Minister Chua refutes Rashid’s claims

Nov 17, 07
Health Minister Dr Chua Soi Lek has reportedly called Election Commission’s chief Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman ‘a liar’ for claiming to know the date of the next general election.

Chua (left) stressed that the only Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi knows when the elections would be held.
“He (Rashid) is just looking for some exposure. You can write that. I stand by it,” said Chua, according to China Press.
On Thursday, Rashid teased the public by declaring that he knew when the polls would be held but was keeping mum about the date.
However, Rashid (right) hinted that the polls could be held as early as January next year which is about the time the EC can fully prepare its officers.
In the same China Press report, Chua, who is also MCA vice-president, urged Chinese voters not to take out their frustrations on Umno by voting for DAP.
He said many Chinese had the wrong perception that the government is a ‘Malay government’ and that a vote for DAP would represent the voice of the Chinese community.
“This (kind of perception) can cause ethnic tension and would lead to another May 13 (racial riot) incident,” he added.
Rashid should do some ‘real work’
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang said Rashid should refrain from “teasing” Barisan Nasional leaders with claims of a definitive polls date.
“(Instead) Rashid would have done a greater service to the nation and greater justice to his job as EC chief to put in place an electoral system which is clean, free and fair,” he said in a statement today.
According to Lim, such measures includes ‘cleaning up’ the electoral roll, ensuring a strict level-playing field for candidates and fair media coverage’.
On Chua’s statement, Lim said Rashid’s comments have caught the MCA off-guard and unable to tell their supporters when the next general election would be held.
“It must be a tremendous loss of face for MCA leaders to be caught on the wrong footing,” added Lim.
Lim said the matter is compounded further when a “lowly government functionary” like Rashid would be privy to such important information while MCA ministers were left in the dark.