Ex-Bukit Aman CID chief heads panel probing indelible ink fiasco

Azril Anuar, fz.com

Former Bukit Aman Criminal Investigations Department (CID) director Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee will be heading the three man team investigating the indelible ink fiasco that took place over the 13th General Election.

Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof told fz.com that the team was formed not to “investigate acts of internal sabotage” as reported by a Malay daily but to find out the real reason behind the failure and weakness of the indelible ink.

“We did not establish the team because we believe there was an internal sabotage in the usage of the indelible ink. We have formed the team, chaired by Datuk Christopher Wan to study the weakness of the indelible ink.

“We have more or less found out quite a lot but we are still conducting a more detailed study into the ink’s failure,” said Abdul Aziz, who also named retired judge Abdul Aziz Khalidin and retired Customs Deputy Director General Datuk Md Yusop Mansor as the other two members of the team.

All the three individuals are part of the EC’s five member panel.

Abdul Aziz also admitted the commission was shocked by the failure of the indelible ink, resulting in widespread criticism against them.

“We were wondering and were caught by surprise when we realised what had happened because this is the first time after Merdeka that we are using the indelible ink. We have organised elections for decades. At first we thought everything was okay.

“When we first tested it, it was okay. Even when we tested it on journalists, it was okay,” said Abdul Aziz.

When asked if he believed the failure could stem from the contractor who supplied the ink, Abdul Aziz said that he would not pre-empt the results of the investigations.

“I don’t want to comment until we have a final conclusion on the matter. The results of the investigation will be made public.

“However, we don’t have the exact date yet as it is a legal matter and we must refer to our legal department first to ensure that we have conducted a thorough investigation and that everything is in order,” said Abdul Aziz.

Today, a Malay daily reported EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar as saying that the three-man team has been given a month’s time to conduct their investigations.

He reportedly said: “There are many kinds of EC staff, we don’t know their real intentions, so this case needs a detailed and thorough investigation in our quest for the truth.

“We don’t know if the ink did not last that long due to poor quality, mistakes made by EC officers or even because of sabotage. We ourselves were stunned because our contract with the supplier was that the ink must last for a long time.”

The EC came under much criticism after the indelible ink, meant to prevent electoral fraud, was found to be easily washed off. Several groups have also demanded that the EC chairman and deputy resign over the matter.