by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, September 20, 1994:
Election Commission should take heed of Mahathir’ statement in Kuching yesterday that general elections would be held soon and convene an All-Party Conference on ‘free, fair and clean’ general elections.
The Election Commission should take heed of the statement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed that general elections would be held soon and convene an All-Party Conference on ‘free, fair and clean’ general elections.
From Mahathir’s directive to all Barisan Nasional component parties to get ready their elections operations rooms because general elections would be held any time, it would be foolhardy for anyone, including the Election Commission, to rule out the possibility of general elections this year itself.
The Election Commission should therefore have a greater sense of urgency to introduce election reforms which would ensure that the next general elections would be the most ‘free, fair and clean’ in Malaysian history and would be a model for the world.
I have written to the Election Commission Chairman, Datuk Harun Din, proposing that the Election Commission convene All-Party Conference on a ‘free, fair and clean’ general elections.
Among the matters which, should be considered by the All-Party Conference n Free, Fair and Clean General Elections include:
* 1. An independent and impartial Election Commissiom whose job is not just the mechanical task of conducting general elections, but ensuring a meaningful electoral process which is ‘fair, free and clean’;
* 2. Reliability of the electoral register where there are no mass registration of phantom voters;
* 3. Foster conditions for equal access to the media. All parties should be guaranteed equal conditions of access to the media, both printed and electronic, during commercial slots, special programmes and publicly-financed air-time;
* 4. Avoidance of the illegal use of state funds and resources in support of a political party.
* 5. Root out money politics in general elections to ensure that the general elections do not degenerate into a contest of money instead of a competition of ideas; Mechanisms must be established to limit and trace election Expenses of all political parties and candidates to keep them within the statutory limits.
* 6. Review existing measures and laws which restricts fundamental liberties of Malaysian’s and conscribe their political freedoms, like the ban on public rallies, Internal Security Act, Official Secrets Act, Printing Presses and Publications Act, Sedition Act, etc;
* 7. Creation of a Special Office for the Prosecution of Electoral Crimes and Offences, dealing with electoral offences including:
(i) violating the principle of secret ballot as in the case of postal ballots in the country;
(ii) altering the electoral register with phantom voters;
(iii) government officials who coerce their subordinates to vote in favour of a political party or candidate; and
(iv) illegally using government resources in support of a candidate or a party.
* (8) The recognition of the role of NGOs to be observe and scrutinise the electoral process; and
* (9) The passage of all necessary electoral reform laws to incorporate the above proposals as well as others to ensure a ‘fair, free and clean’ general elections in the next Parliamentary meeting beginning on October 17.