On the eve of the 14th general election, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)reaffirmed its commitment to a free and fair election and its solidarity with the people to have the freedom to make their determination on those who will represent them through a democratic process.
Chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said, “SUHAKAM would like to reiterate its disappointment that it is not allowed by the Election Commission to monitor the election process and this is completely unjustifiable. Despite this SUHAKAM continues to monitor the conduct of the elections from nomination day. The Election Commission is a machinery for the people mandated by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to facilitate fair and independent voting process and not to take actions that can make it be accused of being partisan and selective.
SUHAKAM in the future will address these questions and will call for the institution of the Election Commission to be revamped taking into account wholesome practices elsewhere. Malaysia was ranked at position 125 out of 197 countries worldwide in the 2018 World Electoral Freedom Index and this is symptomatic of our situation.
SUHAKAM believes that the level playing field is affected with instances of questionable disqualification of candidates and money and gifts being distributed, which is defended as being within the perimeters of Malaysian law, but long discarded by many democratic countries.
SUHAKAM continues to see the redelineation exercise as an epic breach of democratic election principles flouting proportionality. SUHAKAM has been informed of various instances where people have had their right to vote curtailed and SUHAKAM has received complaints of postal ballots not being received up to 48 hours before the election and other discrepancies.
The people of Malaysia deserve to be able to exercise their right to vote freely as the will of the people is inalienable and sacrosanct. In relation to this, SUHAKAM welcomes information from voters about any form of anomaly or breach of election regulations in the voting process.
SUHAKAM encourages Malaysians to take the opportunity of tomorrow’s general election to exercise their civil and political rights by casting their vote wisely and judiciously, with the best interest of our beloved nation.”