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Thread: PSC: EC tells BERSIH to respect the Constitution

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    PSC: EC tells BERSIH to respect the Constitution

    It cuts both ways, friend. Are you respecting the Constitution in the way you abuse it?

    There is no need to refer to the Constitution when the EC resign. If they have any sense of honour, they will have done so immediately instead of people asking them to go.

    Please respect the constitution, EC tells Bersih

    11:47AM Apr 6, 2012

    Responding to the resignation call by Bersih 2.0, the Election Commission (EC) has urged the electoral reform coalition to first understand the federal constitution and the process of appointing the EC members.

    “According to Article 114 of the federal constitution, members of the EC are appointed by the Agong after consulting the Conference of Malay Rulers.

    “I hope Bersih can respect the constitution,” EC deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar told Sin Chew Daily yesterday.

    Last week Bersih 2.0 called for a third electoral reform rally on April 28 to call for the resignation of all the election commissioners, among other demands.

    According to the Chinese daily, Wan Ahmad called on Bersih 2.0 to be responsible and not to politicise the issue of electoral reform.

    Although Bersih 2.0 has the right to assembly, it should take into consideration of the importance of national stability, he said.

    He also welcomed Bersih 2.0's move to submit the list of all the alleged 560 ‘clone voters’ detected by the coalition in the electoral roll to the EC.

    “Malaysia practices rule of law hence everything must be done according to law. If we simply remove the 560 names due to suspicion, it would be very dangerous,” he added.

    Wan Ahmad revealed that the EC has received the final report of the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reform, and the commission will study all the 22 recommendations.

    “We are always open to suggestions to reform the electoral system, but electoral reform is not something that can be done immediately because some of it involves law amendments and other issues,” he was quoted as saying.

    Wan Ahmad also told the New Starts Times that the EC will call a meeting next week to discuss the PSC report.

    “The meeting is tentatively next week. It will involve all our panel members.

    “We will look into and deliberate on each of the recommendations in detail,” he told the English daily in a text message.

    Wan Ahmad said the EC will also study another demand by Bersih 2.0 to allow international observers to monitor the next general election.

    It should not be a big problem to implement the demand, he added.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Clean up the roll or quit, Ambiga tells EC

    11:38AM Apr 7, 2012

    The Election Commission (EC) have been told again to act on the discrepancies in the electoral roll highlighted by the NGOs coalition Bersih or just as well resign.

    Bersih 2.0 co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan (right) said under Article 114 (2) of the federal constitution, EC officials are appointed by the Agong and their foremost duty is to secure the confidence of the public.

    The underlying word, Ambiga pointed out, is for the EC to enjoy public confidence.

    However, the current seven-member EC panel does not possess this, she added.

    Ambiga clarified that there have been numerous public complaints about the discrepancies and inexplicable entries in the electoral roll for the past several months.

    “The EC refuses to implement a proactive system to clean up the roll. Bersih 2.0 has since last year suggested an independent committee be set up to do this.

    “Had our suggestions been accepted, the electoral roll would have been cleaned up substantially by now.

    “The EC’s stand seems to be that if anyone finds out about the discrepancies, then they will act, but not otherwise.
    "This, together with their stand that they are powerless to improve the whole system, has caused the public to question their independence,” she said in a statement to Malaysiakini.
    Peaceful protest in Dataran Merdeka
    Ambiga was responding to EC deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar’s call for Bersih to respect the federal constitution over their appointment by the Agong.

    The NGO coalition has called for a sit-down rally on Apr 28, dubbed Bersih 3.0, in protest of the EC and the PSC audit on the electoral roll.
    It claims the EC's job has been incomplete, and it has not addressed issues relating to postal voting, election offences and measures to end dirty politics.

    Ambiga said Bersih could not agree more that the constitution must be respected by all, but pointed out that the EC should do more as the constitution stipulates that it must enjoy public confidence.

    The former Malaysian Bar chairperson said the situation was further aggravated by the lack of initiatives or the failure to act in relation to the other demands of Bersih 2.0.

    “In fact they (the EC) often behave like a government agency. Further, just because they are appointed under the federal constitution does not mean they are above the law and are not accountable,” she said.

    EC members must ask themselves

    The Bersih co-chairperson said: “If they have failed the rakyat, they should do the decent thing and resign in accordance with the best of democratic processes.

    “It is the view of Bersih 2.0 that the EC has indeed failed the rakyat and that they no longer enjoy public confidence as stated under the federal constitution.

    “As such, the call by Bersih 2.0 accords entirely with the solemn words and spirit of the federal constitution.

    “The question therefore is whether the members of the EC will act in accordance with the constitution.

    “Each of the EC member must ask whether the agency as a whole has indeed served the rakyat above all else and whether their actions have engendered public confidence in the commission.

    “There are no two ways about what they are duty bound to do if, as we believe, they have lost the confidence of the people,” added Ambiga.

    Malaysiakini had in the past pointed out several discrepancies in the electoral rolls, including a female voter by the name of Kg Baru, only for it to be removed after it was highlighted.

    The news portal had also highlighted what is described as the Mismahgate scandal, where a permanent resident became a citizen within four hours and then became a voter.

    Yesterday, it was reported a voter named Ho Heng Tong, 53, had found himself classified as dead although he is very much alive.

    This and other discrepancies were highlighted by Bersih, following which the only action taken was in the case of Kg Baru.

    As such, Bersih is staking the claim that the EC only reacts after the so-called “mistakes” are pointed out, and not being pro-active in cleaning up the electoral roll itself.

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