DAP offers to be part of a public inquiry into serious PAS allegations against the independence, integrity and professionalism of Election Commission on the employment of Puteri UMNO members as part-time Election Commission workers for the coming general election
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman was very emotional yesterday, condemning PAS for “an act of evil” in its “negative campaign” against the commission and calling for his resignation as Chairman and Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar as Election Commission Secretary.
I do not have the full details of the indictments resulting in the unanimous motion adopted by PAS Muktamar on Sunday demanding the resignation of Rashid and Wan Ahmad, in particular with regard to the PAS allegations that the Election Commission had colluded with UMNO by employing part-time workers from among Puteri UMNO members for the coming general election – which has been denied by Rashid – and for this reason, I will reserve comment and judgment.
However, the PAS allegations are very serious which cannot be taken lightly, and it is in the interest of maintaining public confidence in its independence, integrity and professionalism that the Election Commission should be prepared to submit itself to an independent and thorough public inquiry into the PAS allegations, which does not involve the Election Commission, PAS or the government parties. As DAP is not involved in these allegations concerning Puteri UMNO, we offer to be a party together with independent NGOs or eminent Malaysians (including the government-appointed Suhakam), to get to the bottom of the allegations.
While it is understandable that Rashid is incensed at the heavy artillery directed at him by PAS in the form of an unanimous PAS Muktamar motion calling for his and Wan Ahmad’s resignations, and the indignity and humilitation at the PAS proposal to formally request the Conference of Malay Rulers to reconsider their appointments, it can be no reason or justification for them to lose their cool, get emotional and “ go ballistics”.
Rashid’s announcement that he had directed Wan Ahmad to lodge a police report under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) on leaks of Election Commission letters is outrageous and simply unthinkable, taking the Election Commission well beyond the line of independence, integrity and professionalism, for at least two reasons, viz:
DAP calls on the Election Commission to cancel plans or withdraw any police report against PAS or any political party under the Official Secrets Act, as there is nothing more calculated to undermine public confidence in its independence, integrity and professionalism than for it to enter into a fray with political parties and resort to such a draconian, repressive and undemocratic law.
Rashid should in fact give an undertaking that the Election Commission under his chairmanship would never resort to the OSA to evade accountability and transparency or when it is about to lose a public argument with opposition parties. He should publicly declare his support for a public inquiry into the PAS allegations to clear the Election Commission’s name.
Last week, Rashid gave a wide-ranging interview with Malaysiakini, published in a three-part series, where he made numerous controversial statements, including several weak and faulty assertions, about elections and the Election Commission’s work, which cannot be allowed to go unrebutted. He even challenged me to take the Barisan Nasional government to court for its abuses of government machineries, resources and power as a caretaker government after dissolution of Parliament until polling day. I propose to reply to Rashid, probably in a three-part series, beginning on Friday.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman