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Thread: SPR: EC chief, deputy admit they could have been Umno members

   
   
       
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    SPR: EC chief, deputy admit they could have been Umno members

    Now all those bizarre statements like "Our electoral roll is the cleanest in the world!" start to make sense.

    EC chief, deputy admit they could have been Umno members



    By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal April 27, 2012
    http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/m...-umno-members/

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 Both the Election Commission (EC) chairman and deputy chairman have admitted that they could have been Umno members a long time ago, but stressed that it did not affect their ability to carry out their professional duties.

    Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof and his deputy Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar took great pains to point out that it (being Umno members) happened a long time ago, and that they were inactive members, having not paid any fees or attended any party meetings.

    Abdul Aziz cant remember when and where he became an Umno member. Picture by Choo Choy May

    I cant remember when and where I once became an Umno member, anyone could have put my name in after I graduated from university in the 1970s.I cant even remember which branch (I was an Umno member in) because after I finished my studies I lived in several areas Segambut, Selayang and Ampang. So if anyone had named me (as an Umno member) I dont know which branch, Abdul Aziz told Sinar Harian.

    Wan Ahmad confirmed that he was an Umno member, but like Abdul Aziz, he too claimed he could not remember which Umno branch he was registered in.

    When asked whether he was still an Umno member, Wan Ahmad said: I dont know and have never bothered to find out. I am not a politician, I am a government servant and this has stayed till this day. I am speaking the truth.

    Admin: Stupidest statement of the year.
    Wan Ahmad stressed that all government servants were barred from being active members in any political party, and that they had to relinquish their government posts if they wanted to do so.

    I am still in service (as a government) servant) and that it proof that I am not an active (Umno) member, he said.
    Similarly, Abdul Aziz said that being an Umno member did not make him biased in any way when it came to running the EC.

    Ive never felt tied down in all my years here (in the EC), he said.

    Both the EC chief and deputy chief were accused yesterday of being Umno members, with a senior PKR official alleging that he had evidence of their membership in the ruling party.

    The duo have come under intense scrutiny in the past year over claims of fraud in election practices and the electoral roll as federal polls draw near.

    I know Azizs membership number and I have information on which branch Tan Sri Aziz and his deputy are from.

    This is the only EC in the world where its chief and his deputy are officially members of a party that contests elections, Sinar Harian quoted PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution as saying.

    The Machang MP then challenged the duo to prove they were not members of the senior party in the ruling coalition, failing which he would reveal the branches to which he alleged they belong.

    He also told the Malay-language national daily that Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, who quit the Kota Marudu Umno when he was appointed Dewan Rakyat Speaker in 2008, had informed him that the ECs top two officers were still party members.

    The EC was heavily criticised in the lead-up to Bersihs rally for free and fair elections on July 9 last year in which tens of thousands flooded the streets of the capital in chaotic scenes that saw over 1,500 arrested, scores injured and the death of an ex-soldier.

    Widespread condemnation of the Najib administrations clampdown saw Putrajaya make major concessions including announcing a bipartisan Parliamentary Select Committee to look into improving the electoral system.

    During the committees six-month tenure, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) accused the EC of not being committed to reforms and eventually rejected the panels findings.

    Early this month, Bersih, a coalition of 84 civil societies, also announced a sit-in protest at Dataran Merdeka for tomorrow, saying the findings of the select committee were disappointing and did not meet its demands for electoral reform.

    Abdul Aziz became EC chairman on January 2009 while Wan Ahmad was appointed in 2007.
    py

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    EC-Umno ties: Ambiga shocked

    NEWS/COMMENTARIES

    Friday, 27 April 2012 Super Admin


    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/cat...mbiga-shocked/


    However, she gives the commissions top officers the benefit of the doubt until all details surface.

    (Free Malaysia Today) - Bersih leader S Ambiga today expressed shock over a revelation that the top heads of the Election Commission (EC) are Umno members.

    However, she said she would give EC Chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusoff and his deputy, Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, the benefit of the doubt until the issue had been clarified.

    I was shocked beyond belief, but whether they still are Umno members has yet to be established, she told reporters today.

    She said the two should have disclosed their ties with Umno even if they were no longer members of the party. The least they could have done was to disclose the information on the ECs website.

    She was responding to PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasutions statement in the daily Sinar Harian that Abdul Aziz was a member of Umnos Sri Ampang branch and Wan Ahmad a member of the Kubang Bunggor branch in Pasir Mas.

    It does show partisanship, Ambiga said, but to be fair to them evidence has yet to come out in full.

    Both Abdul Aziz and Wan Ahmad have responded to Saifuddins revelation, saying that they may have been registered as members decades ago but have remained inactive.

    Abdul Aziz told Sinar Harian: I cant even remember which branch I was with because after I completed my studies, I lived in several areas.

    Wan Ahmad said he could have been been registered in the 1970s or 1980s in Gombak, Damansara or Subang Jaya division, adding: I have never bothered to find out. I am not a politician, but a government servant and I still am to this day. Im telling the truth.

    They both said the ECs independence was unaffected by their affiliation to Umno.

    Ambiga seized on Wan Ahmads reference to himself as a government servant.

    That is what we call a Freudian slip, she said. He thinks he serves the government.

    She said the presumed bias for the government was precisely the problem with the EC.
    This matter comes up just as Bersih is set to have its third rally tomorrow. The election watchdog has three specific demands: the immediate resignation of the EC heads, allow international observers to monitor the coming election and the implementation of all reforms recommended by the Parliamentary Select Committee before the upcoming polls.
    py

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    SPR: Petition to SPR Chiefs to resign

    'Dontplaypuks' article. pls read n do the necessary..

    By now you must have read all about the Bersih 3.0 rally. I attended with my wife and 2 kids and got tear gassed and all. But we are fine. My report on it is at

    http://donplaypuks.blogspot.com/2012...mph-najib.html

    I need your help in geeting this petition to push for Mayor of KL Fuad's resignation going at https://www.facebook.com/fuadresign on Facebook.

    Please fwd to all your friends on FB and email list to visit the FB site and register Like, i.e. if you agree.

    Thank you and best regards
    py

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    BERSIH, AMBIGA & SAMAD SAID TRIUMPH! NAJIB, KERISMUDIN AND FUAD FAIL MISERABLY!

    or egg in the face of unelected little hitler mayors and prime ministers

    http://donplaypuks.blogspot.com/2012...mph-najib.html

    by Donplaypuks



    So, it is the morning after.

    Did Bersih 3.0 achieve its 280412 objectives?

    You can bet your unelected little hitler mayor's puckered little ass, it did. The massive turnout of 250,000 in Kuala Lumpur alone should send a strong message to Prime Minister Najib that this was no mere flash in the pan. It was an ever bigger international success than Bersih 2.0. Contrary to many a BUMNO blogger prediction, at lest half of those who turned up yesterday were Malaysian Malays.

    It also achieved much more than that.

    Never before have the citizens of Malaysia been more aware, more so with the shocking disclosure two days ago the the Election Commission Chairman and his Deputy are both UMNO members, that we have an inalienable right to a level playing field for General Elections 13. That the first step to achieving this is to strip bare the EC and re-build it.

    Present too at Bersih 3.0 were the 'Stop Lynas' green t-shirted protest groups from Pahang who have every right to demand our government stop the Lynas Radioactive Rare Earth Project plant in Gebeng, Pahang, until they have cast iron guarantees on the safe storage of dangerous chemical and disposal of radioactive tailings (with half-life of 14 billion years) and chemical residues and waste. Our government too is unable to answer why, when this project was rejected by the Australian government with its known high standards, ours is "rushing in where angels fear to tread."

    But first let me dismiss with utter contempt that contemptible old fart talk-with-english apple-in-your mouth waffling twerp Vice-Chairman of DAP, Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz who appeared irked that Bersih 3.0 advocated, aw shucks, breaking our laws of peaceful assembly. Isn't that just one step away from Communism? It has not escaped the notice of many that this Tunku now rubs shoulders with such newly appointed scintillating senators like Nallakaruppan and Ezam Mohd. Nor, which has raised the bar at our rubber-stamping Senate from just about zero foot to negative 6 feet.

    Bersih 1.0 broke the requirements of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the ban on assembly of more than four persons in public. Hundreds of thousands, including some prominent BUMNO bloggers who then marched in defiance of our statutes, now murmur about the legality of Bersih 3.0. Security was NOT then an issue, but suddenly, it now is?

    In Bersih 2.0 last July, the police broke the law first by arbitrarily arresting people wearing yellow t-shirts, even before the day of the event! Then they ISA'd the heroic giant-slayer of Sungei Siput, MP Dr. Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj (and five others) of the Socialist Party on the flimsiest and lamest of pretexts that he was sallying forth to "wage war against the King and country" on his way to Penang in the north, when our King was in Kuala Lumpur!

