Former EC members must not be let off scot free

The special tribunal on the misconduct of six former Election Commission (EC) members has decided that the tribunal will not continue. This is because the EC members have already resigned.

This decision is appalling to say the least. It implies that the former EC members can escape facing the tribunal by just resigning.

However, the fundamental issue has not changed. The former EC members must not be let off scot free. We must not forget the various cases of electoral fraud and manipulation that have happened before the 14th general election (GE14).

Just recently, the Ministry of Defence revealed that land swaps were corruptly done by the previous government before the GE14. This involved the rushed registration of military voters in several marginal constituencies by the EC, using army camps that were not yet completed.

Similarly, the redelineation of electoral boundaries were also rushed through parliament just one and half months before GE14.

During the campaigning period, the EC suddenly made a new regulation regarding campaigning materials in order to block images of Tun Mahathir.

The former EC members were at the centre of all these alleged manipulations. They should therefore be investigated and held accountable if found guilty.

Given that the tribunal has decided not to continue, there are two other avenues that must now be pursued.

First, the parliament must do its duty as a check and balance mechanism. I will be writing to the Dewan Rakyat speaker to propose the setting up of a special select committee on elections in order to investigate the former EC members.

Second, the attorney general and prime minister should further advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) is now necessary. The RCI will be the best platform because it will have the fresh mandate and necessary powers to investigate.

I reiterate that the former EC members must be investigated in one way or another. Only then will we be able to ascertain the core problem with out electoral system and to then reform it.

Khoo Poay Tiong
Media statement by Khoo Poay Tiong in Malacca on Saturday, 25th May 2019