Bersih co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan lent her support to the campaign, saying that if the Election Commission (EC) wanted transparency, it would not need the contentious section 9A to protect the electoral roll from judicial oversight.
”The problem we have with 9A is that the EC is the sole custodian of the electoral roll,” said Ambiga at a joint press conference with DAP MPs Charles Santiago, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng in Parliament here today.
Santiago pointed out that section 9A was introduced after the 2001 landmark court ruling on the Likas by-election in Sabah, where the Kota Kinabalu High Court ruled that the electoral roll for the Likas state constituency contained phantom voters and declared the 1999 polls to be null and void.
"It is clear that section 9A was introduced to enable BN (Barisan Nasional) to protect their phantom voters," said the Klang MP.
"Once an electoral roll is gazetted, it cannot be challenged in court," he added. "The Election Commission has absolute power in controlling the electoral roll, even beyond that of the judiciary."
Santiago said that the "Mansuhkan 9A" (Abolish 9A) campaign was started by him, PAS' Sepang MP Mohamed Hanipa Maidin and PKR's Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar. Both Santiago and Nurul Izzah lost their bids in court before the May 5 polls to review the electoral rolls in their respective constituencies.
The two opposition lawmakers said there were phantom voters in the gazetted electoral rolls, but the Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam High Courts ruled against their favour, citing section 9A of the Elections Act.
PR researchers have alleged there are tens of thousands of phantom voters registered on the electoral rolls in states such as Sabah and Selangor. The EC has disputed the claims, saying that the high percentage of discrepancies in the electoral roll was “normal”.
"Section 9A is an ouster clause as it contravenes the Doctrine of Separation of Powers," said Santiago.
"The role of the judiciary as the arbitrator of rights and duties is completely removed."
The petition is accessible at mansuhkan9A.Source: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/bersih-pakatan-want-electoral-roll-subject-to-court-oversight