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Early voting and the use of indelible ink
KUALA LUMPUR: EARLY voting and the use of indelible ink are among the 10 recommendations in the preliminary report by the Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms.
The report, distributed to members of parliament yesterday, was expected to be tabled by the committee chairman Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili at the Dewan Rakyat today.
Among others, the report recommends Malaysians currently living overseas and those not living in their constituencies be allowed to vote in the general election.
It also called for the cleaning up of the electoral roll, a statutory declaration from voters who want to change their voting centres and a more transparent voting process.
To promote a more transparent voting process, the report said the Election Commission should do away with the ballot paper serial number and maintain the counterfoil and provide help for the disabled.
The report also called for the setting up of a royal commission of inquiry to look into allegations that foreigners were allowed to vote in Sabah.
To strengthen the EC, the report called on the government to accord more authority to the EC, with stronger manpower, sufficient financial allocation and allowing it to perform its duties independently and fairly.
One of the committee members, P. Kamalanathan, said the report's recommendations showed the government was serious in reforming the electoral process.
"When the committee was first formed, a lot of people thought the it was just an eye-wash but we have proven them wrong," he said when met at Parliament yesterday.
He said the report was based on public hearings held at several locations in the country and discussions with other members of parliament and experts, and hoped it would be passed.
Later at a press conference, DAP members of parliament said they agreed with the 10 recommendations and hoped they would be adopted in Parliament today.
The 10-member PSC committee, headed by Ongkili, comprises five Barisan Nasional members of parliament, three opposition MPs and an Independent.
The committee has a six-month time frame to complete its report on improving the electoral system before it is tabled in Parliament for debate.
The final report will be ready in March next year.
Meanwhile, Bernama reported that the Human Resources Ministry was planning strategies to increase the women local workforce but needed incentives and support.
Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Maznah Mazlan said the government encouraged women, especially housewives, to enter the job market to regulate the number of foreign workers in the country.
"We also encourage those who can still work, such as housewives, pensioners and the disabled, by creating part-time jobs for them.
"These jobs involve less than eight hours work but come with a worker's rights,including the Employees Provident Fund, Social Security Organisation and leave," added Maznah.