    How about DAP MP Teresa Kok and that Sin Chew newspaper reporter being falsely arrested under the ISA "for their own safety!" Which Constitution and law were the authorities following?

    So, let us stop pretending that the law must never be broken. Otherwise, Malaya would never have gained Independence from the British, would it?

    If a particular law is a bad ass (oppressive to the extent it is equivalent to a denial of our inalienable human right), then bad ass mamas and papas are entitled to break it with impunity. Remember, inalienable means it is given by God to us. So, no human or government can take it away from us.


    (This pic was taken at about 7.30 a.m. at Dataran Merdeka on 28/04/12, in the full view of about a hundred policemen. So, we broke the law. Big deal! You see panic-stricken policemen anywhere, rushing to fire tear gas at us?).

    Up till 3 p.m. yesterday, the Bersih 3.0 crowd was cheerful, boisterous, jocular and well behaved. No one came there with thoughts of riot, rebellion or "imperilling the security of the nation." This, despite, on Unelected Mayor Ahmad Fuad's instructions, the police having turned Dataran Merdeka into a war-like zone replete with barbwire barricades.

    Precisely a minute after Ambiga and Anwar left, all hell broke loose. The cops fired tear gas and sprayed the crowd with pepper and chemical laced water. They did not issue any prior warning. My family and I were fortunate to escape being stampeded on, though we got two whiffs of tear gas/chemical water. But somehow we recovered fast, while hundreds around us were vomiting, wheezing and dripping from the nose. It took us an hour, after making representations to the police at barricades at Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Kucing, to walk from Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman back to the Bank Negara vicinity where our car was parked.

    I do not blame the 7,000 rank-and-file policemen and FRU for the chaos that ensued at Dataran Merdeka. I do not blame or condemn them for pulling the tear gas trigger. The fault for well over 30 years in Malaysia has been with the top leadership at government and police. If fish rot in the head first, our government leaders are a putrid lot of festering, suppurating and fetid scum who stink from head to toe. Those who gave the orders. Nevertheless, it does not help if our policemen are brainwashed by the BTN propaganda machinery, and will not exercise discretion. As observed as far back as Nuremberg in 1946, there are some orders no one has to, or should, follow.

    The fault lies to a large extent with unelected Prime Minister Najib and Home Minister 'Kersimudin' Hishamuddin, but mostly with unelected Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Ahmad Fuad. And that is exactly how the script was planned, written and executed. A little charade.

    It demonstrates exactly what is wrong with Malaysia. In the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, 11 out of 12 Members of Parliament (MP) comprise those from Opposition parties. Yet, the Mayor of KL is appointed by the Prime Minister as is the Minister of Federal Territory, Dato Raja Nong Chik, who is not an elected MP but got in through the backdoor by first being appointed a Senator! So, the 11 elected Opposition MP's have no say whatsoever in the administration of Kuala Lumpur.

    Ever since PM Najib appointed APCO PR spinmasters for $78 million to improve relations with USA and pave the way for more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), he has been playing this little game. On the one hand, he will do everything (including breaking the law) to cling on to power, an on the other, he must project this image of being a liberal and a great proponent of human rights to continue attracting FDI's. So, this yes, no; yes, no game which he plays with Kerismudin in which he has now inducted the latest patsy, unelected Mayor of KL, Ahmad Fuad Ismail, who true to form, played to perfection the role of Little Hitler.

    When the PM of the country, The Home Minister and Minister of Federal Territories all had no objection to Bersih 3.0, and had declared it as "not a security threat", where exactly was Fuad coming from? Dataran Merdeka, a historic place, therefore out of bound for Bersih 3.0? Tell me, which part of KL is not historic. But then, in the '90's a Mahathir fiat banished cricket, hockey, rugby and tennis from the Dataran field. Mahathir then approved the sale of the historic Merdeka Stadium to the Renong Group for real estate development.You think these philistines really care about what is historic and what is not?

    And had National Laureate Samad Said and Ambiga first suggested holding the rally at Merdeka Stadium, you think PM Najib and Fuad would have waved it through? Yet, they would not allow Bersih 2.0 to be held at Merdeka Stadium. What was the flimsy excuse then? Then there was Fuad talking about a potential "security threat" with Perkasa threatening to march on 28/04/12 as well. Fuad, do you need five year old kids to educate you? You could not have asked PM Najib to rule that peaceful gatherings should be allowed on a first-come-first-served basis and that Perkasa could have Dataran all to themselves the following Saturday, and then request the police to enforce that?

