Friday, February 02, 2018

#UndiRosak or Vote for None of the Above is a fundamental right of the Voter?

Najib Razak, in India, said that the spoilt vote was undemocratic - well, in India, the Supreme Court in 2013 said that it is a fundamental right to vote 'None of the Above"(or what they call negative voting.

"Negative voting will lead to a systemic change in polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidates. If the right to vote is a statutory right, then the right to reject a candidate is a fundamental right of speech and expression under the Constitution," said a bench headed by then Chief Justice of India, P Sathasivam.

#UndiRosak or Spoilt Vote - Why is the UMNO-BN and the Opposition, and others reacting Negatively?  Every Malaysian should register themselves as a 'Voter' - that is fundamental giving you the right to vote? That was the BERSIH campaign - register as a voter, and go exercise your right to vote(that means go and cast your vote, don't be lazy and not go vote). But, when you are at the voting centre, who you vote or how you vote is your choice...and your right.

 Image result for no vote thailand elections

#Undirosak - Exercising my fundamental right to vote - but that does not mean that I have to vote for the candidate for UMNO-BN or Pakatan Harapan or PAS or PRM or some other - It also means the right to vote 'none of the above' - 

YES - why should I be forced to vote any candidate(or any party) if I do not want him/her to be my Member of Parliament(MP) or State Legislative Assembly Person(ADUN)... Well, this right to 'vote none of the above' or in the case of Malaysia, to 'spoil my vote' [possibly by just putting my blank ballot paper into the box, marking for more than one candidate, writing 'semua tak mahu', etc] is a fundamental right, a right that has long been recognized in many country even neighboring Thailand...

In Malaysia, there are many every elections that do not turn up to vote - Maybe, it is because they do not want any of the candidates...or maybe, they are simply lazy - so, not turning up to vote do not convey any conclusive message. However, if a person turns up to vote and 'spoils his/her vote', that will mean something - it can be a clear indication that there is no suitable candidate or political party standing for election.  

.Image result for none of the above

This 'movement' or idea is now circulating in Malaysia, and it is sad that they are being criticized by many. Some even go to say that they are 'pro UMNO-BN' ...which is interesting because also pro UMNO-BN people are also criticizing them..Even Najib and Zahid is worried?

In the past, people just simply do not turn up to cast their ballot - well, that simply could be interpreted as laziness, not bothered, etc ...but, it is very different when people do take the time to come to voting centres and cast their ballot - Well, then it is a clear message...and exercise of one's personal right to choose....The also call this 'negative voting' in India, and the Supreme Court, in September last year(2013), upheld the right of voters to reject all candidates contesting the elections, saying it would go a long way in cleansing the political system of the country. The apex court directed the Election Commission to have an option of 'None Of The Above' (NOTA) on the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and ballot papers in a major electoral reform.[Note that before this, people also could cast a 'negative vote' - but they had to do it in a particular way, and there was no secrecy - the Supreme Court decision confirms the secrecy of the vote... i.e. No one has a right to know how I voted?

Image result for none of the above

"None Of The above", or NOTA for short, also known as "against all" or a "scratch" vote, is a ballot option in some jurisdictions or organizations, designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system. It is based on the principle that consent requires the ability to withhold consent in an election, just as they can by voting “No” on ballot questions.

Entities that include "None of the Above" on ballots as standard procedure include India ("None of the above"), Greece (λευκό, white), the U.S. state of Nevada (None of These Candidates), Ukraine (Проти всіх, "against all"), Spain (voto en blanco, "white vote"), and Colombia (voto en blanco). Russia had such an option on its ballots (Против всех, "against all") until it was abolished in 2006.[1] Bangladesh introduced this option (না ভোট) in 2008.[2] Pakistan introduced this option on ballot papers for the 2013 Pakistan elections, but the Election Commission of Pakistan later rejected it.[3] Beginning with the 2016 presidential election, Bulgaria introduced a 'none of the above' option, which received 5.59% of the vote in the first round and 4.47% in the run-off.

When “None of the Above” is listed on a ballot, there is the possibility of NOTA receiving a majority or plurality of the vote, and so "winning" the election. In such a case, a variety of formal procedures may be invoked, including having the office remain vacant, having the office filled by appointment, re-opening nominations or holding another election (in a body operating under parliamentary procedure), or it may have no effect whatsoever, as in India and the US state of Nevada, where the next highest total wins regardless. Wikipedia

The question that potential candidates for the upcoming General Elections must be asking is what must they do to give us GOOD candidates that we will want to vote for?

