Postal votes abolished – and no mobile phones

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A couple of news items about developments that could have a major impact on the electoral process went by largely unnoticed.

First, believe it or not, postal votes have been abolished. The Election Commission (EC) has announced that it is abolishing postal voting, except for members of the national security forces operating overseas and at the borders. Himanshu Bhatt of theSun has the story.

We need to pay close attention to see if and how this is implemented in practice. While postal voting may be abolished, what is to prevent security personnel from being moved around in the weeks or months before polling? Where do they cast their votes then?

And what about Malaysian citizens and students living abroad? Malaysian civilians abroad must must be granted postal voting rights too in the same way that security forces overseas are granted these rights.

The other bad news is that political party polling and counting agents will be barred from carrying mobile phone devices to prevent them from reporting ‘unofficial results’ via Twitter and Facebook before the official results are announced, revealed Berita Harian. That’s a pity as anything that reduces transparency in the counting and tallying process can’t be good and would be a step backwards.

Speaking from the experience of following such unofficial results over social media in a string of elections, I can say that in the vast majority of instances such unofficial results have been close to the eventual official results.

The social media may even have led to an extra layer of scrutiny over the counting process in way that independent election observers are unable to exercise. For instance, in the case of the Sibu by-election, social media played a huge role in shedding light over the postal voting procedure and ensured that the results were finally accepted by both sides under the hotly disputed circumstances. Under the glare of social media scrutiny, what happened in Sibu raised numerous uncomfortable questions about the postal voting process and may even have contributed to the Election Commission finally deciding to abolish postal votes for the vast majority of security personnel.

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Kono

BERSIH had decided to stage another street demonstration on 9th July, 2011 in order to impress upon the Government to ensure a fair and clean election in the coming 13th GE. It is incumbant upon all Malaysians to support this campaign in solidarity as no one should object to a FAIR and CLEAN election if the person still believe in Democracy.

passion1

Anil, we are not at war. Why cant the army personnel in the country go back to their home base to vote?They only need one day, still in uniform, complete with weapon. We only have borders with Thailand. We can put Kelantan, Kedah, Perak and Perlis soldiers on duty at the border.
Same goes to Sabah and Sarawak.
Ground all the air-force planes.Save fuel.
All navy and marine police boats to call at nearest port for one day.
Having reduced these numbers, the balance of personnel that are on duty overseas are negligible. (UN, in the submarine, where else?)

LBJ

Is this a prelude to more electoral frauds…?

moo_t

When there is “exception” , it is scaling down, NOT abolishing postal vote. So it is just playing of word by EC, well, no stranger to Malaysian , since all government politikus official so used to it. Trust me, if given enough resources, cross checking voters list tainted by EC is NOT DIFFICULT. If everything in EC available in soft copy, running a computing check with free open source software (e.g. MySQL), will yield tons of tampering results within few hours, by using a cheap dual core notebook computer. There is reason why Malaysia EC and government continue go BACKWARD.… Read more »

Malaysian

Anil,

Any reason why must these personnel of security forces cast their votes at polling stations two or three days earlier and not on voting day?

Malaysian

This is what written by Ocassey, May 19, 2011 14:14:25 on MT about these personnel voting days ahead of voting day ——————————————————————————– Such personnels can be directed to cast their votes day or days (probably 3 days as said) before polling day in the coming General Election and then as soon as they leave their respective polling stations may be given a service directive to be prepared to be posted with immediate effect to the “borders” to replace others who have received directives to be posted back within the cities, towns and suburbs . WHILE these out-going ones will be… Read more »

wandererAUS

Don’t believe … twisters!!…high hopes if anyone thinks EC was going to improve elections to a fairer system….

charleskiwi

Anil,
This is introduce just to prevent the non Malays who are abroad from voting and the Umno supporters will continue to support Umno.

Jong

” …political party polling and counting agents will be barred from carrying mobile phone devices to prevent them from reporting
‘unofficial results’ via Twitter and Facebook before the official results are announced… ”

How ridiculous, what is Election Commission(EC) afraid of, unless it has much to hide and something up its sleeves?

Why should EC be concerned over ‘unofficial results’ whether via Twitter and FB? Sound so stooopid!! What next – cameras to be barred too?

Afiq

The move by EC smells a lot of suspicion!!!

Birney

BN has been producing great plans and visions. Just recall all the wawasans we have had. We even had perfect vision – 2020. With Malaysia, visions are possible – Malaysia Boleh! But that’s all that Malaysia under UMNO can accomplish. So long as UMNO forms the government, that’s all it can form – visions. Reality remains a complete blur. My children were educated in Malaysian schools up to the primary level, one to the secondary level before my wife and I had the blessing to go abroad and have them finish schooling abroad. They enjoyed schooling far, far more in… Read more »

Sean

I don’t know why people bother campaigning, protesting and voting – we could all just move to somewhere better!

Afiq

BN (may) announce a hike in electricity tariffs (soon) to keep ballooning petroleum subsidies in check. BN may forego cutting RON95 subsidies in favour of bumping up electricity rates due to the rising cost of natural gas and coal, which are used to generate more than 90% of the country’s power.

Barang Naik lagi!!!

passion1

The majority and Malays who have been voting for BN should be informed and made to understand why this is happening. Please explain to them in simple Bahasa

Janice

This is our country, we complain because we want it to be better.

Jonnie

Even with 10A+s in SPM will not qualify you a JPA scholarship. Need o say more?

Jen

Not to worry.

The door of ASEAN Scholarship from Singapore government is always open for young top brains.

Another avenue causing brain drain?

Lep Zepellin

dedicated to those who think of migrating … sometimes not as rosy as some say/think ?