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PSC: Bersih barred, but members can attend

 | October 5, 2011

Bersih 2.0 will not be allowed to attend PSC hearings on electoral reforms. However, its members can attend as individuals.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih 2.0 will not be allowed to attend public hearings at the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reforms as it is not a registered organisation.

PSC chairman Maximus Ongkili said that only legally registered bodies or “personalities” were allowed to attend.

“Anybody can come, including legal institutions, associations or personalities. Bersih 2.0 is not a registered organisation. They’ll have to come as individuals,” he told reporters in the Parliament lobby.

He added that Bersih 2.0 chairperson S Ambiga was more than welcome to attend the hearing as a former chairperson of the Bar Council or as herself.

“Parliament works on the basis that personalities or persons or registered organisations. (If you’re not) a registered organisation, how can you use the title of (one)?” he said.

Ongkili was briefing reporters on the PSC’s upcoming meetings; the first of which would take place on Oct 12, from 12:30pm to 2:30pm.

He said that the committee would hold “two or three” closed-door meetings, whereby members of the group would be allowed to raise “whatever concerns” they have with regard to electoral reforms.

Six public hearings

After this is done, the committee would make decisions on matters it could agree on. “Contentious issues”, Ongkili said, would be opened up for public hearings.

The PSC chairman confirmed that there would be at least six public hearings, with one in KL, Sabah and Sarawak, as well as the northern, eastern and southern parts of West Malaysia.

“We will give as much chance as possible, but they will have to write their submissions (to the PSC) in the form of a memorandum,” he added.

Ongkili said that he hoped to have these public hearings earliest by the third week of November, and to end them by December.

“That gives us another three months to process and make a report to Parliament,” he said.

He also confirmed that the committee would be discussing four different areas, namely:

  • electoral laws, regulations and rules.
  • the election process itself, such as the use of the media, campaigns, etc.
  • the electoral roll.
  • the Election Commission as an institution.

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