EC Chairman: Prove rigging, I will resign!

The Election Commission (EC) Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman challenged anyone from the public to prove in court that there is rigging in the election process and the EC is responsible for it, that he shall resign from being the Commission chairman. In fact, he said the other Commissioners will go along with him also.

This was his and EC reponse to the allegations and complaints made by the BERSIH/Oppositions lead “November 10 March” calling for free and fair elections.

This is what was reported in The Star:

Prove rigging and I will step down, says EC chief

PUTRAJAYA: Show me evidence of election rigging and I will resign, Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman has told his detractors.

He said he was very sad whenever accusations were levelled against the commission, particularly at an illegal rally organised by non-governmental organisation Bersih on Nov 10 calling for fair and just elections.

“If they will show me evidence that the commission has rigged elections, then I will – in fact, all members of the commission – will resign.

Working hand-in-hand: Abdul Rashid (left) receiving the report from Abdul Malek at his office in Putrajaya yesterday.

“But it must be evidence proven in court and not slogans shouted in the streets,” he told reporters after receiving a report from the election watchdog group Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel) at his office here yesterday.

He also said that some of the suggestions contained in the memorandum, such as asking for the abolition of postal votes, should have been channelled to the right government agency.

“These are structural reforms beyond the commission because postal votes are guaranteed under the Federal Constitution. Nevertheless, starting from this year, the Prime Minister has kindly consented for party agents to be present during postal voting,” he said.

Abdul Rashid said every election organised by the commission had been carried out fairly and freely within the law, which also formed the basis of the report by Mafrel.

“Mafrel has monitored the three by-elections in Ijok, Batu Talam and Machap, as well as the Sarawak state elections. It has concluded that despite some minor mistakes and weaknesses, the commission had done very well.

“As a non-partisan group, this is an acknowledgement for us,” he said, adding that the commission was supportive of efforts by Mafrel to continue monitoring the conduct of the next general election.

On the election date that he purportedly knew of, Abdul Rashid said it was the commission’s duty to fix polling day.

“The ruling party has the right to dissolve Parliament but once this is done, we will have to meet to fix the date for the elections,” he pointed out.

On another matter, Abdul Rashid said he was scheduled to retire from his post by Dec 31 on reaching the mandatory age of 65.

Asked if he had received a notice from the Prime Minister on the possible extension of his tenure, he said:

“I have received no notice and I don’t care. But if I am asked to, I am prepared to lead the commission into another election, even upon retirement.”

Mafrel chairman Abdul Malek Hussin said the watchdog had appointed an eight-member team to monitor the next elections.

On the issue of Postal Votes, which is still practiced for 220,000 servicemen in the Royal Malaysian Police and Armed Forces, he said that this is provision made by the Constitution of the Federation. If the public were to carry on complaining about this, the he suggested that this matter is to be taken to the Parliament and the Federal Constitution be amended to dissolve this provision.

Tan Sri Rashid, who will reach mandatory retirement on 31 December 2007, said he will continue to serve if the Prime Minister request him to do so. He was a veteran member of the EC, having to serve as the Commission Secretary first, before made a Deputy Chairman.

Published in: on November 20, 2007 at 09:15  Comments (4)