DOES THE ELECTION COMMISSION COMMAND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE?

Article 114 of the Federal Constitution states:

Constitution of Election Commission

114. (1) The Election Commission shall be appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after consultation with the Conference of Rulers, and shall consist of a chairman, a deputy chairman and five other members.

(2) In appointing members of the Election Commission the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall have regard to the importance of securing an Election Commission which enjoys public confidence.
It is stated that it is important that the EC enjoys public confidence. The following questions arise:
· How is the Agong able to do that without consulting the public?
· Has there been any occasion in the past where a public hearing was conducted on the proposed members of the EC before their appointment?
· Was there any background check on their political affiliation?
· Would the appointment of ex-senior civil servants give rise to a perception of bias?
· Despite the assurance from the Minister in the PM's Department to the contrary, does the Prime Minister interfere with the appointment by using Article 40 of the Federal Constitution which requires the Agong to accept the advice of the PM?
· Could any of the above be the reason for the low regard that the EC commands from the public and strident demands for a tribunal to try them?


WHO REALLY APPOINTS THE EC?



According to Tey Tsun Hang in his article "Malaysia's electoral system: Government of the people?, 2nd Jul 2011:
(http://english.cpiasia.net/index.php...ors&Itemid=189)

INDUCING A COMPLIANT ELECTION COMMISSION

The independence of the Election Commission is not constitutionally guaranteed. "Public confidence" does not guarantee independence. There is a pattern of appointing political party members and retired civil servants. Guarantee of independence is severely weakened.

The first chairman of the Election Commission, Dr Mustafa Albakri went through a strained relationship with the government in the 1960s due to his independent stance in attempting to re-delineate the electoral constituencies after the 1959 election.

Article 114(4) was amended in 1960to provide for the removal of the chairman if he “engages in any paid office or employment outside the duties of his office”. Fortunately for Dr Mustafa Albakri, he was able to defend his office by relying on Article 114(6) which ensures that no terms of office of a member of the Election Commission shall be altered to his disadvantage after his appointment. Subsequent appointments were controlled through Article 114 (5) which gave the government the power to intervene on the terms of office for appointment holders even before they officially hold office in the Election Commission

WHERE DO THEY STAND IN THE BIGGER SCHEME OF THINGS?


A mere department in the Prime Minister's Office!
Squeezed between the Public Service Commission & the JKR!



Who are these people?

They are:

Chairman: Tan Sri Dato' Seri Abdul Aziz bin Mohd Yusof, ex-senior civil servant, UMNO member
Deputy Chairman: Datuk Wira Hj. Wan Ahmad, ex-senior civil servant, UMNO member
Member: Dato' Hj. Zainal Abidin bin Hj. Mat Said, ex-senior civil servant
Datuk Hj. Jamdin bin Buyong ex-senior civil servant
Member: Dato Hj. Mohamad Ramji Alli, ex-senior civil servant
Member: Datuk Dr. P. Manogran, ex-senior civil servant,
Member: Datuk Christoper Wan Soo Kee, ex-CID Director

Day-to-day Administration:

EC Secretary: Datuk Kamaruddin bin Mohamed Baria, senior civil servant on transfer. He has just been replaced by another civil servant on transfer, Datuk Hj Abdul Ghani bin Salleh.

So the EC, which is supposed to operate in a way that inspires public confidence is all run by civil servants, current or ex-. How can that inspire confidence from the public?