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EC top brass must resign or face the sack

The Election Commission chairperson, Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, should realise that his position and that of his colleagues are positions of great honour which require public confidence.

Anyone less worthy should not continue to hold these positions and their lack of trustworthiness also reflect badly on the prime minister who had recommended them to be appointed by the agong.

Unless the prime minister himself takes the drastic action to sack the existing EC council, his own reputation is also at stake.

Like politicians who fail to garner the confidence of the rakyat, the EC's job is as good as gone when the people are openly demanding their resignation. It is not up to Abdul Aziz to decide whether he and his council should stay on or not.

Salaried servants

They are salaried civil servants, and their salary is paid out of taxpayer's money. Their accountability is to both the Agong for formality's sake, but ultimately they are answerable to the rakyat.

Under our federal constitution, the word, ‘country' refers to the rakyat, because the very root word for ‘democracy' means ‘ruled by the people.'

With over 50.87 percent of the people voting for Pakatan, and despite being sworn in, even the present cabinet does not enjoy the mandate of the people.

The fact that such discrepancy could occur with a minority government is already a strong indication that the EC is neither independent nor has it addressed the issue of gerrymandering and malapportionment, especially since the deputy chairperson, Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, had openly acknowledged that such discrepancies existed.

What Wan Ahmad has suggested during the press conference after a Bar Council forum is that the EC knew there was a major loophole in the way how constituencies were being drawn up, but it chose not to do anything within its competency (or perhaps, the lack of it) to address the discrepancies.

This is the reason for Black 505. It is not because the people like to go out onto the streets to demonstrate, but they have the right to express their discontentment in the way that the EC had conducted the 13th general election.

If you carry out a national referendum on whether the EC should resign or not, I am sure out of 10 people, at least eight would agree that the EC has failed to conduct a clean and fair election.

They will also not hesitate to ask the EC to resign. All the loopholes within the system have to be addressed by independent parties to ensure that the EC can conduct a free and fair election anytime in the near future.

Incredible ink or indelible ink?

Abdul Aziz and his deputy Wan Ahmad were also recently caught fire fighting the public outcry over the indelible ink. Put simply, they were trapped by their own words.

Where RM6 million of public funds had been used to purchase the ink which they vehemently claimed to be ‘indelible,' this amounts to nothing but criminal breach of trust, especially when the parties concerned kept insisting the ink is indelible.

Despite over 1,000 police reports having been lodged and the obvious is far more convincing than their claims, both Abdul Aziz and Wan Ahmad  have unashamedly held on to their positions which they should have relinquished under normal circumstances.

In Japan, these two men would have committed suicide for their failure to do their job with honour.

Both Abdul Aziz and Wan Ahmad have disappointed the people, and they should have resigned on their own accord without being demanded to do so.

It is not a question of removing them through the court process or whatever.

In a society that where the name Allah is upheld highly, such blatant lies about the indelible ink should not have been told. It's as if the people are so ignorant that they believe every lie they tell the media.

I give you two examples. Wan Ahmad claimed that the ink would dry in three seconds.

As a trained chemistry graduate from a reputable university in Australia, and one who had been working in the printing ink, paint and polymer emulsion binders industry, I have yet to come across an ink that can dry in three seconds!

He was quoted in one of the local dailies, when the question was raised whether there would be sufficient time to avoid the ink smudging the ballot paper.

If there is, Wan Ahmad has discovered a most incredible bottle of ink.

I wonder which university Wan Ahmad graduated from and whether he understands the chemistry of inks in the first place.

Then, Abdul Aziz, the chairperson himself, claimed that there was a letter from the Health Ministry advising the EC not to use anything more than one percent of silver nitrate in the indelible ink, citing health concerns such as silver nitrate at above one percent concentration, being carcinogenic and causes damage to the kidneys.

Despite a denial made by the health minister himself, and shown otherwise from the material safety data sheet of silver nitrate, till today, Abdul Aziz is still insisting that silver nitrate, which is a common industrial chemical at 99.9 percent purity and used in the production of mirrors and photographic films, can cause cancer and damage to the internal organs.

If Abdul Aziz and Wan Ahmad continue to insist that they and the rest of the council will remain on the EC, my suggestion is for the prime minister himself to sack them. This is the only way to pacify thousands of Malaysians going down to the street to protest against the EC.

Also, both Abdul Aziz and Wan Ahmad cannot pretend to be scapegoats or try to look for sympathy after they are sacked.

They should just go graciously, or else face the possibility of being charged in court with criminal breach of trust for lying to the people about the ink purchased, which cost the country at least RM6 million.