EC Chairman Rashid should implement “caretaker govt” concept to ensure free, fair, clean election

I will seek a meeting with the Chairman of the Election Commission Chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman to discuss how the Election Commission proposes to ensure that the 12th general election is free, fair and clean, particularly whether the Election Commission proposes to apply the caretaker government concept when Parliament is dissolved.

When he became Prime Minister four years ago, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi propounded the concept of Islam Hadhari, founded on just and trustworthy governance.

A government which genuinely believes in fair play and justice as two important ingredients of Islam Hadhari would support the concept of a caretaker government between the dissolution of Parliament and the election of a new legislature and formation of new government.

Under this concept, which has become commonplace in first-world developed nations, there is only a caretaker government when Parliament stands dissolved for a general election to be held.

In a caretaker government, Cabinet Ministers should not abuse government positions, machinery, resources and funds for any electioneering purpose for a political party or candidate.

A candidate who benefits unfairly from any “unhealthy” and dishonest practices, as campaigning assistance by the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister or Cabinet Minister through the abuse of their government positions or misuse of public funds and resources, should be subject to disqualification.

Rashid has just had his tenure as Election Commission Chairman renewed in the most unusual circumstances, viz:

• requiring Parliament to rush through a solitary amendment to the Constitution to extend the retirement age of the Election Commission Chairman from 65 to 66 before his retirement came due at the end of last year (Dewan Rakyat passed it on Dec. 11 while Dewan Negara adjourned on Dec. 24 – with Dec. 25 the next day, Christmas Day, a public holiday);

• requiring the Yang di Pertuan Agong who returned to the country on Dec. 26 after performing the haj pilgrimage in Mecca to give his Royal Assent to the Constitution Amendment Bill 2007 on the very same day of his return as well as the publication of the government gazette of the legislation, so that the new law comes into instant effect the same day – allowing Rashid to extend his service by another year the very next day on Dec. 27.

With these unusual efforts involving the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, Parliament and the Yang di Pertuan Agong to act in a most unprecedented manner to expeditiously approve the constitutional amendment so that Rashid could preside over preparations for the next general election, what guarantee can Rashid give that the conduct of the 12the general election would not be as disastrous and disgraceful as the 11th general election but can stand national and international scrutiny as the most free, fair and clean in the 50-year history of Malaysia?

  1. #1 by anak sungeisiput on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 12:40 pm

    YB Kit,
    The extraordinary amendment to the Constitution to extend the retiring age of the incumbent EC is the very reason one would suspect that the benchmark for transperancy, scruplousl adherence to the rulles of election, mainatin arms length of the public institutions like the police etc should be maintained.

    The International observers must be assisted to perform their watchdog role meticulously.

    I am sure the E commisoner is not of Kenyan type.

  2. #2 by k1980 on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 12:43 pm

    After wasting millions in worthless projects, the govt is trying to recoup its losses by asking for RM100 per student
    Some parents were caught unawares on the first day of school when they were asked to pay extra charges, amounting to more than RM100 in some cases, for school maintenance, sport day, sport attire, school magazines and test papers. Many were under the impression that such charges had been scrapped when the government announced in September last year that it was abolishing school fees from this year. They failed to realise that this only applied to the government school fee of RM4.50 per primary pupil and RM9 per secondary school student.

  3. #3 by boh-liao on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 12:55 pm

    LKS should know that his efforts are wasted efforts. It’s pay back time for the ever grateful Chairman of the Election Commission Chairman in the coming GE. Do not expect less.

  4. #4 by ChinNA on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 12:56 pm

    If we vote the BN out, and assuming we do, can anyone predict who are the likely persons to fill up the existing cabinet positions?

    It would be interesting to see the possibilities. Anyone game to give it a try?

    For a start, who should be PM, DPM?

  5. #5 by bolehlandor on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 1:12 pm

    YB LKS. I deeply respect your genuinely good intentions in seeking to meet this guy. However as best as I can see, it is unfortunately of no consequence at all.

    Why is his tenure extended by the extraordinary means? It is becos this idiot is the ruling party’s pet mongrel who will do all their biddings and more. Bolehland is fated to go the way of Atlantis and the ruling politicians are hastening the irreversible process. May they all rot in hell.

  6. #6 by ktteokt on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 1:31 pm

    How to have a clean election when everyone in the Election Commission is dirty, being dogs of the ruling BN! Rashid is but another dog of BN who will wag its tail when the master throws him a bone!

  7. #7 by Tickler on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 1:33 pm

    `I am sure the E commisoner is not of Kenyan type.` – posted above

    The kenyan problem is not exactly what is shown on TV:

    Raila Odinga, the current frontrunner in the upcoming presidential election in Kenya has promised that he will implement strict Islamic Sharia law if he receives the Muslim vote in the country and is elected president.

    A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed on 29 August 2007 by Sheikh Abdullahi Abdi, chairman of the National Leaders Forum (Namlef), and Raila Odinga, presidential candidate from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

    Despite being signed in late August, the MOU was not made public until 27 November 2007.

