Parliament: No action against EC chairman

Tuesday June 24, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: No action will be taken against Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman for saying it was Cabinet that had called off the use of indelible ink in the last general election.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said this was because the Government respected the commission as an independent body.
“If there are differences with the Commission, the Government will explain our stand.
“However, we really hope that the EC would refrain from making statements that can confuse the public, for the sake of its institutional credibility and the integrity of our democratic process and elections,” he said in a written reply to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (DAP – Bagan).
Lim had asked if action would be taken against Abdul Rashid for saying that the Cabinet had ordered him to stop using the indelible ink four days before polling date on March 8. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi then said it was merely a “suggestion.”
Nazri said the Cabinet had never ordered the commission to do so despite its warning to the body that the use of indelible ink would not have prevented some unscrupulous people from voting twice.
“However, the decision whether to continue with the use of the ink or not at that time still rested with the commission as a competent and independent authority,” he said.