The EC Deputy Chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar has expressed surprise at PM Najib’s recent announcement to form a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to dwell on mattters in connection with the recent demands of Bersih for an electoral reform that is mired in controversies. Wan Ahmad was reported to have said, “I didn’t expect the PM to take this step”, and by this brief statement, one assumes that the EC would not have done anything had Najib remain silent over this issue. But in the next breath, Wan Ahmad has all praises for Najib by stating that Najib “has made the right announcement, and has shown sincerity in satisfying the people about the electoral system”. A statement like this is so often said by politicians when there are cornered to please their masters. And I am not surprised that such a statement comes from Wan Ahmad who lacks the understanding that he does not serve any political master, but only the King.
I say to Wan Ahmad that he should be ashamed of himself being the ‘custodian’ of the EC, and for not reacting positively to the demands of Bersih in the first instant. Rather he has been defensive and too protective of his responsibility, and at some point in his argument he claimed that there is nothing he could do to institute changes since there are laws governing the functions of the EC. Again I say this to Wan Ahmad that the EC laws are not sacrosanct; unlike the Quran. EC laws can be changed or modified to suit changing situations, and the Bersih demands clearly reflect the need to change.
I am a bit surprised to note that it has been Wan Ahmad all along to lead the ‘defence’ of the EC since the Bersih issue came to light. Of course, there were some occasional statements made by the EC Chairman himself. But this was unlike the previous EC Chairman where he was always at the forefront taking the full brunt from the public. I do not think the EC Chairman has retired, or is he on his way out, thus allowing his deputy to take charge in readiness for a takeover? Had a similar situation arise in the army, the chief would have been forced to resign, for it is quite obvious that he can no longer show leadership.
PM Najib has yet to announce the full term of reference of the PSC, and it will also be interesting to know who shall lead the committee and its members. There have been voices that the committee should be opposition led, but I am quite skeptical that this will be allowed by the government. But whoever is appointed to chair the committee, he/she must be free of any political influences, and to achieve this, I believe the chair must be given to someone who is without any political affiliation and a person of high integrity.
Let us all placed out trust and confidence in the PSC and to patiently await its outcome. Malaysian have waited for decades for a free and fair elections, and I hope the findings and recommendations of the PSC will be the best and most satisfying ever for the Malaysian voters. I believe too that this will set a fine example for other countries to emulate.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION