Election Commission – explain strange/extraordinary behaviour, reinforcing public suspicions about its independence, professionalism and integrity

At its meeting with political parties today, the Election Commission should explain its recent strange and extraordinary behaviour which only reinforce public suspicions about its independence, professionalism and integrity.

The Election Commission is acting more and more as a mouthpiece and appendage of the Barisan Nasional government instead of being a non-partisan, professional and independent Election Commission as mandated by the Constitution to conduct free, fair and clean elections to give meaning to the system of parliamentary democracy in Malaysia.

For instance, the Election Commission should explain its strange and unprecedented behaviour in not announcing the nomination and polling dates for the Penanti by-election although the Election Commission met on the matter yesterday.

In my 43 years of political and electoral experience, I have not come across another instance where the Election Commission failed to announce the dates for general election or by-election on the very same day after it had held a special meeting on it.

This was also the case with the five by-elections held after the March general election last year.

The nomination and polling dates for Permating Pauh by-election were announced on August 6, 2008, those of Kuala Terengganu by-election on Dec. 5, 2008, Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau on 13th February and Batang Ai on March 4 – all immediately on the same day after the Election Commission had a meeting on the filling of the vacancies.

Secondly, the Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf had announced last week that the Election Commission would meet yesterday on the Penanti by-election and would announce its decision tomorrow.

Why has this announcement been suddenly put off to Monday?

Is the Election Commission waiting for a signal from the Umno Supreme Council meeting tomorrow night on how to handle the Penanti by-election issue, as the Prime Minister and Umno President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has indicated unwillingness for Umno and Barisan to contest in view of the losing streak of Barisan Nasional and Umno in by-elections after last year’s political tsunami?

There has been speculation that attempts would be made by Umno quarters to persuade former Penanti State Assemblyman Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin to repudiate his resignation letter to avoid having to hold a by-election.

Whether such speculation is true or otherwise, why is the Election Commission acting in so strange and suspicious a manner as to give fodder to public perceptions about its lack of independence, professionalism and integrity?

Recently, both the Chairman and his deputy, Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar had been joining the chorus of Barisan Nasional leaders in talking about “unnecessary by-elections”.

The Election Commission should explain to political parties today what it understands by “unnecessary” by-elections.

Is the Election Commission seriously suggesting that apart from cases of death, disqualification of the Member of Parliament or State Assembly member because of bankruptcy, unsound mind, criminal conviction or acquisition of foreign citizenship, all resignations by elected representative will cause “unnecessary by-elections” and should be barred such as fines amounting to RM100,000 or above?

The Election Commission should be mindful that it is straying into areas which is none of its business, as it is specifically mandated by the Constitution to conduct free, fair and clean elections which it has failed to do so far.

However, if Election Commission wants to be a “moral guardian” of elected representatives, why is the Election Commission exercising double standards by closing its eyes and condoning the defection of the three “political frogs” in Perak, viz. Perak Assembly members, Jelapang assemblywoman Hee Yit Foong, Behrang assemblyman Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Changkat Jering assemblyman Mohd Osman Mohd Jail who dared not appear publicly or return to their constituencies for close to three months because of their betrayal of the trust of the electorate?

Can the Election Commission also explain whether it regards as “unnecessary by-election” if:

  1. The Barisan Nasional MP for Kulai, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting wants to resign because he has lost “heart” and interest to continue as the MP for the area after the MCA’s thrashing in the March general election political tsunami last year, so that the people of Kulai can decide who should be their new MP who could do full justice as their MP? Or
  2. If one of the 18 disaffected Umno State Assemblyman in Terengganu wants to resign to force the resignation of the Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said?

Finally, let the Election Commission explain to political parties whether it is aware that it is treading on the constitutional rights of MPs and Assemblymen to resign and any attempt to bar such resignation will require a constitutional amendment in view of Article 51 of the Constitution giving a Member of Parliament unfettered rights to submit his or her resignation.

The Election Commission should be aware that its political masters, the Barisan Nasional, does not have the requisite two-thirds majority in Parliament to amend the Constitution at its whim and fancy.

