PETALING JAYA: The Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) will submit its recommendations for reforms to the prime minister in August, although it remains to be seen if its proposals can be carried out before the next general election in the event that snap polls are called.
Speaking to FMT, ERC chairman Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said the committee’s report contained 49 recommendations for reforms to the Election Commission (EC) as well as the election process which might need to be discussed by the Cabinet.
“The government might have to set up a special select committee to study the actions to be taken before carrying out some of the changes we proposed,” he added.
He also said the government would have enough time to implement these if the election is not held for a few years more.
He was responding to questions on whether the Perikatan Nasional government would have time to implement the committee’s proposals if snap polls are called, after several Umno leaders urged Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to dissolve Parliament to make way for the next general election.
The ERC was set up under the Pakatan Harapan government in August 2018 to study ways to improve the election system which had been heavily criticised for a perceived lack of independence under the previous Barisan Nasional administration.
Other proposals included the registration of political parties and election funding mechanisms.
Rashid, the former EC chairman, previously said that the commission would be “untouchable” if the reforms were put in place.
He also said the ERC would propose that election dates be set at least six months in advance to save money and time and allow the EC to train some 30,000 to 40,000 people for the polls.
He said the recommendations were now being printed for submission to Muhyiddin.
“We were supposed to complete them within two years by August 2020,” he said, adding that work had continued despite the outbreak of Covid-19.
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