Monday, November 14, 2011


I led a group of 7 doctors to attend the hearing.

Committee room 2 where the hearing was held, was a small room. Half the room was filled with Government servants from all the related branches. The committee sat at the right end of the room, chaired by YB Maximus Ongkilli. I could recognise YB Radzi, YB Kamalathan, YB Wee Choo keong, YB Anthony Loke, YB Hatta and YB Fong Chan Onn. There was one that I could not recognise. The press ( about 6-7 ) were on one side, and the gallery ( public ) were only given about 10-12 seats at the other end from the committee. It was quite crowded. There was a big screen to show the committee. and microphones for those speaking.

Looks like Ambiga took a long time in the morning ( 2 hours I am told, with some controversy about whether she was speaking on behalf of "illegal" BERSIH 2.0 or as an individual ). We met them outside, and chatted with them for awhile.
After lunch, the hearing started with the PAS team, who came with thick files and records detailing election frauds, and details of election mismanagement. They were followed by Bar Council, Lim, who dealt with legal issues, especially indelible ink. Then DAPSY spoke, and then us.

We came on at about 4.15pm. They told us earlier that only 2 of us could speak. So I nominated myself and Dr Ng Kwee Boon. Three of us sat at the table representing ( Dr Steve Wong, Dr KB Ng and me ).
I spoke for 3 mins acknowledging that we have no data, except patient and general complaints of election unfairness, emphasising that we want free and fair elections so that the best men can win and that frauds will be weeded out. We do not wish a country led by not the best men.Dr KB Ng spoke for 2-3 mins on the reforms that we wish to see, including indelible ink, longer campaign periods, and equal access to the mass media. I think the gallery and committee appreciated that a group of doctors were concerned enough to come out to voice their unhappiness. We were complimented. We handed our memorandum with 6 signatures to the committee secretarial staff earlier, who say that they will receive on behalf of the committee. I hope they get it.

Basically, I think we achieved what we set out to do. I was quite glad that although we are not a recognised group, they allowed us airtime. We were not well prepared, but we spoke from our hearts and I think they appreciated that, as we are doctors.

Memorandum to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral reforms


We are a group of concerned doctors, all citizens of this beloved country of ours, who have since independence observed the gradual deterioration of the election process which is vital to sustain the democratic parliamentary political system we believe in and subscribe to. We feel the election process at present is severely flawed.

We thank you for giving us the opportunity to appear before you to submit our suggestions to reform and improve the present electoral system. We believe that these reforms, if implemented, will be good for the nation and the people.

A reform of the electoral process will require the full co-operation of the concerned public institutions/individuals vital for a free and fair election.

1. A totally neutral election commission that will act fairly and justly.

2. An independent judiciary willing to settle electoral disputes fairly should they arise.

3. A Police force that acts impartially to uphold the law equally when political parties on both sides of the political divide apply for permits to hold meetings to explain to the citizens their policies, and to take action on all individuals who break the law irregardless of political affiliation.

4. A mass media that allows equal opportunity for all political parties taking part in election campaigning, to have equal access to the television, radio and newspapers to explain their policies to the public.

5. Political parties and politicians who must refrain from “dirty” politics that slander, raise sensitive racial and religious issues, and use money to buy for votes.

The Reforms

1. Campaigning period should be at least 21 days. This will enable individuals and smaller parties with limited campaign machinery to have a reasonable chance to reach their constituents. Too short a period of campaigning will favour the big parties with their strong finances, and therefore will give them an unfair advantage. Of course the period campaigning cannot be too long. 21 days seems fair, given that many rural areas are difficult to get to.

2. Cleansing of the electoral roll. Electoral roll must be closely vetted so that only Malaysian citizens are eligible to vote. All phantom voters, dead voters must be expunged from the electoral rolls. Postal votes must be closely monitored so that the same postal voters does not vote twice or three times.

3. Use of indelible ink. This is to ensure that each voter gets to vote only once. It is simple, cheap and effective.

4. Automatic registration of citizens above 21 into electoral roll to enable all citizens above 21 to participate in choosing their representatives in parliament.

5. Postal voting to be made available to all eligible Malaysian citizens living, working and studying abroad.


We hope that our plea will get your full attention, and we hope that these electoral reforms will bring about a freer and fairer elections, in time for General Elections 13, due soon.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Hi! Glad to note that you and your doctor friends took time to speak out at the PSC on electoral reforms. Though we may be skeptical about how much of public feedback they will adopt, however I know it is important that civil society must be involved and if many, many more of us step up and speak out, chances of electoral reforms being implemented increased substantially. I have just been to a Tindak Malaysia briefing here in Kuching Sarawak, and I am amazed at the committment of Mr PY Wong and the Tindak Malaysia team who are training Polling Agents, Counting Agent and Booth Agents (PACABA) to engage civil society in the electoral process for a better Malaysia. He reckons about 400,000 PACABA are needed to help ensure a fairer and more transparent GE13 so I hope your group of doctors will register with to make it happen. After this first PACABA briefing, I am determined to commit myself as the first small step that I can take to reclaim back our nation.