There are more important and pertinent issues for the Election Commission to give top priority – firstly, to revamp election laws and electoral system to ensure we have a truly clean, free and fair electoral system and secondly, restore public confidence in the independence, professionalism and integrity of the Election Commission and that it is not just at the beck and call of the Barisan Nasional government!

  1. #1 by taiking on Thursday, 23 April 2009 - 11:19 am

    Dear Election Commissioner,
    Can you ask yourself this question: What would happen if you were to disagree with umno? Tell us the answer please.
    Thank you.

  2. #2 by disapointed86 on Thursday, 23 April 2009 - 11:20 am

    Malaysia can be neutral for the world to see but why MalaySIAN cant be neutral in discharging their duties?

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Thursday, 23 April 2009 - 11:25 am

    There has been speculation that attempts would be made by Umno quarters to persuade former Penanti State Assemblyman Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin to repudiate his resignation letter to avoid having to hold a by-election.

    Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin has the constitutional right to resign or continue as state assemblyman. UMNO quarters have no business to put pressure on him.

  4. #4 by All For The Road on Thursday, 23 April 2009 - 11:50 am

    Malaysians by and large have lost confidence in the independence of the Election Commission in carrying out its duties neutrally. Recent events through words and deeds from its officials have seemingly shown that it is under orders from its political masters to be partisan.

    The Election Commission should not kowtow to anyone in discharging its work and duties but should act independently and not be pressured by any quarters on its decisions without fear or favour!

  5. #5 by Yee Siew Wah on Thursday, 23 April 2009 - 11:56 am

    The rakyat knows that the present bunch of people running the EC is nothing but running dogs of BN especially UMNO.
    We have already lost confidence on the judiciary and PDRM. EC is just another one. Its is really disgusting.

  6. #6 by yhsiew on Thursday, 23 April 2009 - 12:24 pm

    # taiking Says:
    Today at 11: 19.50 (56 minutes ago)

    Dear Election Commissioner,
    Can you ask yourself this question: What would happen if you were to disagree with umno?

    Dear Election Commissioner,
    Can you ask yourself this question: What would happen if you were to AGREE with umno? What reward would you get from umno? Tell us the answer please.
    Thank you.

  7. #7 by taiking on Thursday, 23 April 2009 - 12:40 pm

    Oi yhsiew,

    Dont be so direct leh.

  8. #8 by carboncopy on Thursday, 23 April 2009 - 12:51 pm

    I wonder Anwar regret saying what he said Nov 11, 2008 :

    Anwar happy with new Election Commission head
    By Debra Chong

    KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 – Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has welcomed the appointment of Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof, the Secretary-General of the Home Ministry, as the new chairman of the Election Commission (EC) replacing Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman.

    Anwar commended Abdul Aziz for his professional integrity and competence, saying: “He is quite highly regarded, that I know for certain,.”

  9. #9 by ALLAN THAM on Thursday, 23 April 2009 - 12:58 pm

    The interference from agencies or the agencies shown their eagerness to please BN has long rooted during Mahathir time, where he was the ultimate boss of everything. This culture has been carry on and practice till today.

  10. #10 by james111 on Thursday, 23 April 2009 - 1:06 pm

    Why does the Election Commission need to listen to the proposal from Tan Keng Liang? Is he because he is the youth chief of gerakan kedah and a member of the Barisan Nasional?
    Penalty of RM50k for ADUN and RM100k for Parliament????? That’s rubbish! Silly!
    YB Lim, i agree with continuous constructive cristicm against EC for listening thos this silly & stupid idea which is against democracy of our country.

  11. #11 by LG on Thursday, 23 April 2009 - 1:14 pm

    EC independence? EC professionalism? EC integrity?

    Nowadays it is so obvious to the public that EC is indeed a running dog for UMNO. In the past there were indicators of such. Thus we are losing confidence in EC in its independence, professionalism and integrity. It has lost its moral obligations, functions and goals.

    The Chairman and its committees should resign from the posts immediately if there is any dignity, any good conscience left in them, fearing God and His righteous judgement rather than to fear & please man (UMNO) and be seduced by positions and money.

