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So long as EC remains a toothless tiger, Liaison Committee will not ensure fair play

Media Statement
by Liew Chin Tong  


(Petaling Jaya, Monday) : Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman proposed to form a political party liaison committee to ensure fairer elections.


He said, "I see the need for the committee to bring all political parties to sit together to discuss ways to conduct elections in a manner that is fair to contesting parties."


He was responding to political parties who blamed the EC for their defeat and claiming that the EC was merely an administrative apparatus.


While DAP has no problem with measures to provide a platform for communication between the ruling coalition and the opposition but it is of the view that the latest proposal seems more like a public relation stunt, in order to shift the EC's responsibility as the guardian of clean and fair elections to the so-called liaison committee.


So long as the EC remains a toothless tiger with no power nor the will to execute laws governing elections, including the Election Offences Act 1954 which stipulates punishment for vote-buying and other offences, the liaison committee will be a futile effort and merely a 'window-dressing' exercise.


Tan Sri Abdul Rashid recently commented that allegations of vote-buying was not the EC's problem; rather it was the business of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA). This is a terrible excuse and encapsulates the EC's abandonment of its constitutional powers and role which will surely erode the people's confidence in the institution and its chairman.


Tan Sri Abdul Rashid should stop seeing himself as a bureaucrat who is executing government policies. The Election Commission should be at the forefront of ensuring free, clean and fair elections, as well as spearhead electoral reforms for the sake of guarding the legitimacy of elections in this country.


*Liew Chin Tong, Election Strategy Advisor to DAP Secretary-General

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