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Submission to the Committee for Institutional Reforms (Electoral Reforms in Malaysia)

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On behalf of Projek Beres (a collaborative project of Tindak Malaysia volunteers and independent Malaysians across the world), I uploaded Tindak Malaysia presentation to the Committee on matters pertaining to the electoral reforms

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Submission to the Committee for Institutional Reforms (Electoral Reforms in Malaysia)

  1. 1. SUBMISSION TO THE COMMITTEE FOR INSTITUTIONAL REFORM (MAY 2018) 1
  2. 2. “PROPOSALS ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS RELATING TO ELECTORAL REFORM” by 2
  3. 3. OPENING REMARKS  Who we are (citizen-initiated collaboration between Malaysians local and abroad, having access to a variety of election-related resources and who aim to provide a total and holistic proposal to improve our electoral democracy that takes into account contemporary factors and interests.)  Objective (To improve the credibility and integrity of the Malaysian electoral system in line with established principles and practices in other parts of the world)  What we have undertaken so far (review of Federal Constitution) (proposals on constitutional amendments) 3
  4. 4. WHAT IS CURRENTLY SET OUT IN OUR FEDERAL CONSTITUTION  Concept of elections and representation  Institutions, the Election Commission  Delimitation  General concepts (fundamental liberties, institutions, etc.)  Concepts relating to electionsConcepts relating to elections 4
  5. 5. OUR FOCUS DURING REVIEW OF FC  Equality of voter representation  Conditions for constituency delimitation  The Election Commission (as an institution, role, powers & functions)  How government functions are discharged during the period between dissolution of parliament and formation of a new parliament  Oversight “Elections Of The People, By The People, For The People.” - Abraham Lincoln - 5
  6. 6. REVIEW OUTCOME : OUR PROPOSALS ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS RELATING TO ELECTORAL REFORM 6
  7. 7. REVIEW OUTCOME (1)  Equality of voter representation PROPOSALS ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS :  Composition of House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat)  Composition of Senate (Dewan Negara)  Local government elections 7
  8. 8. REVIEW OUTCOME (1-1)  Equality of voter representation ^Composition of House of Representatives (Art. 46):  from 222 MPs to 229 MPs  Sabah maintain at 25; Sarawak increase to 38; Johor decrease to 24; Selangor increase to 30; other States to be adjusted  FT of KL, Labuan & Putrajaya collectively allocated 12 seats What would the new seat distribution look like ? (proposals on constitutional amendments) 8
  9. 9. REVIEW OUTCOME (1-2) An illustration… 9
  10. 10. REVIEW OUTCOME (1-3)  Equality of voter representation Composition of Senate (Dewan Negara) (Art. 45):  To maintain 70 & finetune appointment criteria to reflect appointment proportionate to voter representation  Adjustments to representation- 2 members from each State, FT of KL, Labuan & Putrajaya collectively allocated 2 seats; remaining 42 (proposals on constitutional amendments) 10
  11. 11. REVIEW OUTCOME (1-4)  Equality of voter representation To have local government elections for:  Members of City Council  Mayor of City Council  Members of Municipal and Local Council  President of Municipal and Local Council (proposals on constitutional amendments) 11
  12. 12. REVIEW OUTCOME (1-5) To recap on the amendments proposed… Equality of voter representation Composition of House of Representatives Composition of Senate Local government elections (proposals on constitutional amendments) 12
  13. 13. REVIEW OUTCOME (2)  Conditions for constituency delimitation (Art. 116, 117 & Thirteenth Schedule) PROPOSALS ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: On delimitation  Criteria for representativeness  Criteria for equality of voting strength  Criteria for transparency  Criteria for non-discrimination  Concept of electoral quota New institution to oversee delimitation  ^Boundaries Commission - “independence” (to be appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in consultation with the Conference of Ruler and the concurrence of the Opposition Leader.) 13
