EC – prove it is not mouthpiece/tool of BN

Lim Kit Siang

The time has come for the Election Commission to demonstrate that it is not the mouthpiece or tool of the Barisan Nasional government but an independent, impartial and professional Election Commission as intended by the Constitution.

Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar was quoted in the Star today as saying that the time has come to amend existing laws to prevent abuse by political parties that force elected representatives to quit their parliamentary or state seats.

He said the move by a wakil rakyat to vacate a seat to fulfil a party’s agenda should be discouraged as the cost of holding by-elections had become a burden to the country. (Star)

It is most disappointing that since the appointment of Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusuf as the new Chairman for the Election Commission at the beginning of the year, the Election Commission has made decisions and taken actions which have further undermined public confidence in its independence, impartiality and professionalism – which is quite an “achievement” considering the canyon the Election Commission had plunged into in terms of public confidence under the former Chairman.

The recent refrain by the Election Commission Chairman and Deputy Chairman, echoing the Prime Minister and the Barisan Nasional leaders, that the cost of by-elections had become a burden to the country must be challenged.

In the past few days, the mainstream media have reported that the five by-elections held since the March 8 general elections had cost Malaysian taxpayers RM33.4 million, comprising: