC) has brushed off the idea of implementing an electronic voting system for future elections, saying the move would create more problems.

Its chairman, Tan Sri Ab Rashid Ab Rahman, said a digital voting system would open floodgates for controversies, chief of which is that the system is not transparent.

“Even without looking at it, I feel we should not be wasting time, because I have seen in a lot countries. They did it once, and then they did away with that, because that will create more controversies then solve the problems.

“Because the moment you use this digital thing, then you are accused of programming.

“Things like this, you can programme to dictate who should win and who will lose. Accusations will fly everywhere,” Ab Rashid told a press conference here.

He was asked if the committee would also weigh the possibility of implementing an electronic voting system, and if it would be observing PKR’s party election, which would see the implementation of electronic voting or e-voting for the first time.

The ERC has listed 15 agendas for electoral reforms, which it aims to fulfil within the next two years.

They include matters relating to elections conduct, campaign funding and expenditures, registration of voters and preparation of electoral rolls as well as a review of the current first-past-the-post election system “to another system considered more appropriate”, and electoral observers.

The ERC was officially announced on August 16, and is placed under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

It is tasked with studying ways and making recommendations on improving the country’s electoral system and regulations.

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