  12. #12 by citizenwatch on Thursday, 23 April 2009 - 1:43 pm

    I’m sure by now everyone is aware that EC, MACC, AG, Police, Perak civil servants, etc are blindly following the wishes of the political masters and getting to be more blatant in their disregard to be seen as independent. And why? Because they have nothing to lose and they will not be penalised in any way except for murmurs of complaints from Pakatan Rakyat and some NGOs. Any idea how to have more bite in the attack on these institutions? Don’t say wait for the 13th GE. They will have in place by then a consolidated effort to stay in power.

  13. #13 by Tommy Ong on Thursday, 23 April 2009 - 3:43 pm

    “Cadangan penalti RM50,000 bagi anggota dewan undangan negeri dan RM100,000 bagi anggota parlimen yang melepaskan jawatan tanpa sebab munasabah adalah satu cadangan keanak-anakan kerana tidak masuk akal kata Timbalan Angkatan Muda (AMK) KeADILan Faris Musa.

    Berikutan kenyataan Ketua Pemuda Gerakan Kedah Tan Keng Liang yang mahu penalty itu di kenakan keatas mana-mana Adun atau Ahli Parlimen yang mahu meletak jawatan tanpa sebab manasabah.”

  14. #14 by LBJ on Thursday, 23 April 2009 - 11:57 pm


  15. #15 by UzMiNoOnist on Friday, 24 April 2009 - 12:03 am

    citizenwatch Says: ,, Don’t say wait for the 13th GE. …

    The least we armchair politician wannabe, spread the words around to your friends, your family, your work mates and even to strangers. Convince them this bunch of crooks are leading the Government to more atrocitie that support corruption and abuse of power and position.
    Convince them so that we get the chain moving….1,2,4,8,16,32,…so on.

    God willing, come GE13 we will have more than the population of Malaysia know how corrupted are these bunch of crooks. Whatever they do on the ballot paper during GE13 is not what we can do, but we can do alot before they reach the ballot papers.

    Also lets start manifesting the downfall of UMNO/BN..

  16. #16 by lucia on Friday, 24 April 2009 - 1:00 am

    read more on mafrel website

  17. #17 by clear conscience mirror on Friday, 24 April 2009 - 2:19 am

    Dear YB LKS

    I had previously dealt with Tan Sri Abdul Aziz when he was the the Secretary General of KDN, Kementerian Dalam Negeri (before his posting to be the EC chairman) which involves a company operating and providing security services without a valid license from KDN.

    My email was directed to him in August 2007 informing him of the existence of such a situation which is blatant defiance of the highest order as far as unlicensed operative security services. His prompt and immediate email reply to me was he will look into the matter and meanwhile had forwarded my facts disclosure to the relevant authorities (presumably to his enforcement officers or the police in Bukit Aman) to investigate and act accordingly , if found to be true.

    Well, I was heartened to know this was well taken up by him to substantiate their “Cekap & Amanah” attitude for a world class ministry. To my dismay, after exchanging a few emails thereafter, he appeared silent on the matter and it died a natural death without a word or any form of action being taken till today.

    Well, the unlicensed security operator is still operating happily today in Subang Jaya, Selangor due to the tidak-apa attitude of government agencies. I had been told, after checking various sources whose responsibility it should fall on, that KDN is the right ministry to take action against the unlicensed security operator.

    Well, you can see how effective an enforcement agency like KDN be. It was just a simple investigation in the form of asking their officers to go to the ground to check the real situation of provision of unlicensed security guards to determine if there is a violation of the existing laws. I do not think it takes many circles before this can take place, if our enforcement agencies are doing their job well. Ironically, KDN was then headed by Tan Sri Abdul Aziz who is now heading the EC. With the EC, being so proactive NOW going into matters, perhaps beyond their scope as what other politicians say, what can you deduce from the two scenario; both of which have Tan Sri Abdul Aziz as the head? Has it got to do with other factors or just narrowed down to one factor, the person handling the job or is it just a question of selective participation of political subservience of the powers of the day? Or what? There is no need to search beyond the shore, as it is right here under our eyes and nose.

