Thursday, April 23, 2009

Election Commission - A Stooge?

I wrote on the Election Commission helmed by the new Chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof here and here earlier, questioning its credibility over its dubious decisions.

Sdr Lim Kit Siang earlier today lambasted the Election Commission as a "mouthpiece and appendage of the Barisan Nasional government" and asked for an explanation to be given to us, in a meeting was held later in the afternoon, which I had attended.

(By the way, 10 MPs from Pakatan Rakyat turned up for the meeting including 6 from DAP. PAS Elections Director, Mustafa Ali was also present. On the other hand, in the same briefing/meeting with the Barisan Nasional component parties in the morning, only 4 junior officials turned up. It certainly reflects how much they take the Elections Commission for granted.)

Of interest was the rationale behind the delay in the announcement of the Penanti state seat election status. For the first time in the history of Malaysia, the Election Commission failed to make an announcement on the vacated seat after its meeting. Instead, the EC promised only an announcement next Monday, 5 days after its meeting.

I raised the question on why something so odd is happening and it's giving the impression that the EC has to wait for a decision from UMNO Supreme Council meeting to be held this Friday in none other than Permatang Pauh itself, before it can make any formal announcements!

The EC chairman responded that he's totally unaware of any such Supreme Council meeting, or when it's being held.

He further provided the reason that the delay was due to the fact the schools and venues for nomination and results announcement have yet been finalised as these schools have not yet given formal "consent". Hence, the EC has to wait til Monday before being able to announcement dates and venue of the by-elections. This is of course the first time in its 43 years of history that the EC has been unable to secure confirmation of venue for its by-elections during their meeting! (Says a lot about Najib's "performance now" mantra). That is of course, if you chose to believe his excuse.

But he did assure us that the by-elections is definitely "on". However, when pressed, he refused to make the announcement that it is "on" first, followed by its details on Monday. This was despite our advise to the EC that by at least announcing the confirmation of by-elections, it'll help remove to some degree, the negative perception of the EC as an appendage of UMNO.

So there you have it. Make your own informed opinions. ;-)
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