Malaysia’s newly elected government component party is still figuring out e-voting but reform to improve democratic process continues
A succession of invigorating measures and political will have recently resulted in an upturn in Malaysia’s democratic integrity after Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was reinstated as the Prime Minister, at the age of 92.
It was a breadth of fresh air. For the vast majority of Malaysians, it was clear that the status quo needs to be changed, despite rather dramatically. Fast forward a few months following a largely unexpected general election outcome, the current governing coalition has continued to paddle a theme anchored around reforms.
Last month, party component, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), introduced electronic voting to carry out its party elections. As is the case with most new entrants, the voting system, however did not start life without a few glitches causing some unexpected incidents and postponements in some divisions.
In the past, Malaysia’s past elections had been roundly scrutinized. Although some party members expressed their dissatisfaction over the new system, it was not as startling as some have made it out to be. Whereas, voting integrity in Malaysia had been marred with a couple of dodgy incidences, for example a scandalous blackout that occurred in the middle of a vote-counting process.
Beyond complex voting process, electronic voting or e-voting, much like blockchain, is offering an instrument that can provide better transparency and traceability of the voting process.
In contrast, what has truly ailed previous Malaysians elections was spoilt votes. Voting using electronic means, however, aims to fix this. For example, an elderly with poor sight no longer has to mark the ballot paper with a pencil which could lead to the vote being counted out as a spoilt vote.
Surely these incremental advances are critical and can contribute to lower spoilt votes and rectify other lingering issues as well. Billed to take voting to a new level, eradicating the ballot paper, which in turn reduces printing cost significantly is viewed as a practical solution that promotes better operability and perhaps reform the voting process to restore its integrity once again.
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