    The answer is very clear as what YB LKS had said of Tan Sri Abdul Aziz.

    Neutrality should not just prevail but be seen exercised in the context of any democracy to function well. EC must function as its original purpose in serving the country in fair and just elections and now at the whims and fancies of those in authority heading the EC.

  18. #18 by taiking on Friday, 24 April 2009 - 8:55 am

    dear clear conscience mirror,

    Its a typical scene here isnt it? Malaysians are expected to take all that. We treat them as jokes dont we? Something to laugh about. It was heartening though to know that a large number of us actually took the joke to the poll in 08 and continued with it until recently and very much persisted till umno’s pants dropped. It is just like the song “I started a joke” – by the Bee Gees. Umno did not realise at all that the joke they started was actually on them and about themselves. Really, this fact would be unknown to us and would have remained so if only that hey-wot’s-soaking-man supreme minister did not denounce by-elections as being wasteful of public funds, in the open. And of course it did not help matters for abdul aziz to leap and scuttle about after the tail of that hey-wot’s-soaking-man supreme minister. His similar denunciation a day after only serves to amplify the missing umno’s pants.

    Let me tell you a joke. Never ever report illegal business activities to the authority for the enforcement officers would go to those premises as officers-on-duty and leave as partners-in-business. I don’t blame the officers. It is the system of which they are only a part. But who controls the system? One might ask. Umno of course.

  19. #19 by HJ Angus on Friday, 24 April 2009 - 9:45 am

    The 13 General Election will be crucial for Malaysians to regain control of the nation from the government which does not act like it is the servant of the people.

    After so many years in power, it is not difficult to assess that our important institutions of state have gone to the dogs – some like the Judiciary caused by the Executive and the EC caused by many years of inbreeding. The PDRM of course have simply gone from bad to worse as politicians became more corrupt.

    Voters too share the blame as we did not work towards a 2 or 3-party system that works well for most countries that practise democracy.

    As someone mentioned, NOW is the time to plan for the next general elections and part of that plan should be to allow the present government to struggle with the global economic crisis. With the NEP around their necks, the leaders will have a major problem just coping.

  20. #20 by james111 on Friday, 24 April 2009 - 4:58 pm

    Dear YB LKS,

    i have just read at MStar Online that Tan Keng Liang (i.e. the Gerakan Kedah Youth one) scolded you badly in response of your “silly remarks” of their 100k penalty proposal to SPR.

    I think that’s a total disrespect to a senior MP.
    I suggest you should highlight to the public how rude this person is to you and disrespectful of senior MP.
    Gerakan has no respect to senior MP!
    I support you!!!
    Keep up the good job YB LKS

  21. #21 by Onlooker Politics on Friday, 24 April 2009 - 6:58 pm

    I wonder what civil rights I will still enjoy if my employer tells me bluntly that I have no rights to tender resignation from my present job position unless I pay a compensation of RM100,000/- to my employer!

    I guess I will most likely be turned into a hard labour slave who is required to work 24 hours in a day without claiming overtime pay and with no annual leave pay, no rest day pay and no attendance allowance. What the hell is EC trying to do now? Does EC want to turn the State Assemblyman or the MP into a slave who will have no rights to resign upon elected?

  22. #22 by chengho on Friday, 24 April 2009 - 7:01 pm

    Betty will contest in Penanti?

  23. #23 by Roslanrizal on Friday, 24 April 2009 - 9:23 pm

    Saya tidak faham kenapa SPR perlu teliti cadangan Tan Keng Liang, Ketua Pemuda Gerakan Kedah.
    Cadangan tersebut tidak adil kepada Pakatan Rakyat.
    Adakah SPR berat sebelah?

  24. #24 by Roslanrizal on Friday, 24 April 2009 - 9:27 pm

    Seperti yang telah dikatakan oleh AMK, cadangan penalti 50k/100k tersebut oleh Tan Keng Liang tidak masuk akal. Mukhriz pun sama gila termasuk Nazri dan pengerusi SPR.


You must be logged in to post a comment.