Published: Monday December 19, 2011 MYT 12:48:00 PM
Updated: Monday December 19, 2011 MYT 4:36:31 PM
EC: Indelible ink to be used in next general election
By LIM WEY WEN
PUTRAJAYA: All voters, other than those casting postal ballots, will be required to have their fingers marked with indelible ink before voting in the next general election.
Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said here on Monday that this was among the 10 recommendations made by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform.
He said the ink containing silver nitrate has been identified and sent to various departments, including the Chemistry Department, National Fatwa Council and Health Ministry for further testing to ensure it was safe to be used.
“We want to ensure the ink is not removable and remains on a person's finger for at least a few days. We also want to make sure that it does not affect the religious practices of Muslims,” he added.
While Abdul Aziz said the ink had been used for Muslims in some countries, he declined to elaborate on the type and origin of the ink, to prevent attempts to duplicate it.
"After the indelible ink requirement is implemented, there won't be a need for a biometric voter verification system anymore," he added.
The other reforms include the introduction of advanced voting for police and armed forces personnel, the cleaning-up of the electoral roll, and changes to the candidate nomination and voting process to allow for a more transparent and efficient elections.
Under the reforms, all military personnel and their spouses, members of the General Operations Force and their spouses, and police personnel, will vote two to three days before polling day. Those who are based away from polling stations can apply to be postal voters.
“Postal voting is also open to Election Commission personnel who are unable to vote on polling day,” said Abdul Aziz.
In order to expedite the nomination process, the EC will also no longer allocate time for objections to a candidate's nomination.
It will also display the electoral roll for two weeks every three months instead of the current one week.
Abdul Aziz did not give a time frame for the reforms to take place but indicated they would all be in place before the next general election.