Bersih: Just meeting one demand not enough

The electoral watchdog wants all its demands to be taken heed of and a monthly progress report on the Parliamentary Select Committee recommendations.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 is unhappy that only one of its eight demands were fully adopted by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC).

Bersih said only the use of indelible ink was fully adopted while two other suggestions – reform of absentee voters and cleaning-up the electoral roll – were only partially implemented.

Bersih repeated that the implementation of the eight demands is the “bare minimum” for a reasonably clean and fair elections and must be implemented before the upcoming polls.

It also wants the Election Commission (EC) to publish monthly progress reports on the implementation of proposals made by the PSC.

After two months of its inception, PSC released an interim report on Wednesday making 10 suggestions.

The report touched on many issues such as the implementation of indelible ink, cleaning up of the electoral roll, expansion of oversea absentee voters policy to all Malaysians living abroad and even the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to look into alleged illegal immigrants who are offered citizenship.

But the report which was tabled officially in Parliament yesterday had many MPs questioning the implementation of Bersih’s suggestions.

Many, including Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang, had demanded that a clear time-line be included in its implementation.

Bersih said today the EC must take heed not only of the PSC ‘s suggestions but also suggestions from other NGOs.

“Bersih emphasises that the EC and any other relevant government agencies must implement the Bersih’s eight demands and the recommendations made by the PSC without further delay while the PSC prepares its final report.

“We hope to hear no more excuses from the EC, but more action taken towards improving the electoral system,” Bersih said in a statement.

While welcoming the report, Bersih said that there were still other pressing proposals which were absent from the preliminary report.

Such proposals, among others, were automatic voter registration, process of constituency re-delineation and to display supplementary electoral roll both online and on location for a minimum of 30 days.