Ambiga: Putrajaya stalling over electoral reform

(The Malaysian Insider) – Bersih 2.0 chief Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan accused Putrajaya of dragging its feet on electoral reform ahead of key national polls likely to be called by early next year, Australia’s national broadcaster reported today.

In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) earlier today, Ambiga highlighted the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s refusal hold off on the 13th general election until after it implements reforms to the polling system.

This, she said, was despite the formation of a bi-partisan parliamentary select committee (PSC) by the Najib administration following widespread global criticism over its crackdown of Bersih 2.0’s July 9 rally here.

“We’ve started a campaign called ‘Clean Before 13’,” she told the ABC in its Connect Asia radio programme this morning.

“What is crying out for reform is the cleaning up of the electoral roll. My own view is we can’t go to the polls with the electoral roll in the state that it is,” she said, adding there was no point implementing the reforms only after Malaysians have voted.

The ABC reported Ambiga saying proposed reforms, such as the enrolment of three million unregistered voters and automatic voter registration at the age of 21, should only take six months, though she also admitted cleaning up the electoral roll may take longer.

The prominent lawyer is currently touring Australia to alert Malaysians there of their voting rights and rally support for the movement demanding clean and fair elections she heads.