PUTRAJAYA, MAY 29- The much maligned Election Commission defended its corner by dismissing all claims of electoral fraud as alleged by Pakatan Rakyat and stresses that elections in Malaysia are free and fair.
Its deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar told FMT in an interview that no one, including the EC, stopped any legitimate voter from voting.
“We didn’t stop candidates from contesting. We didn’t stop anyone from nominating themselves, no one stopped voters from voting during the GE13 and EC did not stop anyone from campaigning,” he said when met at his office in Putrajaya.
“The slanders of impromptu citizenship insult the intelligence of Malaysians as everyone knows that it is a difficult to obtain citizenship in Malaysia.”
“Claims on foreigners coming to Malaysia to vote is not fair to the government or home ministry. Why target Bangladeshis when Indonesian seems more convincing?” he asked.
According to Wan Ahmad, Malaysians should think over the accusations made by the opposition. He added that the people in the urban areas have been exploited for political mileage.
“If one claims there has been fraud in the elections, how is it possible for the big names to be defeated?”
“Ghani Othman, Raja Nong Chik and Ali Rustam were big names who lost in the election. One could see for themselves the contributions of the big names compared to what the winners have contributed and yet they won. It is the people’s choice at the end of the day,” he said.
Former Johor menteri besar Abdul Ghani Othman was defeated by Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah, resulting in the former’s political retirement.
Malacca’s ex-chief minister Ali was defeated in Bukit Katil by PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar. Raja Nong Chik was among the big-name cabinet ministers who were defeated in the last GE. He lost to incumbent Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.
Wan Ahmad also rubbished claims of blackouts in polling centres, especially during vote counting period, saying that there were no police reports made on this matter.
“Many also spoke about missing ballot boxes and phantom votes. However the final results tallied with the ballots issued and Form 14. The forms were signed by the polling agents which were witnessed by the candidates’ representatives,” he said.
He urged the public not to accuse the EC without evidence and to respect the decision of the majority who voted.
Wan Ahmad said EC’s reputation was not be damaged based on the slanders made by the opposition. He however left the matter to the authorities to decide.
“We follow the law and the constitution and if one chooses to accuse us, they should go by the law.”
He also said that the EC was leaving it to the police and the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate claims of political violence and bribery during the election period.
“Learning from the GE13, we do admit that there are flaws as nothing is perfect. However, we are beefing up and improving the existing regulations,” he said.
Responding to calls by the opposition for the EC hierarchy, including himself, to step down over their failure to conduct the elections ably, Wan Ahmad said it was more relevant for the Yang Di-Pertuan Agung to call for the EC’s resignation rather than by those “who do not follow the constitution or law”.
Wan Ahmad also pointed out that Article 118 of the Federal Constitution clearly stated that any quarter who disagreed with the election results could file a petition at the High Court.