Incidents of corrupt practices at elections are extremely pervasive in Malaysia. Massive vote-buying at elections is commonplace that it is no longer shocking news. Among the cases of vote buying documented by the election observers known as PEMANTAU are: 1) Barisan Nasional candidates for Mulu, Telang Usan, and Ba’kelalan provided free food to over 1000 people at the five star Pullman Hotel (2016 Sarawak State Elections); 2) Barisan Nasional candidates gave out free sports equipment for youths and free equipment for farmers and fishermen (2016 Sungai Besar by-election).
As the 14th General Election looms, C4 believes that there is an urgent need to clarify the roles and functions of both the Election Commission (EC) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) under the existing laws in addressing the issue of massive vote buying at elections. In light of this background, we have drafted a report which attempts to address this issue by: 1) analysing the existing laws governing corrupt practices committed during elections, in particular the Election Offences Act 1954 (EOA) and the Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (MACC Act); 2) examining the roles of the EC and the MACC under the existing laws in addressing issues related to corrupt practices committed during elections; 3) identifying the enforcement body mandated to enforce the laws that criminalise corrupt practices at elections and the legal loopholes that are enabling these practices; 4) dentifying contextual incidences that should also be considered corrupt practices under the law. This report concludes with a number of recommendations that are aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the enforcement of the existing laws to combat corrupt practices at elections.
To view the full report, please click here.