EC's sins long and ignominious: Lim
B.Suresh Ram, the Sun
KUALA LUMPUR (April 23, 2007) - Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang says Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman is defending the indefensible when he tries to dispel the general perception that the EC is unfair, not independent and non-transparent in discharging its duties.
"The EC's record is a history of unmitigated and abysmal failure to conduct free, fair, transparent and clean elections and the 'sins' of the EC are long and ignominious," he said.
Lim asked how the EC could claim to have conducted fair and transparent elections in the past and now with the following long outstanding issues:
* Opposition parties not allowed to send polling agents to supervise the casting of postal ballots by police and security forces;
* The huge presence of 'phantom' voters;
* Inability to include all eligible voters in the electoral roll as there are at present 4.9 million eligible but unregistered voters;
* Prohibit unfair, dishonest and one-sided media coverage, whether print, radio or television during election campaigns, such as "below-the-belt" and unethical cartoons, write-ups, broadcasts and telecasts and the "fear and scare" advertisements against the Opposition;
* Prohibit money politics, not only by candidates but also by political parties;
* Prohibit abuse of government resources and funds during election campaigns;
* Short election campaigning periods that disadvantges the Opposition; and
* Abuses by the 'caretaker' government in allocating funds and giving election promises with regard to development projects and misappropriating public funds for party election campaigning, such as travelling and other misuse of public resources.
Speaking to reporters in Parliament lobby today, Lim asked whether the EC was prepared to establish its independence, professionalism and commitment to its constitutional mandate to conduct free, fair and clean elections by speaking out against all the issues. sun2surf