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Constitution of Malaysia (1957) – 8: Elections

PART VIII – ELECTIONS

Article number: 113

(1) There shall be an Election Commission, to be constituted in accordance with Article 114, which, subject to the provisions of federal law, shall conduct elections to the House of Representatives and the Legislative Assemblies of the States and prepare and revise electoral rolls for such elections.

(2)

(i) Subject to paragraph (ii), the Election Commission shall, from time to time, as they deem necessary, review the division of the Federation and the States into constituencies and recommend such changes therein as they may think necessary in order to comply with the provisions contained in the Thirteenth Schedule; and the reviews of the constituencies for the purpose of elections to the Legislative Assemblies shall be undertaken at the same time as the reviews of constituencies for the purpose of elections to the House of Representatives.

(ii) There shall be an interval of not less than eight years between of the date of completion of one review, and the date of commencement of the next review, under this Clause.

(iii) A review under paragraph (i) shall be completed within a period of not more than two years from the date of its commencement.

(3) If the Election Commission are of opinion that in consequence of a law made under Article 2 it is necessary to undertake the reviews mentioned in Clause (2), they shall do so, whether or not eight years have elapsed since the last review under this Clause.

(3A)

(i) Where the number of elected members of the House of Representatives is altered in consequence of any amendment to Article 46, or the number of elected members of the Legislative Assembly of a State is altered in consequence of a law enacted by the Legislature of a State, the Election Commission shall undertake a review of the division into federal or State constituencies, as the case may be, of the area which is affected by the alteration, and such review shall be completed within a period of not more than two years from the date of the coming into force of the law making the alteration.

(ii) A review on the paragraph (i) shall not affect the interval provided under paragraph (ii) of Clause (2) in respect of a review under paragraph (i) or that Clause.

(iii) The provisions of the Thirteenth Schedule shall apply to a review under this Clause, but subject to such modifications as may be considered necessary by the Election Commission.

(4) Federal or State law may authorise the Election Commission to conduct election other than those referred to in Clause (1).

(5) So far as may be necessary for the purposes of its functions under this Article the Election Commission may make rules, but any such rules shall have effect subject to the provisions of federal law.

(6) There shall be separate reviews under Clause (2) for the States of Malaya and for each of the States of Sabah and Sarawak, and for the purposes of this Part the expression “unit of review” shall mean, for federal constituencies, the area under review and, for State constituencies, the State and the expression “States of Malaya” shall include the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and the Federal Territory of Labuan.

(7) Subject to Clause (3), the period for the first reviews under Clause (2) for any unit of review shall be calculated from the first delimitation of constituencies for that unit under this Constitution or under the Malaysia Act.

(8) Notwithstanding Clause (7) of this Article the period for reviews under Clause (2) for the unit of review of the States of Malaya undertaken after the passing of the Constitution (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1973 shall be calculated from the first delimitation of constituencies for that unit immediately following the passing of that Act.

(9) The date of the commencement of a review under Clause (2) or Clause (3A), as the case may be, shall be the date of the publication in the Gazette of the notice referred to in section 4 of the Thirteenth Schedule.

(10) The date of the completion of a review under Clause (2) or Clause (3A), as the case may be, shall be the date of the submission of the report to the Prime Minister under section 8 of the Thirteenth Schedule, and a notice of such date shall be published by the Election Commission in the Gazette.

Article 114

(1) The Election Commission shall be appointed by the Yang di- Pertuan Agong after consultation with the Conference of Rulers, and shall consist of a chairman, a deputy chairman and three other members.

(2) In appointing members of the Election Commission the Yang di- Pertuan Agong shall have regard to the importance of securing an Election Commission which enjoys public confidence.

(3) A member of the Election Commission shall cease to hold office on attaining the age of sixty- five years or on becoming disqualified under Clause (4) and may at any time resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Yang di- Pertuan Agong, but shall not be removed from office except on the like grounds and in the like manner as a judge of the Supreme Court.

(4) Notwithstanding anything in Clause (3), the Yang di- Pertuan Agong shall by order remove from office any member of the Election Commission if such member -

(a) is an undischarged bankrupt; or

(b) engages in any paid office or employment outside the duties of his office; or

(c) is a member of either House of Parliament or of the Legislative Assembly of a State.

(4A) In addition to any disqualification provided under Clause (4), the chairman of the Election Commission shall be disqualified from holding such office if after three months of his appointment to such office or at any time thereafter he is or becomes a member of any board of directors or board of management, or an officer or employee, or engages in the affairs or business, of any organization or body, whether corporate or otherwise or of any commercial, industrial or other undertaking, whether or not he receives any remuneration, reward, profit or benefit from it:

Provided that such disqualification shall not apply where such organization or body carries out any welfare or voluntary work or objective beneficial to the community or any part thereof, or any other work or objective of a charitable or social nature, and the member does not receive any remuneration, reward, profit or benefit from it.

