KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) has reiterated their call for the Prime Minster Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to immediately carry out reforms that involve appointing of Election Commission (EC) members.

Bersih said the reform is essential as the term of the EC chairman will end by May, and the new chairman could likely take on responsibilities including studying and implementing redelineation of electoral areas.

“EC members need to be appointed through a transparent, open, accountable and inclusive mechanism to gain the trust of all stakeholders in the independence of the EC which has the constitutional responsibility to carry out elections and re-delineation.

“Bersih suggested that the appointment mechanism for EC Members should go through the Standing Committee on Election Affairs (Standing Committee) so that the process can be scrutinised in an inclusive and democratic manner by the government and Opposition Members of Parliament.


“We also remind that the election manifestos of both Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional have promised that the appointment of key positions such as EC chairman will go through the Parliamentary Committee,” Bersih said in a statement today.

In addition, Bersih also urges the Federal Government to immediately amend the Election Offenses Act 1954 which was last amended in 2003 without any significant amendments.

Through engagement with political parties in the country and civil society organisations conducted from 2019 to 2021, Bersih has identified 19 sections in the Act that needed amendments such as the section on corruption, election spending limits and increasing fines for each offence, in addition to the need to include new provisions to modernise the Act such as the ban on the use of government resources for election campaigns, the need to audit election spending by contesting candidates as well as empower the EC to issue compounds to parties who commit election offences.


“The Prime Minister and the government do not have much time as the position of EC chairman will be vacated next month and a more transparent appointment mechanism needs to be made immediately.

In addition, amendments to the AKPR also need to be implemented so that the conduct of elections can be carried out better before the series of state elections begin, starting with the Sabah state election in 2025,” it said.