By Clara Chooi
KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — The Election Commission (EC) must prioritise efforts to ensure the electoral roll is clean and free from manipulation, Parliament’s polls reform panel has recommended.
The panel, in its final report tabled to the Dewan Rakyat this morning, also suggested the formation of a Parliamentary Select Committee to continuously monitor and oversee all efforts in cleaning up and revising the voter registry.
The recommendations come on the heels of repeated allegations by opposition lawmakers and civil society groups like Bersih 2.0 of manipulation in the current electoral roll, including the existence of duplicate voters and a suspicious surge of new voters in numerous constituencies.
The bipartisan nine-member polls reform panel was mooted by Datuk Seri Najib Razak last year, months after his administration earned widespread criticisms for its handling of Bersih’s rally for free and fair elections on July 9.
After 13 meetings, six public hearings and one fact-finding mission to several foreign countries, the panel finally released its 22-point report to parliamentarians yesterday. Of the 22 recommendations, however, the panel members had disagreed on four points.
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