(5) Parliament shall by law provide for the remuneration of members of the Election Commission, and the remuneration so provided shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.

(5A) Subject to the provisions of this Article, Parliament may by law provide for the terms of office of members of the Election Commission other than their remuneration.

(6) The remuneration and other terms of office of a member of the Election Commission shall not be altered to his disadvantage after his appointment.

(7) Where, during any period, the chairman of the Election Commission has been granted leave of absence by the Yang di- Pertuan Agong or is unable, owing to his absence from the Federation, illness or any other cause, to discharge his functions, the deputy chairman shall discharge the functions of the chairman during that period, and if the deputy chairman is also absent or unable to discharge such functions, a member of the Election Commission may be appointed by the Yang di- Pertuan Agong to discharge the functions of the chairman during that period.

Article 115

(1) The Election Commission may employ such number of persons, on such terms and subject to such conditions, as the Commission may with the approval of the Yang di- Pertuan Agong determine.

(2) All public authorities shall on the request of the Commission give the Commission such assistance in the discharge of its duties as may be practicable;

and in exercising its functions of making recommendations for the delimitation of constituencies for the elections mentioned in article 113 (1) the Commission shall seek the advice of two officers of the Federal Government with special knowledge of the topography of, and the distribution of the population in, the unit of review for federal elections, and those offices shall be selected for that purpose by the Yang di- Pertuan Agong.

Article 116

(1) For the election of members to the House of Representatives a unit of review shall be divided into constituencies in accordance with the provisions contained in the Thirteenth Schedule.

(2) The total number of constituencies shall be equal to the number of members, so that one member shall be elected for each constituency, and of that total in the States of Malaya a number determined in accordance with the provisions contained in Article 46 and the Thirteenth Schedule shall be allocated to each State.

(3) (Repealed).

(4) (Repealed).

(5) (Repealed).

Article 117

For the election of members to the Legislative Assembly of a State the State shall be divided into as many constituencies as there are elected members, so that one member shall be elected for each constituency; and the division shall be made in accordance with the provisions contained in the Thirteenth Schedule.

Article 118

No election to the House of Representatives or to the Legislative Assembly of a State shall be called into question except by an election petition presented to the High Court having jurisdiction where the election was held.

Article 118A

A petition complaining of no return to the House of Representatives shall be deemed to be an election petition and the High Court may make such order thereon as it may think fit for compelling a return to be made, but the failure to make a return within any period specified by Article 54 or 55 shall not be a ground for declaring that a member has not been duly elected.

Article 119

(1) Every citizen who -

(a) has attained the age of twenty- one years on the qualifying date; and

(b) is resident in a constituency on such qualifying date or, if not so resident, is an absent voter, is entitled to vote in that constituency in any election to the House of Representatives or the Legislative Assembly unless he is disqualified under Clause (3) or under any law relating to offences committed in connection with elections; but no person shall in the same election vote in more than one constituency.

(2) If a person is in a constituency by reason only of being a patient in an establishment maintained wholly or mainly for the reception and treatment of persons suffering from mental illness or mental defectiveness or of being detained in custody he shall for the purpose of Clause (1) be deemed not to be resident in that constituency.

(3) A person is disqualified for being a elector in any election to the House of Representatives or the Legislative Assembly if -

(a) on the qualifying date he is detained as a person of unsound mind or is serving a sentence of imprisonment; or

(b) having before the qualifying date been convicted in any part of the Commonwealth of an offence and sentenced to death or imprisonment for a term exceeding twelve months, he remains liable on the qualifying date to suffer any punishment for that offence.

(4) In this Article “qualifying date” means the date by reference to which the electoral rolls are prepared or revised, and “absent voter” means in relation to any constituency any citizen who is registered as an absent voter in respect of that constituency under the provisions of any law relating to elections.

Article 120

Where in accordance with Article 45 (4) provision is made by Parliament for the election of Senators by the direct vote of electors-

(a) the whole of a State shall form a single constituency and each elector shall have as many votes at any election to the Senate as there are seats to be filled in that election; and

(b) the electoral rolls for elections to the House of Representatives shall also be the electoral rolls for election to the Senate; and

(c) Articles 118, 118A and 119 shall apply in relation to elections to the Senate as they apply in relation to elections to the House of Representatives.

Next: Chapter 9 – The Judiciary