Vandals 'paint' EC head's house red

Ng Ling Fong & Chan Kok Leong | Mar 6, 08

Election Commission head has felt the backlash of a decision against the use of indelible ink – vandals splashed the outside of his house with bright red paint early this morning.
Abdul Rashid, who lives in Bukit Pantai, Kuala Lumpur, woke up at 7.30am to discover the paint all over the gate and external walls. Police responded to his call about 8am.
“I don’t know when it happened,” he told Malaysiakini at his house, saying he had gone to bed at midnight.
Asked if he thought it was politically motivated, he said: “Definitely! I think they got angry because we were forced to scrap the indelible ink. People don’t understand why we were forced to scrap it and (they) have resorted to this.”
Abdul Rashid said that a section of his two-storey bungalow, built 37 years ago, is current under renovation due to a severe termite problem.
He had announced the decision late on Tuesday, citing issues relating to the Federal Constitution and a purported plot to mark voters ahead of polls on Saturday.
The use of indelible ink is yet to be legislated while, under Section 119 of the Federal Constitution, all eligible citizens are entitled to vote in a general election.
Unless the Election Regulations 1981 are amended, the right to vote cannot be made conditional on the marking of voters’ fingers.
Despite knowing this, however, the EC had accepted the proposal last July and even proceeded to buy some 45,000 bottles of indelible ink from India at a cost of RM2.4 million.
As recently as at a press conference in EC headquarters in Putrajaya on Feb 25, EC secretary Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor had confidently declared that the ink would be used in the upcoming elections.
Meanwhile, according to a report posted on the Star Online this afternoon, Abdul Rashid will be given a police escort.
It quoted a police officer, identified only as Muhammad Sabtu, as saying that samples of the paint have been sent to the chemistry department for analysis.
Without attributing the information, the report further said three men in a dark-coloured car had been seen outside the house about 12.30am. One man alighted with three cans and dumped the contents on the gate and walls.