KUALA LUMPUR: For the first time in over 50 years, the Universiti Malaya’s campus election will be independently run by students.
Known as the Campus Election Committee (CEC), it aims to reform the varsity’s election rules and regulations.
CEC president Vanessa Eunice Scully said the campus elections were previously handled by the varsity’s Student Affairs division.
“The committee’s establishment is a ripple effect of our government’s support of student involvement and autonomy in campuses.
“The university wants more student participation in democracy.
“We want to run campus elections as smoothly as possible in a democratic manner. Change can happen when processes are perfect,” she told a press conference yesterday.
Formed last November, the CEC consists of 19 students from various student bodies.
They were appointed by UM vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim.
Healthy competition among candidates during the campaigning period, a democratic voting system, promoting the importance of voting, empowering students to become responsible leaders and educating voters on the leaders they choose to elect are among the committee’s objectives.
Hoping to increase voter turnout this year by 20% from 66% in 2018, Scully said several amendments were made in accordance with the Constitution.
She said some of the key amendments included changing the voting system from e-voting to paper to make it more transparent and the recognition of groups and associations.
“E-voting has flaws, which limits the voting to only one candidate, automatically dismissing the vote as ‘spoilt’,” she said.
The campaign period runs from 8pm on Monday until 11.59pm on March 3.
Election day will be on March 4 and the results to be announced the day after.