Saturday, December 23, 2017

Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin must defend Parliament's honour and dignity by reprimanding the Election Commission for treating the highest legislative institution of the land with utter contempt

During the objection hearings to the new voters being transferred to Segamat’s still unbuilt army camp, an Election Commission (EC) registrar had rejected the Parliament Hansard as evidence saying that it “cannot be believed”.

The objections are being raised in regards to the inclusion of 1079 new army voters in the Segamat constituency as list in the EC’s third quarter supplementary electoral roll. The ongoing issue had been raised by Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong because the new army camp in Segamat is not even complete but the army personnel and their spouses have already been added to the electoral roll in that constituency.

During the Budget debate in Parliament on November 27, Seremban MP Anthony Loke had asked for confirmation if the army camp was still under construction or if it had been completed.

In response the Deputy Minister of Defence, Datuk Johari Baharum said that the camp was still under construction and when question further, said that the camp was not complete. As recorded on page 136 of the Hansard, the Deputy Minister said “belum siap” when asked to confirm the status of the army camp.

Yet, the registrar chose to reject the Hansard as evidence.  This is a clear case of contempt against the Parliament.

The Parliament Hansard is the official record of Parliamentary proceedings. Even in court, Parliamentary proceedings are admissible as evidence. Section 78 (1b) of the Evidence Act 1950, which states the proof required for official documents, states that
…the proceedings of Parliament or of any of the federal legislatures that existed in Malaysia before Parliament was constituted or of the legislature of any State— by the minutes of the body or by the published Acts of Parliament, Ordinances, Enactments or abstracts or by copies purporting to be printed by the authority of the Government concerned.

The Act clearly says that Parliamentary proceedings are proved by the minutes of the session, which takes the form of the Parliamentary Hansard and nothing else.

If the judiciary accepts the Hansard as hard evidence, who is the EC to reject the official Parliamentary document?  For the EC registrar to say that the Hansard cannot be believed, they are saying that Parliament proceedings themselves cannot be believed.

We call upon the Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin to reprimand the Election Commission for the latter’s contempt and we call upon the EC to reprimand the responsible Registrar above and immediately act to rectify the injustice by reopening the objection proceedings in Segamat.

The failure of the EC to do the above would only further prove that the EC is not the independent institution conceived by our Constitution.  Instead, it is merely a paw of Barisan Nasional.
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