THE Election Commission (EC) has invited representatives from Commonwealth and Asean countries to observe the coming general election, said its chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah.
He said the countries include Canada, India, Australia, Maldives, Myanmar and Thailand.
“There are those who scold us claiming we do not allow foreign observers. They are asking us to invite certain organisations only.
“The EC has the power to extend invites and we have to choose fairly by picking non-political groups,” he said after launching the #jomkitasemak and #jomkitaundi campaigns in Arau, Perlis.
Mohd Hashim said the EC will invite universities to send their students as representatives to observe the process.
He said that during previous elections, they invited representatives from the Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre based in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
In the last general election, the EC invited 18 international observers to monitor the electoral process at several polling centres.
Mohd Hashim said there was a need to get more Malaysians to be registered voters.
“As of the fourth quarter of 2017, we have 14,968,304 voters eligible to vote this year, compared to about 18 mil Malaysians over the age of 21.
“This leaves us with 3.6 million unregistered potential voters, and considering the number of people reaching eligible age goes up by 500,000 every year, this is a serious issue for us to tackle,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, he said the EC had enough of accusations and was on the warpath against negative perceptions to ensure a smooth and transparent general election.
He said there had been claims that the commission was “unfair, wrong and partisan” among others.
“Some parties have been spreading negative comments about the EC and are in fact encouraging others to do the same thing. What is their intention?
“They are making all these comments even before polling. Isn’t that a bad thing?” he asked.
Just before the launch, reporters received a special briefing which included a simulation of the voting and counting processes to prove there was no room for misconduct or manipulation.
Hashim, who would be spearheading the general election for the first time, urged political parties and their candidates to appoint sufficient agents to observe the polling and counting processes to avoid complications and accusations.
On the re-delineation process, he said his task went as far as submitting the report to the Prime Minister and that it was up to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to call the shots.
"He can choose to table it in Parliament or if he dissolves Parliament without tabling it, we can always run with what we have.
“Once gazetted, the EC will be able to implement the re-delineation immediately and we are ready to do so,” he said.