By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Ipoh on Saturday, June 2, 1990:
How can the Election Commission use the new system of counting at individual polling stations in Sabah when the new regulations on counting system have not been gazetted
The Election Commission Chairman, Tan Sri Haji Abdul Kadir Talib, has directed all election officers to get polling stations and ballot boxes ready for a general election “any time from now”.
Tan Sri Kadir said that the Election Commission would be using the new system of counting votes at the separate polling stations in the next general elections.
In fact, on Tuesday, when Tan Sri Kadir announced that the Sabah state general election will be held no July 16 and 17, with nomination on July 2, he also announced that the Sabah polls would have the ‘first test’ for the new system of counting in the separate polling centres instead of at a centralized counting centre for each constituency.
I want to ask the Election Commission Chairman how he could introduce the new counting system for the Sabah State general election when the new regulations for the new system of counting of votes at each individual polling centre instead of at a centralized counting centre for each constituency had not been given the Royal Assent or been gazetted.
DAP reserves the right to take legal action to either stop the use of the new counting system or to declare the Sabah general elections null and void after the polls
The Election Commission could only use election laws and regulations which were in effect on the date of dissolution of the Sabah State Assembly, and not introduce new election regulations after the dissolution.
This smacks of gross impropriety and even illegality, and the DAP will look into its legal aspects, and reserves the right to take legal action either to restrain the Election Commission from introducing new counting rules which had not been gazetted before the dissolution, or to subsequently ask the Courts to declare the entire general elections null and void.
A very important principle is involved here: that after the dissolution, whether of Parliament or the State Assemblies, the Election Commission cannot introduce new election rules or regulations to catch the Opposition by surprise.
DAP concerned about the loss of about 2,000 voters’ registration applications from Trengganu
DAP is also very concerned about the loss of about 2,000 voters’ registration applications from Trengganu during the 27-day snap voters’ registrations exercise in March, which was reported in Sin Chew Jit Poh today.
The DAP just cannot imagine how such a scandalous loss could take place, and demand the fullest inquiry and a public report by the Election Commission.
The UMNO Baru interference with the independence of the Election Commission, and the many irregularities that seem to be taking place with the electoral process, have reinforced public anxieties about whether the next general elections is going to be a clean, honest, fair and free one.
This is why the formation of the six-man Election Watch, under the chairmanship of former Lord President, Tun Mohamed Suffian, is most timely, and the DAP calls on the Election Commission to give the fullest co-operation with the Election Watch if the Election Commission is independent and upright and has nothing to hide.