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MP wants new EC appointments to go through select committee

Published:  |  Modified:

The government has been urged to allow the appointment of new members to the Election Commission to go through the newly established Parliamentary Select Committee on Major Public Appointments.

Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong pointed out that at present, EC members are appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the prime minister, but added that there is no reason why the process cannot be made public.

"Legally, the prime minister and cabinet will still have the final say, but there is no reason to keep the process leading up to that decision behind closed doors.

"The appointment of the new EC members must be based on a more thorough and democratic process," he said in a statement today.

According to Khoo, the government and the select committee should make an open call for nomination.

"Any individuals or organisations should be allowed to nominate potential candidates," he said.

The DAP lawmaker noted that the select committee can also develop guidelines on qualification criteria, and can also vet and shortlist candidates based on public feedback.

"The nomination should then be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat. Once passed, the prime minister can present it to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the official appointment," he said.

Khoo added that in the long run, the government should also institutionalise this process by making it into law.

In October last year, five EC commissioners resigned amid speculation that a tribunal would be set up to look into their alleged wrongdoings.

However, the EC later clarified that their resignation was made before the proposal of a tribunal.

The previous EC leadership had been accused of bias towards the previous government.

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