Suhakam mulls public inquiry on GE14 complaints

Suhakam commissioner, Datuk Mah Weng Kwai (centre), receives a memorandum from G25 members at the Suhakam office in Kuala Lumpur April 20, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Suhakam commissioner, Datuk Mah Weng Kwai (centre), receives a memorandum from G25 members at the Suhakam office in Kuala Lumpur April 20, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said today it will monitor the general election and is considering a public inquiry on any complaints lodged during the polls, following the submission of a memorandum by six NGOs today.

Suhakam commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai said the commission would deploy some 50 staff and volunteers to monitor the electoral process.

“We have received the memorandum and we acknowledge the concerns raised by the coalition of organisations. Suhakam is already engaging in monitoring activities,” he said.

“We will be sending out volunteers and staff on the ground to observe what happens three days before polling day, on the day itself, and a day after.”

“Suhakam will also consider holding a public inquiry as suggested in the memorandum,” he added.

The joint memorandum was signed by civil servants’ group G25, Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia, National Human Rights Society, Bersih 2.0, Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia and the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism.

In the memorandum, the coalition of organisations highlighted concerns including the short timeframe given to overseas postal voters to cast their ballots.

They also raised concerns over the custody of the ballot papers for advanced voters.

“The issue of postal votes and ballot boxes is very important. We currently do not know what will happen to the boxes,” said Mah.

“We have written to the Election Commission to inform them that we will be carrying out observations and we will launch a dedicated hotline for election-related complaints after the elections. This line will be open for a month.”

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