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Al-Fatihah

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Another 11th Hour Decision

Again, Election Commission (EC) made a u-turn to their decision. This time, the decision made with regard to the use of indelible ink, which, earlier on the EC said that the use of the ink could prevent phantom voters i.e. to avoid voters from voting for more than one time. The cost for the said ink, which was imported from India was reported to be RM2.4million. The decision was made yesterday as a result from four police reports lodged claiming that there are attempts to sabotage the using of the ink on the voters especially those in the rural area. There are possibility that some voters may be deprived of their constitutional rights to vote, as it is said that irresponsible parties will tell the rural voters that they have to put the ink on their finger before voting.

To certain extend, after reading the explanation by the EC on their latest "u-turn" decision in the newspaper, I personally agree with the steps taken by the EC. If the use of indelible ink can cause some voters being denied their constitutional right to vote, by all means, the usage of the ink should not take place.

However, there are certain issues that made me puzzle on the EC's decision to introduce the usage of the indelible ink, which caused the country around RM2.4million and of course by using the tax payers' money).

First-According to the Attorney General, for the ink to be used, Article 119 of the Federal Constitution must be amended. Article 119 of the Constitution talks about qualification of electors/voters. However, until the dissolution of Parliament on 13/2/2008, Article 119 has not been amended, thus legally speaking, the usage of the indelible ink on the polling day on 8/3/2008 is unconctitutional and have no legal effect. In other words, it simply means EC can't use the ink on 8/3/2008. To what extent the unconstitutonality of the usage of ink will affect the validity of the election. Well, that needs a very thorough discussion, which I am not going to discuss here and the Court is the best forum to highlight the issue but one of the possibilities is that it can nullify the election.

Second-Perlis CID chief Supt Mat Nassir Hussein was reported to have said that before the Parliament was dissolved on 13/2/2008, two police reports were lodged at Padang Besar and Mata Ayer police station with regard to some people purchasing the ink from neighbouring country (the very same reason given for not using the ink) and the same to be used for sabotaging purposes. The question is, if that is really the reason for not using the ink on the polling day, why didn't the EC made such decision even before the Parliament was dissolved i.e. after the two police reports lodged in Perlis? Why do they have to wait until yesterday? Why do they need to wait until four police reports to be lodged? What is special about number four? From feng shui point of view, I do not think it brings any luck. I think, we as the tax payers, whose money of RM2.4million was wasted on something "useless" have every right to know and the EC owes us a plausible explanation and not something like melepaskan batuk ditangga.

Linking the statement by the AG and the Perlis CID, it made me now wonder, is it really the "sabotage" being the cause of such "u-turn" decision or because of its constitutionality issue that caused such decision to be made? I strongly believe it is the latter rather than the earlier but to make it sounds nicer and to save face (after making blunder on the issue of stamping of statutory declaration), the EC has to use the "sabotage" issue as an "excuse" for the second "blunder". This is my theory.

With this, the people in powe in EC has lost credibility thus cauding the EC to lose its credibility as well. Two blunders within the span of two weeks. What else? We have another three days before Malaysians select the next government and we simply can't afford to have another blunder from the EC. As I put in my earlier posting, w have had enough with the Lingam Tape Inquiry and please do not make us a laughing stock.

Perhaps, the EC Chairman and those responsbile for the two blunders (or may be more to come in the next few days) should really consider their position in the EC soon after the election.

2 comments:

W.Asmaliza Abdullah said...

1-Apa yang AG buat sebelum kerajaan membuat keputusan untuk guna "ink" tu? takkan AG dok senyap je tak cek Constitution?

2-What is RM2.4 million to the government if they can easily call off the use of that ink?

3-Or they jus created the story that they had bought the ink, whereas in fact they actually didnt buy it at all? or may be it jus a gimmick

4-the cancellation of the ink had tarnish the government's image.takkan government nak buat macam tu padahal rakyat pun dah hilang separuh kepercayaan dengan kes Linggam tu.

5-Entah2 tak beli pun ink tu tapi duit RM2.4 m tu dah di channel ke lain.Buat pancing undi!!

RENUNG-RENUNGKANLAH READERS

Rozaimi said...

well, blunder after blunder...that itself open themselves (EC) to speculation