New Electoral Reform Committee Headed by Ex-EC Chief Ab Rashid

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The Government has formed a special committee to review election laws and systems in Malaysia.

Former Election Commission chairperson Ab Rashid Ab Rahman will lead Putrajaya’s newly formed Electoral Reform Committee.

This committee will engage stakeholders and study successful systems in other countries before producing a report in two years.

His appointment comes as a surprise as the Bersatu vice-president was frequently criticised by DAP and PKR – which are now part of the ruling coalition – during his tenure as EC chief between November 2000 and December 2008.

Lim Huey Teng/Malaysiakini

One of the EC’s most memorable moments during Rashid’s helm was the decision to jettison a plan to mark voters with indelible ink, four days before the March elections in 2008. At the time, the ink was already procured.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the committee’s terms of reference required it to conduct an in-depth study on current election laws, produce an election system suitable with the needs to maintain social order and propose laws to create an election system of international standards.

The committee must also devise laws to regulate a caretaker government and grant powers to the electoral management body (in this case the EC) to regulate political parties.

Currently, political parties are regulated by the Registrar of Societies, which also handles associations.

According to the PMO, Rashid will be assisted by several other committee members, who have yet to be identified. – Malaysiakini