  14. 14. REVIEW OUTCOME (3)  The Election Commission (as an institution) (Art. 114) PROPOSALS ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: (i) “independence”  members to be appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in consultation with the Conference of Ruler and the concurrence of the Opposition Leader. *Not bound by Art. 40  EC members - Criteria for appointment as EC member (public hearings before a judge of the Federal Court)  EC members – Criteria for removal (membership in political party)  EC members – not eligible to be elected to as MP, Senator, ADUN, local council member during 2 year period after ceasing to be EC member 14
  15. 15. REVIEW OUTCOME (3-1)  The Election Commission (as an institution) (Art. 114) PROPOSALS ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS (..cont): (ii) Separation of functions  Delimitation to be undertaken by a new Boundaries Commission. Parliament has no power to amend or reject final determination of Boundaries Commission (iii) New role  Registration and regulation of political parties and political organisation (so that there is oversight during elections) 15
  16. 16. THE EC…AN ANALOGY… The role of the Election Commission and importance of “independence” (proposals on constitutional amendments) 16
  17. 17. REVIEW OUTCOME (4)  Delimitation (proposals on constitutional amendments) 17
  18. 18. REVIEW OUTCOME (4-1)  Delimitation PROPOSALS ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS:  To introduce a Boundaries Commission to carry out delimitation  Boundaries Commission may increase or decrease number of constituencies according to delimitation criteria  Parliament has no power to amend or reject final determination of Boundaries Commission What about the appointment process for members of the Boundaries Commission ? 18
  19. 19. REVIEW OUTCOME (4-2)  Delimitation “independence”  Members of the Boundaries Commission to be appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in consultation with the Conference of Ruler and the concurrence of the Opposition Leader. *Not bound by Art. 40  Criteria for appointment as member of Boundaries Commission (public hearings before a judge of the Federal Court)  Criteria for removal from Boundaries Commission (membership in political party)  Not eligible to be elected to as MP, Senator, ADUN, local council member during 2 year period after ceasing to be EC member (proposals on constitutional amendments) 19
  20. 20. REVIEW OUTCOME (5)  Oversight PROPOSALS ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS:  To introduce an Election Ombudsman Office  “independence” (to be appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in consultation with the Conference of Ruler and the concurrence of the Opposition Leader.). *Not bound by Art. 40  Election Ombudsman to inquire into, review and address complaints and grievances with respect to the conduct of the EC and the Boundaries Commission  To issue orders for corrective action to be taken  Election Ombudsman may recommend removal of member of Caretaker Government 20
  21. 21. REVIEW OUTCOME (6)  an Independent caretaker government PROPOSALS ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS:  To introduce concept of caretaker government (key features)  Led by Interim PM  Appointed by Yang di-Pertuan Agong with concurrence of outgoing PM & Opposition Leader  To introduce code of conduct for caretaker government“The job of a caretaker government should be limited to what its voters rightly expect – continuity and security”: Centre for Civic Education, Pakistan , March 2013 21
  22. 22. REVIEW OUTCOME (7)  Referendum PROPOSALS ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS:  Mandatory referendum  Referendum initiated by citizens  Referendum initiated by Federal or State government 22
  23. 23. IN A NUTSHELL… 20 FC PROPOSALS RE ELECTORAL REFORM 23
  24. 24. Federal Constitution Parliament Yang di-Pertuan Agong Dewan Negara Dewan Rakyat PM & Cabinet Ombudsman EC Caretaker Govt to run Govt during Parliament dissolution Regulation of Political Parties & NGO’s Boundaries Commission Independence of YANG DI-PERTUAN AGONG re appointmentsYang di-Pertuan Agong Appoints Ombudsman, EC & Boundaries Commission. *Not bound by Art. 40 Responsible to Parliament composition delimitation Referendum
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  26. 26. SUPPORT ELECTORAL REFORM! SUPPORT BERES! 26
  27. 27. Q&A / THE END Thank you for listening 27

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