A concerned Malaysian writes about Malaysian affairs. "You are the Change you Seek" Barack Obama

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Elections - We Could Learn Something from Pakistan and Bengladesh

Most Malaysians think that we are much better off than Pakistan and Bengladesh; the former now under a military emergency whilst the latter has been ravaged by the ferocious cyclone that has already claimed more than 3000 lives.

But even Pakistan puts in place a caretaker government once Parliament is dissolved and hence the national leaders cannot make use of government machinery to campaign.

This seems to be a more blatant abuse of government equipment and taxpayers funds than the elections watchdog have been complaining about. You can see how little has been conceded in this malaysiakini article.

Too long a campaign is not good for developing countries like Malaysia but if emergency-stricken Pakistan can afford a campaign more than one month we should consider a reasonable period like three weeks.

Also a caretaker government would also ensure that the elections are conducted in an equitable manner and government equipment is not used in campaigning.
You can read how a caretaker government system was put in place in Bengladesh in 1996.

One can put this in the perspective of a soccer match. The referee should be neutral or the match can be biased towards one team.
With a neutral caretaker, proper broadcasting time will also be made available to all contesting parties.

Indelible ink seems so archaic but the allowing of monitors for postal votes is a positive step forward.

I suggest Mafrel should work towards the caretaker government approach plus a 3-week campaign.

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