Well, UMNO-BN is also very worried. Why? Maybe, because there has always been the mantra - that public servants (including police and army) should not vote or support the Opposition - well, now with the possibility of #UndiRosak, many of these who do not want to vote for Opposition(or are too fearful to vote other than UMNO-BN) also may see a way out - #UndiRosak > Well, then nobody can accuse them of supporting the Opposition, can they? Well, a lot of UMNO members also may not be happy with current leadership and the candidates, and may simply chose to spoil their vote(or vote for no one), and, as such,they cannot be accused of voting for the Opposition?

Opposition - well, what is their real stance about things...what are their policies and principles...Well, just go look at the different Opposition Party Official websites, and see what is their position and principles...what are they going to fight for? What are they going to stand for? You will be surprised ...well, I will go into more details later...

The Opposition parties, many of them including Pakatan Harapan, has not made clear what they are going to do, have they? 
*Are they going to ABOLISH Detention without Trial Laws(POCA, POTA and DD(SPM)A) and immediately release unconditionally all persons currently being detained or restricted under those laws? (Something that can be done within 100 days) 
*Are they going to ensure that healthcare(including heart healthcare that now IJN is charging tens of thousands ringgit) will all be made free? 
* Are they going to ensure that education until university(and institution of higher learning) will be made free, especially in Malaysia?
* Are they going to ensure that all these Tamil and Chinese schools, which are currently partially funded, will be fully funded by the government?
* Are they going to ensure we have LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS? 
* Are they going to ensure that we finally will be able to democratically vote for our kampung, taman, kampung baru, kampung orang asli leaders more government appointment?
Well, the different political parties especially in Pakatan Harapan, could sign an AGREEMENT - a legally binding agreement agreeing to some basic policies and principles? But alas, all we see is their highlighting the wrongdoings of the UMNO-BN including 1MDB, fighting for seats and for who will be PM?

- Election Manifesto > well, the tactic of revealing it 'late' just when elections is called giving nobody time to even read it and raise questions/comments...and further it is not even an Agreement between political parties that cannot be breached, or an agreement between the party and the people...some say it is merely a 'janji kosong' (empty promise), that even if you do not follow, nothing will really happen?

Who are the candidates? Why not tell the people early - Malaysians certainly do not want someone with 'NO HISTORY' of speaking up and fighting for rights...We do not want 'seatwarmers who are really blindly loyal supporters of the party leaders'... we want MPs and ADUNs of the people, who are willing to act for the benefit of the people, who also have the courage to go against wrong positions of the party leaders? Tell us now, so we can give feedback...better for the parties to then decide to change or maintain the same person based on local public feedback.???

Spoilt vote campaign contradicts democracy: Najib

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak (pix) has described the 'spoilt vote' campaign launched by certain quarters as an action that contradicts the democratic system being practised in Malaysia. 

He said the negative campaigning approach to win the 14th General Election (GE14) should not have been made because Malaysians should be given the right to determine their choice of government.

"Everyone has the right to exercise the powers granted by the Constitution to every Malaysian citizen who is an eligible and registered voter.

"So this is the time for us exercise our rights to determine the government, this is our choice because it is (our) responsibility as an individual to determine who should become the government of 
Malaysia," he told Malaysian journalists here today.

Najib said this when asked to comment on the Spoilt Vote Campaign which previously went viral on social media via messages with hashtags #UndiRosak or #SpoiltVote, and #ProtesPRU or #GEProtest.

The prime minister is currently on a two-day working visit to the Indian capital to attend the Asean-India Commemorative Summit which coincides with the country's 69th Republic Day.

He concluded his two-day working visit today and is scheduled to return to Kuala Lumpur tonight. — Bernama - The Sun Daily, 27/1/2018

Voters have the right to say no to all contestants in elections, rules apex court

by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 28 2013, 06:38am hrs

In yet another electoral reform, the Supreme Court on Friday upheld voters right to say no to all candidates contesting polls, saying it will foster the purity of the electoral process and it serves a very fundamental and essential part of a vibrant democracy.
It also directed the Election Commission to provide a None of the Above (NOTA) option at the end of the list of candidates in electronic voting machines (EVMs) and ballot papers to allow voters to reject all those contesting the elections.

Stating that this would compel political parties to field sound candidates known for their integrity, the three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said that negative voting would encourage even people who are not satisfied with any of the candidates to turn up to express their opinion and reject all contestants.