    Bah, two-faced humbugs! Shameless hypocrites!

    So, this is the game, where opposition is concerned.

    But the citizenry is not stupid. They will continue to break every single oppressive law because our elected and unelected leaders themselves break the laws with impunity. When you push people to the wall, they will eventually fight back. And so long as the PM, Cabinet, IGP, AG and police WILL NOT bring to book the person(s) who gave the order to murder and blow up Altantuya (in 18/10/2006) with C4 plastic explosives, they constitute an illegal rogue regime that has not a strand of moral fibre to stand on in preaching to anyone about not breaking any law.

    Donplaypuks
    py

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    A 'feint-and-pass' in EC deputy chair's denial?




    http://malaysiakini.com/news/196773

    COMMENT
    Are we seeing the opening play in the Najib Razak administration's pattern of feint-and-pass' in the assertion by the Election Commission's deputy chair that he has never been an Umno member?

    Students of this pattern would have noted that when the administration is under intense pressure, it feints, like a rugby player, in the direction of reform before slipping the ball to the back-up who will then proceed to maintain the status quo, with minor trimmings.

    Thus primed, observers of the feint-and-pass' maneuver ought to be wary of the latest twist to the saga of Wan Ahmad Wan Omar's membership in Umno.

    Yesterday, he denied he had ever been a member after he had last week behaved like a guilty party, surprised when it was revealed that he is a member in benefit of the Pasir Mas division of Umno in Kelantan.

    A similar denial is not forthcoming from the EC chair Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof (right) who last week was also exposed as a member of the Ampang division of the party.

    Both disclosures destroyed - except to Dr Mahathir Mohamad who plays by the rules of a Florentine political scientist of the 16th century - their bona fides as impartial referees tasked with running of the EC.

    This could well mean that if public pressure intensifies for Abdul Aziz and Wan Ahmad to resign on account of they being members of Umno, the government will feint in the direction of appeasing popular demand - by allowing the chief to resign - and will pass the buck to his deputy - whose denial he had ever been a member - serves as cover for his promotion to the chief's post where he will essentially maintain the status quo.

    This gambit of feint-and-pass' has thus far marked the pattern of the Najib administration's response to popular pressure for change and reform.

    When public pressure for change wells up from the deep, the administration shapes its rhetoric to sound like it is not averse to change and would shortly be ringing it in.

    But when the substance of the pledged change is exposed as counterfeit, the administration not only battens down the hatches and but gives the nuts and bolts of repression another devious twist.

    Thus observers of the 'feint-and-pass' stratagem ought to be alert to move that may soon follow hard upon the EC deputy chair's denial that he is an Umno member.

    Membership brokers

    When last week it was suggested he is an Umno member, Wan Ahmad reacted in the time honoured fashion of those who are caught with their pants down - by berating the bearer of the bad news, in this case the PKR secretary general Saifuddin Nasution.

    It's not usually the case that individuals elect to become members of a political party and then forget they have done so.

    Enlisting in a political party is not a casual decision like choosing to play a round of golf or but a pair of shoes.

    It's a move that the passage of time may consign to the recesses of one's memory but it's not something one forgets without a trace.

    True, political parties are no strangers to the exertions of membership brokers, adept at collecting photocopies of identity cards of the unsuspecting to tender to party secretariats as evidence that the brokers have gained for the party new members by the scores.

    The signatures of the new recruits on membership receipts are all a matter the broker will arrange to obtain in due time, offering the standard excuses as to why the new members can't themselves come up to the offices to sign the receipts: lack of time and busyness with work.

    This is the modus operandi of membership brokers when they out to strengthen their claims to promotion in the divisional and state party hierarchies of the party they have elected to join and in which they desire to become upwardly mobile.

    The critical bit here is that these brokers target their new member canvassing drive at the unsuspecting and the nave who don't really know what the brokers are really up to when asked to hand over their identity documents for photocopying.

    The unsuspecting can easily be inveigled into momentarily surrendering their personal documents; the educated and aware are not easily bamboozled.

    Same name, different person

    Thus when last week it suggested to Abdul Aziz and Wan Ahmad that they were members of Umno, they spoke vaguely of having been beguiled into joining by something that looked like the tactics of membership brokers'.

    But as members of educated class, this excuse can easily be discounted; they could not have joined involuntarily.

    However, now that Wan Ahmad has come out in robust denial that he had ever been a member of the Pasir Mas division, even up to contending that he is from Terengganu and not Kelantan, the way appears open for him to be retained in the EC, possibly as replacement for Abdul Aziz who may have to be sacrificed, in partial appeasement of popular pressure.

