Is Malaysia Ready for E-Voting?

Topics: Election, Elections, Voting Pages: 2 (676 words) Published: December 13, 2010
Is Malaysia ready for e-voting?

Electronic-voting or e-voting has been implemented in campus elections since 2004. Hemananthani Sivanandam looks at whether it should be expanded to cover national elections. THOUGH e-voting has been successfully implemented in some countries such as the United States, Europe and even in parts of India, issues of trust, integrity and infrastructure must be addressed before Malaysia can do the same, say analysts.According to Monash University lecturer and political scientist Wong Chin Huat, the problem with e-voting was not a matter of it being feasible or convenient for voters, but rather that of integrity and technicality to prevent tampering. Likening e-voting to internet banking, Wong said the vital issue is trust. "The keyword here is trust. You trust online banking because you believe in the system. If you have questions about the bank’s integrity, will you be banking with them? "Similarly, Malaysia is not ready for e-voting because we (Malaysians) can’t trust the authorities. We’re not rejecting technology but we have problems with the authorities," Wong told theSun. Wong, who is also with the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih), said while e-voting is convenient and empowers voters, there should be transparency and deeper commitment from the authorities. He stressed that the Election Commission (EC) should first sort out problems such as phantom voters and cleaning up the electoral list to regain the public's trust. E-voting system has been implemented in campus elections in local universities since 2004, garnering mixed reactions from students, and there is concern that the EC may be thinking about widening its use. Last year, it was reported that six countries including Malaysia wanted to obtain Indian electronic voting machines made by Bharat Electronic Ltd for use at elections in the countries. The report by Press Trust of India said officials from Mauritius, Malaysia, Singapore, Namibia, South Africa and...
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