For democracy to survive, it is essential that the best available men should be chosen as peoples representatives for proper governance of the country. This can be best achieved through men of high moral and ethical values, who win the elections on a positive vote... thus in a vibrant democracy, the voter must be given an opportunity to choose a None of the Above button, which will indeed compel the political parties to nominate a sound candidate. This situation palpably tells us the dire need of negative voting, the bench said its 50-page verdict.

Negative voting will lead to a systemic change in polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidates. If the right to vote is a statutory right, then the right to reject a candidate is a fundamental right of speech and expression under the Constitution, the apex court said, while passing the order on a 2004 PIL filed by the NGO Peoples Union for Civil Liberties.
The right to vote for no candidate is defined under Section 49 (O) of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, but was not effective as the government did not agree to amend the rules. So far, people casting negative votes were required to enter their names in a register and cast their vote on a separate paper ballot.- Financial Express, 28/9/2013

NOTA-No Opportunity to Anyone


The introduction of NOTA in India has been hailed by many to be a spectacular step towards capturing the true spirit of democracy. However, whether NOTA can be described as an electoral renaissance still remains uncertain as NOTA is simple a right to register a negative opinion and not a right to reject. Giving citizens the right to reject will ensure the two-fold purpose of candidates with a clean background as well as inducing citizens to cast their vote. The right purpose of a democracy is to choose a leader you deem fit to run the constituency. For the first time voters, it is an incentive to go ahead and express their opinion regardless of the fact that they opted for ‘None of The Above’ better than not voting. The Supreme Court, upheld in “People‘s Union for Civil Liberties v. The Union of India” that the right of voters to reject all candidates contesting the elections, saying it would go a long way in cleansing the political system of the country. The apex court directed the Election Commission to have an option of ‘None of The Above’ (NOTA) on the electronic voting machines (EVM) and ballot papers. EVMs have the NOTA option at the end of the candidates’ list.

Before the NOTA option came in existence, people casting negative votes were required to enter their names in a register and cast their vote on a separate paper ballot. Under Section 49 (O) of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, a voter could enter his electoral serial number in Form 17A and cast a negative vote. The presiding officer would then put a remark in the form and get it signed by the voter. This was done to prevent fraud or misuse of votes.

This provision was, however, deemed unconstitutional by the SC as it did not protect the identity of the voter. The SC said negative voting would even encourage people who are not satisfied with any of the candidates to turn up to express their opinion and reject all contestants.

“Negative voting will lead to a systemic change in polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidates. If the right to vote is a statutory right, then the right to reject a candidate is a fundamental right of speech and expression under the Constitution,” said a bench headed by then Chief Justice of India, P Sathasivam. The bench also pointed out that the system of negative voting existed in several other countries. Even in Parliament, the MPs have the option to abstain from a vote. The Section 49 (O) stood annulled after the SC cleared the NOTA provision. It gave the poll officials a chance to find out the reason behind the rejection of a candidate through the voter’s remarks in Form 17A. Through NOTA, the officials cannot find out the reason for the rejection. Moreover, it protects the identity of a voter, thus keeping the concept of secret balloting intact.


The NOTA option was first used in India in the assembly elections held in five states last year. 

The NOTA  was first made available to voters during the assembly polls held in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram and this time it will be available all over the country. Under the NOTA facility, a button will be provided in the EVM after the name of the last candidate in the list where the electors will have the option of not voting for anyone in the fray. Sampath added that the EC’s experiment with paper trail during assembly polls in Nagaland and Mizoram has “enthused” it and “we have asked for 20,000 such EVMs. We will deploy them in as many constituencies as we can.”

More than 1.5 million people exercised the option in the state’s polls. The figure, however, was lower than 1.5% of the total voters. NOTA option would not impact the results of the elections. Colombia, Ukraine, Brazil, Bangladesh, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Chile, France, Belgium, and Greece allow their voters to cast NOTA votes. The Greeks have the ‘white’ option on their ballot; the US State of Nevada has ‘None of these candidates’. Spain and Columbia have the Voto en Blanco. Russia abolished it in 2006. Bangladesh introduced it in 2008.

On the actual use of NOTA, there was to give privacy to the voter who does not want to vote for any of the candidates in his constituency.  When ballot papers were used for voting, voters would put “a blank slip into the ballot box, some would deliberately spoil the ballot by stamping it in more than one place or write they are all thieves”. “All these amounted to invalid votes. These were counted but did not have an impact on the result.”