    Wan Ahmad claims that a person with a name similar to his had enlisted in the Pasir Mas division of Umno, adding the bit of his not having originated from Kelantan as further proof of his assertion he had never been an Umno member.

    It's odd he did not say all this at first blush, which ought to have been the case because the act of joining a political party is not a casual step, just as choosing not to join is not easily forgotten.

    As matters spurt and twist, the only constant seasoned observers can expect is feint-and-pass', the tactic to bamboozle the movement for reform.


    TERENCE NETTO has been a journalist for close on four decades. He likes the occupation because it puts him in contact with the eminent without being under the necessity to admire them. It is the ideal occupation for a temperament that finds power fascinating and its exercise abhorrent.
    py

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    Nazri: EC chief no longer Umno member




    http://malaysiakini.com/news/197425

    Election Commission chairperson Abdul Aziz Yusof is no longer an Umno member, according to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz.

    Abdul Aziz had told him this morning that checks at the Umno branch where he had been registered, show that the membership has lapsed.

    "This happened 30 years ago. He was living next to a surau, and all the surau people were Umno members who impressed upon him to be a member," Nazri (right in photo) told reporters at the Parliament lobby today,

    He also said Aziz told him the initial membership fee was paid by the surau people, but he had never paid the fee in the following years, thereby resulting in his membership lapsing.

    This confirmation comes a day after PKR announced that it is seeking a tribunal into claims that both the Election Commission (EC) chief and his deputy Wan Ahmad Wan Omar are Umno members.
    According to Article 114(4)(a), the EC chairperson will be disqualified if he is a member of any registered body three months after his appointment.

    Article 114(2) states that EC members must enjoy public confidence while 114(7) states that EC deputy chief must replace the chairperson if the latter is unable to perform his duty.

    Registered without his knowledge

    According to Nazri, it is easy to become an Umno member and that he too was registered without his knowledge decades ago.

    I became a member because my father registered me... my father probably didnt want me to join Lim Kit Siang, he quipped, referring to the DAP Ipoh Timor MP who was seated next to him.

    Asked if this means that no checks were made when both Abdul Aziz and Wan Ahmad (right) were appointed to the EC, he said: Yeah, but things like this... like me, I became an MP in 1995 and when I applied to be an (Umno) member, I found I was already a member.

    The Malay daily Sinar Harian had on April 27 quoted Wan Ahmad as saying that he may have been registered as an Umno member in the 1970s or 1980s.

    He was reported by Bernama on April 28 as saying that he had not been an Umno member since 1998.

    He later denied that he was a Pasir Mas Umno member, claiming it is a case of mistaken identity involving another Wan Ahmad Wan Omar. The real Wan Ahmad has come forward to confirm this.
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    Now that they are no longer UMNO members, we can live happily ever after. The issue does not stop here. In the first place, they should not have been proposed as EC members at all. It shows how much respect UMNO has for the people - ZERO!


    Nazri: EC chief no longer Umno member


    http://malaysiakini.com/news/197425


    http://malaysiakini.com/news/197425

    Election Commission chairperson Abdul Aziz Yusof is no longer an Umno member, according to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz.

    Abdul Aziz had told him this morning that checks at the Umno branch where he had been registered, show that the membership has lapsed.

    "This happened 30 years ago. He was living next to a surau, and all the surau people were Umno members who impressed upon him to be a member," Nazri (right in photo) told reporters at the Parliament lobby today,

    He also said Aziz told him the initial membership fee was paid by the surau people, but he had never paid the fee in the following years, thereby resulting in his membership lapsing.

    This confirmation comes a day after PKR announced that it is seeking a tribunal into claims that both the Election Commission (EC) chief and his deputy Wan Ahmad Wan Omar are Umno members.
    According to Article 114(4)(a), the EC chairperson will be disqualified if he is a member of any registered body three months after his appointment.

    Article 114(2) states that EC members must enjoy public confidence while 114(7) states that EC deputy chief must replace the chairperson if the latter is unable to perform his duty.

    Registered without his knowledge

    According to Nazri, it is easy to become an Umno member and that he too was registered without his knowledge decades ago.

    I became a member because my father registered me... my father probably didnt want me to join Lim Kit Siang, he quipped, referring to the DAP Ipoh Timor MP who was seated next to him.

