EC Chairmanís challenge: Kerk Kim Hock to counter challenge all 7 members of the Election Commission

Press Statement
by Kerk Kim Hock

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): After the Election Commission (EC) Chairman, Datuk Abdul Rashid, was quoted in the Sin Chew Jit Poh on 23.2.2003 as challenging political parties and NGOs which had alleged that the EC had been biased towards the government or that the EC had not been neutral to see him and argue their cases out with him, I had on 24.2.2003 and 27.2.2003 publicly stated my acceptance of his challenge.

I had, through public statements which were also faxed to Datuk Rashid, stated my preparedness to argue with him on the question of the constituency delineation exercise for the Kota Melaka parliamentary constituency.

I was prepared to provide Datuk Rashid with the opportunity to convince me that the EC had acted fairly and professionally in accordance with the principles of democracy and fairness as well as the criteria that it had used in the constituency delineation.

However, it is obvious that he has decided not to meet me, as until today, he has not responded to me.

Rashid 's silence is most surprising and shocking, as he knows fully well that in the recent delineation exercise, there were allegations and criticisms on the ECís failure to adhere to the principle of democracy and spirit of fairness. Hence, his silence will certainly create more doubts about the ECís fairness and professionalism in handling the delineation exercise.

There have been occasions when Datuk Rashid countered such accusations with general answers through the printed media , but his failure to counter such allegations in face to face meetings with the doubters and critics has not effectively dispelled the allegations made against the EC.

Hence, when he openly made the challenge to any political party and NGO representative to argue their cases out with him, I immediately seized the opportunity.

When so many Kota Melaka voters have questioned the ECís impartiality in the delineation exercise for the Kota Melaka parliamentary constituency, Datuk Rashid must have the courage to justify the ECís decision.

Since Rashid has chosen to remain silent, I will therefore, through an official letter to be presented to the EC this week, challenge all 7 members of the EC to meet me and satisfactorily answer the following three main questions with regard to the delineation exercise for the Kota Melaka parliamentary seat:

  • what criteria and factors were taken into consideration when the EC made the original alterations to the Kota Melaka parliamentary constituency?

  • what objections were raised by the Melaka state government that convinced the EC to, in a departure from its traditional practice, make extensive changes to the original proposals and come out with amended proposals which are seen to be lacking in fairness and reasonableness?

  • why the EC has decided not to hold a local enquiry in accordance with Section 5 of Part II of the Thirteen Schedule of the Federal Constitution after 113 registered voters of Kota Melaka parliamentary constituency submitted their written objections to the amended proposals?


* Kerk Kim Hock, DAP Secretary General & MP for Kota Melaka