by Peter Sibon, email@example.com. Posted on August 2, 2012, Thursday
EC chief says commission not even answerable to PM, DPM and Parliament
KUCHING: Sick and tired of being labelled a BN government tool by the opposition, Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof broke his silence yesterday and came out charging at his critics.
He blasted back by saying the EC was not even answerable to the prime minister or his deputy.
“As chairman of the EC, nobody controls me. Even the prime minister never asked me to do this or that.
“Likewise, the deputy prime minister also never asked me to do this or do that,” Abdul Aziz told reporters after the EC gave a briefing to officials of political parties and members of the media at Kuching Hilton yesterday.
Abdul Aziz added that not even Parliament could tell the EC what to do. Parliament could only make proposals to the body, he said.
“But the final decision is still made by the EC.
“We are as free as it could possibility be.”
On the recent exercise when a Commission was set by Parliament for the EC to be reformed, he said it accepted seven and rejected three proposals.
On the 300,000 people in the state who have yet to register as voters, Abdul Aziz said this showed there was freedom of expression in the country.
“We have tried our level best to get everyone to be registered, including seeking the assistance of political parties to get those eligible to be registered, but we really cannot force people to register.
“It’s their choice.”
He added that even developed states like Selangor and Johor experienced this problem.
“But in Sarawak, the other factor could be logistics due to the vastness of the state.”
On the coming general election, he said that 1,05,190 Sarawakians would be eligible to vote.
Meanwhile, during a question-and-answer session, state EC director Datu Takun Sunggah had a heated argument with PKR’s probable candidate for Miri, Dr Michael Teo Yu Keng, who alleged that ballot boxes could be tempered with by the EC.
Takun advised Dr Teo to get his facts right or to come up with proofs of any wrong doings.
“You can stay in a police lock up to guard the ballot boxes yourself to see if they are tempered with,” said Takun, to which Dr Teo shot back by saying that he was merely seeking clarification on whether the EC was indeed an independent and trustworthy body.
Takun responded by saying that he (Dr Teo) could always bring his case to court for it to decide.