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NGO proposes ways to combat corruption during elections

 | November 11, 2017

Anti-graft NGO wants Election Offences Act to be amended to include abuse of power by caretaker government during the election campaign period.

C4's Richard Yeoh and Cynthia Gabriel launching the report to address corrupt practices at elections.

C4’s Richard Yeoh and Cynthia Gabriel launching the report to address corrupt practices during elections.

PETALING JAYA: An anti-graft NGO today proposed six recommendations to combat corrupt practices during elections, including empowering the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate election offences.

The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) suggested that the MACC be accorded powers similar to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) of Hong Kong.

The ICAC, it explained, could investigate all offences under the Hong Kong election ordinance that was similar to Malaysia’s Election Offences Act (EOA).

Meanwhile, C4 suggested that the EOA be amended to include abuse of power by a caretaker government during the election campaign period as well as address the issue of gerrymandering.

“The EOA should be amended to make the establishment of enforcement teams by the Electoral Commission (EC) to monitor and control election activities mandatory.”

C4 also called for the EC to include civil societies in the training of enforcement teams set up by the commission and for the EC to coordinate with enforcement agencies, such as the police and the MACC, to monitor an election.

“The MACC should review all complaints brought to their attention and immediately investigate allegations of corrupt practices committed during the last general election (in May 2013) and the 11th Sarawak State elections,” C4 said in its statement.

Later, C4’s executive director Cynthia Gabriel explained that the proposal was also meant to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of all the different law enforcement bodies.

“In previous elections, there were a lot of issues revolving around money politics that were not investigated by the EC or the MACC,” she told reporters.

Gabriel said she hoped that should the amendments proposed be taken up and printed in “black and white”, it will compel enforcement agencies to do the necessary.


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