From the horse’s mouth: Independence of the EC November 21, 2007Posted by elizabethwong in Democracy, Human Rights, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics.
Some gems from the Election Commission’s Chairman, who said he’d resign if there was evidence of the EC being party to unfair election practices.
To do that, the fundamental premise is to establish how closely aligned is the EC with the Barisan Nasional Government.
Rashid On Independence of the Elections Commission
In terms of law, we are restrained from doing a lot of things. This is the commission which has been established by the nation not to be a fully independent commission … You look at the constitution, what does it say? That there shall be a commission that enjoys the public confidence. It does not say ‘an independent commission’.
You can never escape from the government of the day from being involved in elections. Whether the EC is seen to be independent – fair and free – depends on one important fact: how tolerant is the ruling party? In most Western countries, the party in power is tolerant. They take criticism openly. Here, we have not come to that level.
(…) You just cannot implement anything without having to be interfered (by the government). (Malaysiakini.com, Sept 10, 2003)
When I read the constitution, I see nothing to suggest that PM has to step down (after the government is dissolved). (Malaysiakini.com, Sept 10, 2003)
I can’t do anything. I have mentioned this to the government and they asked me whether this was the EC function? I cannot do anything, my hands are tied. (Malaysiakini.com, Sept 10, 2003)
If you talk about poll campaigns over TV, public TV under the Broadcasting Act, the minister has full power. I tell them, “don’t do this”. They tell me to shut up, what can I say. (Malaysiakini.com, Sept 10, 2003)