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Abdullah should speak up whether he had told Rashid when the general election would be held

Media Statement (2)          
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Saturday): Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahmat has made many Barisan Nasional leaders hot under the collar with his claim in Malacca on Thursday that he knew when the general election would be held – but he would not tell.

Even Deputy Prime Minister and UMNO Deputy President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak says he is clueless, though he would like to know.

However, nobody could be as incensed as the MCA Ministers and leaders as it must a tremendous loss of face for them to be caught on the wrong footing, unable to answer what must be asked them umpteenth times everyday by their supporters as to when is the next general election when a lowly government functionary like the Election Commission Chairman is fully privy to.

Such manifest ignorance could not be more embarrassing at this time as it drives home what all MCA Ministers are most sensitive about – their continued irrelevance, impotence and marginalization in government!

This explains the Cabinet rage (like road-rage of Mat Rempits) of the Health Minister and MCA National Vice President, Datuk Chua Soi Lek who as good as called Rashid a “liar” (China Press) in making such a “preposterous claim”.

Does Rashid really know when is the next general election or was he simply lying or just posturing omniscience?

Rashid had told reporters after the launch of the state-level Election Commission briefing and course for returning officers and assistant returning officers in Malacca two days ago that the next general election will be conducted after the end of the state-level series of Election Commission courses which concludes on January 29.

If Rashid knows when is the next general election, then only one person could have told him – the Prime Minister himself.

Abdullah should speak up whether he had told Rashid when the general election would be held to end the anger building up among the MCA Ministers and leaders.

Instead of creating a furor among Barisan Nasional leaders with his tease that he knew more than them about the date for the next general election, Rashid would have done a greater service to the nation and greater justice to his job as Election Commission Chairman to put in place an electoral system which is clean, free and fair, covering all aspects of elections – including clean and comprehensive electoral roll, level playing field for election campaign by all contestants including strict check on money politics and fair media coverage, and eradication of electoral abuses like massive phantom and postal voting.

After all, this was precisely why 40,000 Malaysians had gathered in the unprecedented massive but peaceful rally on Nov. 10 to present a petition to the Yang di Pertuan Agong for electoral reforms to ensure clean, free and fair elections in Malaysia.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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