KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) has decided to halt the Simulated Recall Election (SREL) campaign with immediate effect due to current socio-economic concerns that it said rendered such a political campaign ill-timed.
In their statement today, the election watchdog said the decision was taken together with their technology partner, ReGov Technologies, who had fully borne the development and maintenance cost of the e-voting system.
“Should the circumstances change in the future, we may reactivate the campaign as the e-voting system and the advocacy for the implementation of recall elections in Malaysia remain relevant and necessary for the empowerment of voters to deal with the problem of party-hopping,” Bersih 2.0 said in a statement.
Despite halting the SREL, Bersih 2.0 said its partnership with ReGov to develop the e-voting solution to allow for safe and secure voting during the pandemic marked an exciting step in advancing remote voting.
“The e-voting system developed by Regov remains available for future deployment to any bodies that would want to conduct secure, verifiable, and trustworthy elections, be it in local authorities, political parties, elected people’s representatives, or any organisations,” it said.
Bersih 2.0 chairman Thomas Fann has been one of the biggest proponents for introducing recall elections in Malaysia since March 2020, seeing it as necessary to prevent a repeat of the political impasse following the collapse of the PH administration.
Fann previously said Bersih 2.0 is working with a technology firm to organise a mock recall election online and would announce it on June 21.
He said the plan is to give voters whose representatives have switched camps since February 2020 a platform whereby they can show their agreement with the new choice.
Participants in the mock recall election would be limited to registered voters from specific constituencies.
On June 25, the election watchdog announced that its first subject of the “Sack or Keep Campaign” would be Tebrau MP Steven Choong.