    Asked if this means that no checks were made when both Abdul Aziz and Wan Ahmad (right) were appointed to the EC, he said: Yeah, but things like this... like me, I became an MP in 1995 and when I applied to be an (Umno) member, I found I was already a member.

    The Malay daily Sinar Harian had on April 27 quoted Wan Ahmad as saying that he may have been registered as an Umno member in the 1970s or 1980s.

    He was reported by Bernama on April 28 as saying that he had not been an Umno member since 1998.

    He later denied that he was a Pasir Mas Umno member, claiming it is a case of mistaken identity involving another Wan Ahmad Wan Omar. The real Wan Ahmad has come forward to confirm this.
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    EC chief still Umno member, insists PKR



    http://malaysiakini.com/news/197539

    PKR today refuted the explanation of defacto Law Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz yesterday that the Umno membership of Election Commission chief Abdul Aziz Yusof had lapsed because of non-payment of annual dues.

    "I am drawing on my experience as Umno Youth secretary-general. A person who registers to be an Umno member has to pay two dues. One is the membership fee, you only pay once.

    "The other is the annual fee. The annual fee is to allow you to participate in the Umno AGMs," explained PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution,who was Umno Youth secretary-general prior to Anwar Ibrahim's sacking from Umno in 1998.

    He argued that even if Abdul Aziz does not pay the annual fee, it does not disqualify him as an Umno member, just that he cannot take part in the Malay party's AGMs.

    "That does not deny his membership. That is all."

    Saifuddin explained that a member is only considered no longer belonging to Umno if he or she is expelled or writes in to asked to be dropped from the party roster.

    At a press conference in Parliament House yesterday Nazri said that Abdul Aziz's membership had lapsed as the latter failed to pay his annual dues for a number of years.

    Memo to PM

    However, Saifuddin claimed that Nazri's admission that Abdul Aziz is a registered Umno member, albeit one who did not pay his annual dues, strengthened their case against the EC chief for failing to declare his interest in a political organisation when he was appointed to the commission.

    He pointed out that Abdul Aziz should have revealed that he was an Umno member in accordance to Article 114 of the Federal Constitution mandating all EC members to declare their affiliations within a three month period after the Agong signed their instruments of appointment.

    The EC chief's non-disclosure, argued Saifuddin who is also Machang parliamentarian, is grounds enough for a tribunal to look into the matter.

    He disclosed that he had sent an official letter earlier today on PKR's behalf, calling upon the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to act and start the process of forming the tribunal.

    Asked what he intends to do if the PM refuses to do so, he said that they will cross that bridge when and if, they get there.


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    Are EC's Double 00s really 'On His Majesty's Service'?


    http://malaysiakini.com/news/197934

    COMMENT
    Despite the Agong-appointed' double 00 status claimed by Election Commission (EC) deputy chief Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, which he says makes him 'bulletproof' to criticisms from the electoral reform pressure group Bersih, it's a wonder whether the EC - sprung from parliamentary statute - is On His Majesty's Service' and truly represents the people's mandate.

    Indeed Wan Ahmad (right) has used his own licence' to criticise, to open his mouth and call on Bersih to "respect the constitution" and accused the pro-electoral reform group of "spinning issues and playing politics" but when it comes to electoral issues, it is the EC which seems to be dragging its feet and playing ring-around-the-rosy.

    Though when it comes to semantics and nit-picks, the EC seems quite reactive and indeed pro-active to boot.

    Observe the need to change its official colour (yellow) for the next general election to disassociate itself from Bersih whose official colour is the same.

    "We will choose a non-aligned colour. Bersih has put the nation in chaos with its yellow colour," said Wan Ahmad at an EC-organised luncheon last week.

    One wonders if EC funds, staff and time is better served handling claims of electoral irregularities then changing it official colour over the huff and puff of Bersih.

    One can ask: Why should the antics of an illegal organisation' worry such an august deputy chief of an exalted Agong-appointed' commission?

    Staffed by ex-civil servants


    It has always been weird for me to read "Dengan Urusan Seri Paduka Baginda" printed on the government agency envelopes, literally "On His Majesty's Service", especially so in the case of so-called independent commissions' such as the EC.

    For these organisations have been alleged to be no more than birds with clipped wings, that neither represent the Agong's authority nor the legislative mandate to balance out the civil service controlled by the Executive.

    Far from the independent creature of statute that reports to Parliament as they should be, most became de facto arms of the Executive staffed by ex-civil servants, funded and manned by Executive mandate and mostly the BN-led government's policies instead of being the legislative-invested watchdogs that by right they should be.

