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Saturday November 12, 2011

MCA not in favour of overseas voting, PSC told

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA told the Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms that overseas voting should not be allowed.

MCA central committee member Datuk Ei Kim Hock said some citizens living abroad had lost touch with developments in Malaysia.

“The future of Malaysia should be determined by those who have faith and still remain in the country,” he said during the first public hearing by the PSC on electoral reforms yesterday.

Panel member and Rasah MP Anthony Loke said it was not fair to say that those overseas were out of touch.

“They can read the news not just from the alternative media, but also mainstream,” he said.

Another panel member Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong said those overseas should not be denied the right to vote because they too have rights under the Federal Constitution.

In the hearing, Ei also said the current first-past-the-post system should be maintained.

“The Election Commission (EC) should cut short the six-month period required to formalise a new voter's registration,” he said.

The minimum age to vote should remain at 21 and campaigning period should not be changed, Ei added.

He said EC should have an effective and efficient system to clean up the database and weed out dead voters or those who have relinquished their citizenship.

“There is no need to adopt an automatic registration system as there was no point in forcing individuals to be on the electoral roll,” he said, adding that MCA's position on the use of indelible ink was neutral.

Selangor Youth Council deputy president Badrul Hisham Badrudin had earlier proposed that automatic registration be implemented.

He also proposed the term of service of state assemblymen and MP's be limited to two and three years respectively.

The public hearing continues before PSC chairman and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.

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