Press Statement (1 February 2019): NO IMPUNITY FOR FORMER EC MEMBERS!

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) is of the view that former election commissioners who ran the 14th General Elections (GE14) must be made answerable to the serious charges levelled against them. They should not be allowed to escape judicial scrutiny easily and conveniently for their conduct during the GE14 by their resignations. This will send a completely wrong message to other public officials.

There is no doubt that they are innocent until proven guilty. The EC members may also exercise their right to defense before the tribunal to clear their names if they think they are falsely accused. We call on the former EC members to clear their name through the tribunal process.

If they are confident that they have done nothing wrong, why would they resign once the news of the establishment of the tribunal was reported in the press? Isn’t this an attempt to thwart the proceedings of the tribunal?    

It would be unjust and impunity if these former commissioners are allowed to roam free, including continue to enjoy pension, benefits and welfare as former public officials, while serious allegations against them remain uncleared.  

BERSIH 2.0 would like to draw public attention to the clear mandate of the tribunal. Firstly, the setting up of the tribunal is a truth-seeking process to carry out investigation of the past abuse by the EC members and eventually form the basis of possible actions to be taken against the former commissioners.

Secondly, the tribunal is mandated to recommend to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong the appropriate action to be taken against the EC members, if they were found guilty of misconduct before and during the 14th general election.

It is worth noting that the appropriate actions that the tribunal may make includes but not limited to the removal of the EC members from office. The tribunal may still put forward other recommendations in order to hold them accountable. They should not be allowed to escape justice through their resignations. If they are found guilty, their pension should be forfeited, at the very least.

There is an urgent need to restore public confidence in the EC’s independence and impartiality, and the tribunal is the best way to do it. It will send a stern warning to all public officials to carry out their duties responsibly, which is crucial for the rule of law and democracy of our beloved country.

Released by,

Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0