    Indeed Wan Ahmad himself admitted during an electoral reform forum in Petaling Jaya last July that the EC has to work within the system and reiterated that it can only submit proposals to the government which then decides on those which will be translated into laws.

    "Please understand this is the system and we have no way to go against the system. This is the system in Malaysia... the attorney-general will draft the Bill only when he gets the signal from the government," he stressed.

    This, he said, is different to the Election Commission in Australia, which is given a seat in Parliament to present its Bills and views, whilst the Malaysian EC has to depend on the grace and kindness of a federal minister to do so.

    "We don't have seats in Parliament to debate our proposals. Definitely they (government) won't allow it because this is our system.

    "You are asking too much. You've got to be reasonable here. We are working within the system," pleaded Wan Ahmad.

    Add this to his statement to the Malay daily Sinar Harian that he is "still a civil servant".

    And woe betide dismay, worse still it has been accused that Wan Ahmad and his boss EC chief Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof themselves may have been, or still are, Umno members.

    If true, it would seem that the EC double 00s' are the ones who are disrespecting the Agong who appointed them and the federal constitution under whose ambit they were created; specifically Article 114 which governs commissions set up by statute and compelling them to disclose political affiliations which neither had done.

    Instead of dealing with the perceived breach of constitutional provisions, the top duo of EC are again engaged in their trademark verbal gymnastics to extricate themselves as they always do when explaining away electoral irregularities pointed out by civil society, and Wan Ahmad leading the way with his usual pull-no-punches statements.

    Doing a disservice to the king


    By and large, as Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Sidek Hassan once told Malaysiakini during an interview, the civil service answers to and implements policy of the government of the day - no two ways about that.

    But one can argue that by definition and for moral credence, commissions must and are supposed to be independent of the government of the day, by virtue of they being formed by statute and should be answering to Parliament.

    As such, it is questionable if at all, the EC and such independent commissions' are commissions per se, or in reality just another government agency hiding behind their official colour and facade.

    The independence of and whether or not EC and its ilk are indeed On His Majesty's Service' is certainly a valid question in Malaysia and with recent questions raised about its credibility, we cannot be faulted if we are to ask if the EC, who are caretakers of our electoral system for the Agong, are indeed instead On the BN's service'.

    If that is the case, then as someone posited a while back, the EC by its conduct has shown that it is perhaps a disservice to the Agong and a betrayal of the royal decree and public trust that has been placed upon it.

    Though admittedly, I must agree with Wan Ahmad, the rot is in the system itself, as the BN's over 50 years' grip on the Executive has been strengthened by widening its control over the legislature and governance, not to mention removed safeguards from our constitution that give the Agong final say on all laws enacted and other royal privileges.

    Leading the charge is none other then the defenders of "agama, bangsa dan negara" and self-professed champions of the Malay rulers, Umno itself, whose supreme council meetings often decide the course to be charted by the BN government.

    If this is incontrovertibly the case, it would seem that neither the EC nor the BN-controlled Executive deserve the right to use "Dengan Urusan Seri Paduka Baginda" on their stationery or even claim to be "Agong-appointed".

    If they really bow to the authority of the Agong, the rule of the constitution which is the highest law of the land, and the voice of the people, the EC would know what it has to do. If the EC is really "On His Majesty's Service", then it should buck up or step down.




    HAZLAN ZAKARIA is a Malaysiakini journalist.
    py

  10. #10
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    Who says the EC is independent?

    Shape of a Pocket by Jacqueline Ann Surin | 14 May 2012



    FRANKLY, I wasnt surprised at all when it was reported in late April that both the Election Commission (EC) chairperson and deputy chairperson were Umno members. Even without evidence of party membership and despite the EC deputy chairpersons subsequent U-turn and denial, it would not be a stretch to imagine both the chairperson and his deputy are Umno members.



    I dont doubt PKRs announcement about the top EC leaders purported political membership was strategically timed to be released a day before the 28 April 2012 Bersih 3.0 protest. Clever strategy aside, Umno membership alone isnt the only evidence of the ECs lack of independence. The evidence has been mounting over the years.

    Wan Ahmad Wan Omar


    What other proof do we have? And how can we be oh-so-certain that the EC is not independent even if its eventually demonstrated that neither Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof nor Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar are members of any political party?


    A subservient commission


    Firstly, every single member of the EC, including the chairperson and deputy chairperson, is a former civil servant. The most recent appointment, Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee, was formerly the Kuala Lumpur Special Branch chief. This composition in itself sets the EC up for bias since civil servants professional training is to carry out the wishes of the government of the day.

    Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof


    This point was made by Bersih 2.0 in its recommendations to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Electoral Reform in November 2011. It argued that in a country where only one coalition has formed the federal government since 1955, inevitably, senior civil servants slowly stop making the distinction between the government and the political party. That includes the Royal Malaysian Police Force as well, which has often demonstrated that BN events can proceed without a hitch while Pakatan Rakyat functions are often prevented from going ahead.

    Bersih 2.0s claim is supported by the testimony of EC officials themselves. In an interview by a team of researchers with the top three EC officials in the 2000s, the then chairperson, deputy chairperson and secretary said it was normal for them to see the prime minister even before constituency reviews were begun. The chairperson added that as a practical matter, requests for meetings by number one and number two could not be refused, unlike similar requests from lesser political leaders. [1]

    It is not only academics who have reported on the subservient relationship between the EC and the government of the day. In the course of researching for this column, I found an old news report I wrote in The Star on 19 Jan 2003. The article quotes the then EC secretary as saying that the commission would submit the updated electoral roll to the government for clearance after it had been displayed.
    (Click for bigger view)


    Many citizens have also witnessed first-hand the ECs subservience to the BN. At a Bersih 2.0 public forum on 21 Feb 2011 in Petaling Jaya, for example, Wan Ahmads constant refrain was: We can propose [reforms] but ultimately, the government decides.

    Competency or complicity?

    Then there is the long-standing issue of gerrymandering and unconstitutional malapportionment. Through the years, the EC has redrawn the boundaries of constituencies in ways that have benefited the BN. Is that the mark of an independent commission ensuring free and fair elections?

    And theres been the refusal by the EC to take the BN to task for vote buying through the use of taxpayers monies to offer development projects just before the polls. This was most recently notable during the 2011 Sarawak state election. Indeed, it was the ECs stubborn refusal to even speak up against or investigate the potential violations under the Elections Offences Act in Sarawak that compelled Bersih 2.0 to organise its mammoth rally on 9 July last year.

    To be fair to the current EC leadership, chairperson Abdul Aziz is only following in the previous EC leaderships footsteps. In 1995, then EC secretary Datuk Rashid Abdul Rahman declared there was nothing wrong in making election promises during an election campaign:
    (Click for bigger view)


    What does the ECs apparent ignorance of these election breaches tell us? It tells us that even if the EC leadership are not Umno members, they are either incompetent or complicit with the BN. And it would seem that they have been for at least the past 17 years.

    Rescuing the EC

    Many academics have, for the past 15 years or more, noted how unfair and problematic our electoral system is. In 1996, notable Australian academic Harold Crouch wrote: The Malaysian electoral system [has been] so heavily loaded in favour of the government that it is hard to imagine that [it] could be defeated in an election. Ten years later, another academic, J Funston, echoed the same sentiment because nothing had changed. Funston wrote that EC activities frequently provided direct benefits to the BN.

    How can the EC be rescued? The EC may think that merely choosing a non-aligned colour instead of yellow in its logo will do the trick. However, the mountain of evidence that the EC is either incompetent at its best, or not independent at its worst, means much more needs to be done.

    In its recommendations to the PSC on Electoral Reform, Bersih 2.0 proposed several measures that would ensure Malaysians had an EC they could have confidence in. One, why cant we have an EC that comprises more than just retired civil servants? If necessary, the number of commissioners can be increased to ensure wider representation and expertise.

    Two, some of the issues we face can actually be addressed by establishing a Code of Conduct, as practised in India, which spells out best practices for all parties and candidates during an election. This code of conduct could also be applied to the media so that newsrooms can be pressured to ensure fair coverage of all candidates and parties no matter their political affiliations.

    And three, if the EC is to regain some semblance of credibility, it needs to reclaim its power to make rules under Article 113(5) of the Federal Constitution. These rules can be used to prohibit the use of public institutions or government machinery in election campaigns.

    The question, of course, is whether the EC wants to be rescued. If the growing evidence of more than a decade is anything to go by, I doubt it. And if the EC wont reform itself of its own volition, what else are citizens left to do?
    [1]
    Lim, HH (2005) Making the system work: the Election Commission, in Putucheary, M and Othman, N. (ed.), Elections and Democracy in Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, p.263.


    Jacqueline Ann Surin believes the EC should not be so worried that with electoral reforms, BN will lose power. The commission should be more worried that without electoral reforms, BN will come into power only to have its legitimacy questioned.
    py

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