But after EVMs came in 1998, that secrecy or the chance to invalid votes was taken away “since the pressing of a button is accompanied by a loud beep, audible in the entire polling booth and even outside. No beep would mean non-voting and everyone would know. This not only violated the voter’s secrecy but also made him vulnerable to reprisals.” The court order also upheld negative voting. “A voter may refrain from voting for several reasons, including the reason that he does not consider any of the candidates worthy of his vote.

One of the ways of such expression may be to abstain from voting by not turning up at all, which is not an ideal option for a conscientious and responsible citizen. Thus, the only way by which it may be made effectual is by providing a button in the EVMs to express that right. This is the basic requirement if the lasting values of a healthy democracy have to be sustained, which the Election Commission has not only recognized but also asserted.”Voters in conflict areas such as North Eastern regions, Maoist-dominated areas, and Indian-administered Kashmir can use NOTA to highlight their plights and miseries. Democracy has to move ahead with Right to Reject, Right to Recall. The NOTA option is a beginning.

Need of NOTA

We are living in the world’s largest democracy; true to the meaning of democracy NOTA will increase the participation of people in polls. People will be able to express their choice, votes to NOTA will make contenders think, what actually the people are looking for. More importantly, the political parties would project the right and clear candidates. When we attempt objective type question what we do if all the answers are incorrect.We choose “None of the above” then in an election if all the candidates are wicked then why we have no option to discard all and to choose the option None of the Above -NOTA. It is sure it will lead to a shift in the political scenario of our nation.

NOTA is a good option introduced in the elections. Many times MLA get the seat which they don’t deserve by some faulty means and then people has to choose among the false one. By introductions of NOTA if no Candidate is eligible we can simply elect NOTA and can remove them for years. NOTA enable people to use their vote to show that the current candidates, parties, and politics don’t have their support.  Voting BLANK is important as something citizens can do, that is always possible, even when the government doesn’t want to include ‘None of the above’ on the ballot paper.

Positive Impact of NOTA

If in the opinion of the voter ‘None of the above’ stated contenders are capable of running for the cause of the common man a voter can refuse to vote for them. Not out of compulsion should he vote for a contender who he thinks isn’t good enough. If you do not vote just because there is no good candidate, at least you can show your dissent with the option of NOTA.The political parties will think before fielding a candidate. This will definitely be the small step towards the vibrant and robust democracy where the actual choice of the people will make a difference.

Negative Impact of NOTA

No proper procedure is defined if NOTA win. The option of NOTA was inserted in the Indian Context with a view that it shames the politicians and will disqualify them and fresh elections will take place. But this is not so. The SC of India made it clear that even if NOTA win then also the party with second highest votes will be declared as the winner. There will be no re-election. Hence as there is an absence of a proper mechanism, this cannot be regarded as a proper solution to the problem we are facing in the world’s largest democracy!!The new provision does not mean that all candidates in a constituency stand rejected or defeated if the number of NOTA votes exceeds the number garnered by the highest vote-getter.”Even if there are 99 NOTA votes out of a total of 100, and candidate X gets just one vote, X is the winner, having obtained the only valid vote. The rest will be treated as invalid or ‘no votes’,”.


According to me, NOTA will not at all be effective until there are some amendments made in this law, like having re-voting with new candidates when majority go with NOTA. Otherwise, Nota is of no use as we all know that if NOTA gets the majority then the party either second highest majority wins the elections, so it will not do the needful.


Today people consider NOTA as a waste option since there are going to be a winner. But if NOTA regarded laws are amended then people will surely start to acknowledge it and then even if the party people won’t like to do people welfare related works, they simply will have to because the people have the Power and I have heard many people saying that, why should I vote for candidates of different political parties as they all are corrupt and none of these politicians are doing their business for what they are being selected by the people and NOTA is nothing but an answer to this question. It is not only the way towards smoother democracy but also visualize the actual political situation of a country. It’s nothing but providing a tough competition between the leaders of different parties because if they want a vote, they have to do something.

NOTA will help our country to make corruption free but at the same time, it will hamper our economy because as we know that a lot of money is spent on conducting a single election. So it is our responsibility to promote good people in politics. It is because of our irresponsibility that bad people are coming in politics. In my opinion few cases NOTA is good and few cases NOTA is bad because if you see them. In politics, so many elected people don’t have knowledge about studying but he is an education minister. In these cases, NOTA is used.- Legal Bites

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