EC Chairperson Abdul Aziz met representatives from both the BN and PR. However, no substantial issues on electoral reform have been discussed. It was very much a waste of time.
This was BERSIH’s press statement issued on April 22, which was not reported by many media, the exceptions are The Nut Graph, Malaysiakini and Merdeka Review:
The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) warns the Election Commission (EC) Chairperson Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof that his position would be untenable if he continues to act like a Barisan Nasional (BN) election agent.
BERSIH reminds Abdul Aziz that he is constitutionally duty-bound to ensure free, fair and clean elections, his job is not to prevent elections and by-elections especially when it looks like BN cannot ensure victory.
As elections — including by-elections — are core to a representative democracy, EC must not propose any changes to deprive voters of their right to decide who they want to represent them.
If the principle of “no taxation without representation” is violated, a government which collects tax revenue will be reduced to nothing but a mafia outfit which extorts protection money from the people.
BERSIH urges the EC to instead push for the lifting of Article 48(6) which bars an elected representative from re-contesting for five years after resigning from the seat.
Elections are like job interviews. An employee has the right to resign and seek reappointment under different conditions. Whether or not s/he would be employed should be left to his/her prospective employer.
BERSIH demands that all state officers observe administrative neutrality. If Abdul Aziz cannot control his partisan behaviour, he should just quit his job. He can then work full-time as a BN election agent or lead a lobby group advocating for the abolition of elections.
Abdul Aziz’s earlier statement that he will study the possibility of not having a by-election in Penanti — right after Najib gave the excuse of by-election fatigue — shows that the Election Commission is a parrot that echoes BN’s opinions.
Also, the Election Commission’s insistence on studying and deciding if a seat is vacant rather than accepting the Legislature Speaker’s judgment, in Perak and now in Penanti, is both partisan and malicious.
Lastly, Abdul Aziz’s earlier comment that the voting pattern in Kuala Sepetang was worrying was also gravely inappropriate and uncalled for. The EC’s job is to administer elections, not make patronizing, partisan and unsolicited advice on the outcome of elections.