There have been statements made that Transparency International – Malaysia (TI-M) will be an election observer at the forthcoming 13th General Election (GE). We confirm that TI-M was invited but had yet to accept the invitation.
TI-M is encouraged that the Election Commission recognises the importance of the integrity of the election process in inviting various civil society organizations such as TI-M to be accredited as domestic election observers.
TI-M has in the past worked constructively with the EC in proposing reforms to political financing and the election process. The EC has demonstrated its willingness to enter into frank dialogue and discussion with civil society organisations in Peninsula Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak in the process of appointing domestic election observers. TI-M has participated in several meetings with the EC.
During these meetings, TI-M had urged the EC to ensure all rules imposed on accredited observers, as well as the process of accrediting the observers comply with international standards and norms.
However, TI-M has expressed reservations on some of the Terms of Reference set by the EC on domestic Election Observers. (TI-M has agreed to confidentiality in order to promote free and frank discussions.). TI-M also believes that civil society organizations, such as MAFREL, which have the requisite expertise, experience and credibility with the public, should play prominent roles in the election observation process.
TI-M has on Friday, 4 January 2012, informed the EC that TI-M regrets it is unable to accept the EC’s invitation to participate as an Election Observer at the 13th GE.
However, TI-M would be willing to continue to engage with the EC to reform various laws related to elections.
TI-M further calls on the EC to ensure that the whole process of election observation adheres to international standards and norms, in order to restore the credibility of the election process in the eyes of the Malaysian public and the international community.
Josie M Fernandez
Secretary General, TI-M