  8. #8 by vehir on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 1:45 pm

    Election fever has really geared up. BN started to put up posters and yesterday they started test how to vote etc.

    Has BN violated the EC Act when Parliament is not dissolved yet by putting up party banners? Can they be charged?

    Why Opposition not putting up? If BN has the guts to do that then Opposition should also start putting up their banners immediately.

    From the various campaign BN is carrying out it shows that GE will be held before CNY.

  9. #9 by Thegame on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 2:09 pm

    While on this topic.Please do ask the EC and the Prime Minister that in the event the BN loses they must concede defeat and hand over power without creating chaos like they did in1969.We the rakyat need this assurance to feel comfortable when voting..

  10. #10 by LittleBird on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 2:14 pm

    So already signed or not? I am sure the Agong listened to people more so after the 40k BERSIH supporters call for fair election. Why si it so mystry when it come to appointments. Even the COAppeal president not sure agong signed or not. So confusinglah!!

  11. #11 by Jonny on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 2:25 pm

    Hidden from public view, a car park here in Sunway Mentari (Opposite Kurnia Insuran building in Petaling Jaya) – there are various containers cum office setup. Car Park is now closed. In place is propped up UMNO. I think is an operations centre or something.

    Which shows election is nearby. Whole car park empty space, taken up by these few containers. Its not cheap to rent such space. Indirectly, these are money of rakyat as well, which finds its way to the coffers.

  12. #12 by wizzerd on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 3:07 pm

    If they can simply put up banners even before the dissolution is announced..this is purely giving the ruling party an unfair advantage before the game even starts. It is laughable for Rashit to claim that the GE is free and fair. We are becoming the laughing stock of the world. The more the pet mongrel speaks, the more humilliation he is causing them.

    Deny BN 2/3 majority!!!!
    Vote for change

  13. #13 by k1980 on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 3:38 pm

    Our young people, especially the Malays, do not possess basic survival skills. We are not talking about competitive skills but just basic survival skills. The Government is not serious about giving them useful competitive skills either. The Mat Rempits are being glorified by the politicians as saviours of the nation (Mat Cemerlang). Correction : they are drug users, gang rapists, snatch thieves and street fighters.

    When an efficient Policewoman called Nooriyah Anvar was appointed Chief of Traffic Police, she went after the Mat Rempits with a vengeance. Does anyone remember her? She confiscated their bikes on the spot. But soon the Mat Rempits called their political muscle and Nooriyah Anvar was kicked out. To date she holds the record of being the shortest serving Traffic Police Chief in Malaysia. She has been replaced by Senior Asst Comm (II) Datuk Hamza Taib.

  14. #14 by carloz28 on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 4:39 pm


  15. #15 by HJ Angus on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 6:45 pm

    YES we should demand a caretaker government so that all political parties contest on a level playing field and the last government leaders cannot make use of official facilities.

    In fact the caretaker government should be the one allocating broadcast times on radio and the tv.

    Even in Pakistan, there appears to be more democratic practices at work – they have a caretaker government and a campaign period long enough for a proper elections.

  16. #16 by miwaki on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 7:02 pm

    With current cabinet lineup,anyone of us can be PM so long as we keep sleeping.As for DPM,we can rope in Casanova or valentino.As for the rest of ministers,its easy as ABC.

  17. #17 by lakshy on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 9:40 pm

    Denying 2/3rds is not enough! We must work to get bn kicked out. Only then will the message be received by all politicians. We the rakyat have taken back our rights!

  18. #18 by hiro on Monday, 7 January 2008 - 12:40 am

    No prize for guessing his response: “No need lar” or if he woke up on the wrong side of the bed “apa tu ‘caretaker’? BN ‘take care’ of everybody, cukuplah” :)

  19. #19 by ktteokt on Monday, 7 January 2008 - 7:01 am

    He is definitely “dog”, otherwise why specially extend his term of office at this wee hour in the coming elections? You need a good dog to bark, even if it doesn’t know how to bite!

  20. #20 by EARNEST on Tuesday, 8 January 2008 - 1:01 am

    After wasting millions in worthless projects, the govt is trying to recoup its losses by asking for RM100 per student
    — k1980 January 6th, 2008 (2 days ago) at 12: 43.28

    k1980, thanks for the info.

    I have 3 kids in 3 different schools, each paying more than RM100 for misc. fees.

    According to yesterday’s NST front-page headlines, Hisham said “Take back your money” when parents queried why so much payments when according to Budget 2008, education should be totally free without any conditions.

    When I called up the headmaster of my youngest son’s school to seek clarification, he said “There is no circular from the Ministry of Education that you can take back your money or pay anything less than what you have to pay. Tiada surat pekeliling, tak boleh buat apa-apa.”

    Hisham and his Ministry of Education would lose all their credibility, if they do not walk their talk in issuing relevant circulars.

    How to trust BN’s promises made before election that they will be fulfilled after election when they have already failed to fulfill them before election?

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