Electoral reforms pressure group Bersih has threatened to hold mass rallies if the Election Commission (EC) proceeds with the re-delineation exercise without cleaning the electoral roll first.

"We are going to build up and what I can tell is we are going to do our best that it (re-delineation) does not happen before the electoral roll is cleaned up.
bar council seminar on ge13 130713"It is that serious, that is the message I want to get across," Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreevenasan told journalists after an electoral reform forum at the Bar Council headquaters in Kuala Lumpur today.

Ambiga still hoped that the EC won't proceed with the exercise until the integrity of the electoral roll is assured and avoid the protest.

"We want to educate people first, and then may be they will respond and say they may clean up the electoral roll first, but I'm not holding my breath.

"It is as simple as that, all they have to do is say we will stop and clean up the electoral roll first," she said.

Election Commission chief Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof had said that the re-delineation process will begin at the end of this year.
Ambiga pointed out that the revelations that immigrants made into the electoral roll by the ongoing royal commission of inquiry (RCI) on immigration in Sabah was reason enough to hold off the exercise. 
 
'Stuck for two GEs' 
 
She warned that if the EC proceeds with the re-delineation based on the existing flawed electoral roll, Malaysia will have to live with it for a long time. 
 
bar council seminar on ge13 130713 manogaran"Once you do the re-delineation we are stuck with it for eight years, not just for the next general election but also the one after that... Are we Malaysians prepared to allow that situation to happen?" she asked. 
 
The Federal Constitution stipulates that the re-delineation process must take place every eight years. The last exercise began in 2003 and was implemented in 2004. 
 
Ambiga was also highly critical of the Election Commission in her presentation, while repeatedly urging fellow penalist and EC member P Manogaran to resign. 
 
She also pointed out that the EC had made statements that compromised its credibility, including 
calling opposition MPs "hypocrites", to which Manogran said such statements did not come from him.
Manogaran: It's NRD's fault

He added that the onus of determining whether someone was a citizen or not depended on the National Registration Department (NRD).

"If NRD says the person if a citizen then we accept, we can't interrogate people whether they are citizens or not, the NRD is the authority for that," he said.

However, Ambiga retorted that the EC was the guardian of the electoral roll and cannot simply shirk its responsibility.

"If the NRD has committed treason, are you going to do nothing about it? If I was the EC, there is a lot that I will do," she said.

The Sabah RCI has heard that immigrants in Sabah were 
illegally granted citizenship through covert operations in the NRD, and they eventually registered as voters.

The forum entitled: "Electoral Reforms - Out with the Old, In with the New?" today is the third in a series of post-general election talks organised by the Bar Council.

~ Malaysiakini