PETALING JAYA: Electoral reform group Bersih has helped a voter file his suit against the Election Commission (EC) and the government for preventing him from voting in the Johor state elections in March.
The suit was filed yesterday.
The first-time voter in the Skudai constituency had alleged that he was stopped from voting by EC workers on March 12 although he had received a negative Covid-19 result from his self-test.
In a statement today, Bersih said the election laws did not grant any power to the EC to deny voters their right to vote on the grounds of an infectious disease even if they were supposed to be quarantined.
It said the election laws also did not mandate prior permission from a district health officer before a vote could be cast.
Bersih said it believed the EC wrongfully assigned power to district health officers to decide on voters’ right to vote.
“The EC, who should be responsible for guaranteeing the voting rights of a citizen, has instead denied a voter from casting his vote because of Covid-19,” it said.
According to Beatrice Chin from AmerBon, the firm representing the voter in the suit, the EC had authority over management of the elections and ensuring voters were guaranteed their right despite the prevailing Covid-19 regulations.
“Bersih once again emphasises that the EC, as the sole election management body in Malaysia, must ensure that the election can be participated by all Malaysians who are registered as voters,” she said.
In February, Bersih had urged the EC and the health ministry to provide special facilities for those under quarantine to vote instead of restricting them from casting their ballots.