KUCHING: A political scientist is of the opinion that the Election Commission (EC) should be given the opportunity to oversee the registration of political parties as they could expedite the process better than the Registrar of Societies (ROS).
“If the EC is given the opportunity, they will be far more transparent and free of political influence,” said Professor Datuk Mohd Fadzil Abdul Rahman of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
“It is much easier for them to monitor, and more credible compared to the current practice. I believe we should give it a shot,” he said in response to Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming’s recommendation that civil society push Putrajaya into having EC be responsible for political party registrations.
“EC can better speed the process because there was previously too much bureaucracy in terms of registration, among other things, in ROS.
“Previously, we have seen with ROS that some processes take too long and others can be quick. It is too good to be a coincidence, it has to do with where they incline towards (either existing government or opposition).
“For instance, MUDA and other political parties have been attempting to register for years and by right, they should not have to struggle as much, as long as they fulfil all requirements.
“It will be more beneficial to us if we entrust the registration to the EC; it would be faster, less bureaucratic, clean, and transparent, and I truly hope they will treat all political parties equally regardless of their political stance.”
When asked whether this move would be effective for the nation to progress politically, Prof Mohd Fadzil supported the notion after considering the current political scenario.
“In order to move forward with fair elections, I believe it will be quite effective for us to entrust political party registrations to the EC and leave other matters, such as company registrations, to the ROS.
“There may have been reasons why it was placed together previously, perhaps for legal reasons, but the registration of political parties should not be combined with other concerns outside politics since it’s a completely different game.
“By doing so, we can examine how fair the EC can be in handling the registration while also dividing the responsibilities between the two.”
However, Prof Mohd Fadzil remarked that in general, whether it was ROS or EC, it was up to individuals to be completely responsible, accountable, transparent, and honest in order to ensure that the nation’s political situation is clean.
“Above all, regardless of who is in charge, everyone’s honesty and accountability are highly crucial. For EC, for example, we must ensure that the term ‘commission’ refers to an independent institution that is not bound by any political ideology to promote transparency and fairness.
“Malaysia can only progress if we establish an institution that encourages genuine sincerity rather than just preaching about it.”