The Election Commission is legally required to provide copies of the draft voter registry when the document is on public display, said Gerakan Youth deputy chief Andy Yong.
Yong, who is also a lawyer, said Section 15(2)(l) of the Elections Act 1958 had stated that a registrar is required to “supply to any such persons as may be prescribed copies of any electoral roll or part of it, whether free of charge or on payment of such fee as may be prescribed in it”.
“Unless amended, clearly under this provision, the EC is obliged to provide the said copies,” Yong told Malaysiakini.
The EC, he said, under Section 15 of the Elections Act 1958 may, with the approval of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, make regulations for the registration of electors and for all matters incidental to it.
“Is the directive a new regulation? If yes, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s approval is required,” he added.
Yesterday, the EC confirmed it was no longer providing copies of draft voter list during the display period as it feels that their public display is sufficient to inform voters of their status.
EC secretary Abdul Ghani Salleh said the commission will send a formal letter to all political parties on the decision to no longer supply the draft voter list in both book and compact disc forms from this year onwards.
Citing Regulation 13 of the Election Regulations 2002, Abdul Ghani said the draft voter list has to be displayed at a gazetted public area for 14 days, to show a list of voters who are seeking to be included into the list and those seeking to change their voting areas.
As interested parties can still view the list, the new directive does not restrict access, he said.