e-voting not difficult if internet coverage improves nationwide, says don

23 Feb 2022 10:10am
e-voting has been implemented in most develop nations
e-voting has been implemented in most develop nations

SHAH ALAM: After the success of online campaigning in Melaka polls, an academician said the country may be ready for e-voting.

National Professors Council chairman Professor Datuk Shamsul Amri Baharuddin said the online campaigning had made an impact in Melaka and caused a change in the state government.

"I feel it is not difficult to do," he said during a talk show held live on Facebook.

But, he said good internet connectivity was crucial in ensuring voters nationwide are given an equal opportunity to vote via online.

He further said it would also depend on the government of the day to raise the issue in Parliament before changes can be made.

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) chief executive Tricia Yeo said state and national polls should be held in a fair and just manner as studies carried out showed GE13 was "partially free but not fair".

She suggested for a book on elections in Malaysia titled "Pilihan Raya Demokrasi Malaysia: Tanding, Pilih, Menang, Tadbir" written by ex-election commission chairman Tan Sri Ab Rashid Ab Rahman and media representative Dr G Manimaran should be a guide for voters, politicians, candidates and those involved in elections.

"This is crucial as it looks into details on the process, rights and responsibility of those involved in elections.

"If we look at GE13, media coverage was still one-sided so much so sometimes a political party was not given the opportunity to buy advertisements in local media," she said.

Due to that, it was crucial to implement laws on political financing with details on the do's and don'ts to curb corruption.

Acamedician Chang Peng Kee of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia said smaller parties are not given media coverage and due to that government-run media could ensure balanced coverage.

He said previously most of the coverage was dominated by parties who own media companies, however now he said the tide is changing with the emergence of social media but "it is also open to fake news".

Meanwhile, Ab Rashid said his book aims to clarify the process and election laws and to ensure regulations are followed through, “This includes fair and just elections," he said.

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Manimaran added that election process is constantly evolving with new laws and mechanism. He said the book explains the book not only prepares political parties and candidates for elections but also educates the public on the do's and don'ts of elections.

"It touches on the rights, responsibilities, functions and the role of the rakyat," he added.