Polls panel not a kingmaker, says chairman

09 December, 2007

KUALA LUMPUR: “I do not have the means to determine who comes to power,” is the statement from Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman. “People say those who hold the power to run elections can determine who is going to be put into power.

“That’s a lie. They’re bluffing.
“The person who holds that power may be able to do a lot of things to help the country. Whatever we do in the Election Commission, the country’s interest is always above everything.”
He said the recent international survey which showed that the majority of Malaysians believed elections were free and fair in the country lent credence to the EC’s responsibilities.
“If the rakyat say ’I think the Election Commission is independent’, that is enough.”
He said some quarters had criticised him and some had even sent death threats via SMS.
“The voice of the people should be respected,” he said at a seminar called “50 years of Merdeka and Beyond: Malaysian Political Development in Perspective” organised by International Islamic University Malaysia’s Department of Political Science.
Present were IIUM chairman Tan Sri Sanusi Junid and acting rector Hamidon Abdul Hamid.
Sanusi, a former minister and menteri besar, shared anecdotes from his political career with the audience.
He said when Tun Ghafar Baba died, the former deputy prime minister’s deeds were highlighted.
“I read all the dailies and jotted down the dates of his achievements from the formation of Umno until he was ’overthrown’ in 1987.
“All his heroic deeds before 1987 were not enough to get party members to support him in the 1987 party election.
“So there is no such thing as gratitude in politics.”