Election Commission

THE Election Commission (EC) was formed on Sept 4, 1957, under Article 114 of the Federal Constitution, which empowers it to conduct elections for the Dewan Rakyat and state legislative bodies.

At its establishment, the EC only consisted of a chairman and two members – Datuk Dr Mustafa Albakri Hassan together with Lee Ewe Boon and Ditt Singh.

A secretariat was also set up to fulfil the commission’s functions and carry out its decisions, with a secretary made the chief administrator. The first EC secretary was H. Cassidy.

After the formation of Malaysia in 1963 and the inclusion of Sabah and Sarawak, another member was added to represent the two states on a rotation basis. Datuk Abang Marzuki Nor from Sarawak was the first such member appointed.

An amendment to Article 114 made in 1981 provided for the new post of a deputy chairman, and Abdul Rahman Abdul Hassan was the first to hold this position.

Today, the EC has a chairman, a deputy chairman and five members, all appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after consulting the Conference of Rulers.

Apart from regulating elections, the EC’s duties include reviewing the boundaries of parliamentary and state constituencies, holding by-elections and carrying out registration exercises.

It also collects information on newly developed areas to ensure a fair representation of voters in each constituency, promotes awareness on how important it is to vote and revises the electoral roll by deleting the names of those who are dead or have been disqualified.

On polling day, EC members and officers will be stationed at polling centres nationwide to oversee the process.

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