Sunday, November 18, 2007

Is EC Chairman Mocking the Public?

A Kadir Jasin

[Anonymous comments will not be posted. Please use your real name or a suitable pseudonym. Please avoid seditious, defamatory and libellous statements. And, if possible, don’t call anybody bodoh (stupid). Unrelated comments will not be given priority.]

WHILE still on the subject of general elections, which on Nov. 10 brought tens of thousand protestors to the streets of Kuala Lumpur to demand for fairer election, I must say that I find the Election Commission chairman, Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s Nov. 15 statement intriguing.

His “I knew when the general election would be held but I won’t tell” statement to the Press was in bad taste and out of place. It amounted to mocking the public and made the status of the commission undignified.

His statement can be read as an indication that the commission is in collusion with the government because only the government or, to be precise, the Prime Minister determines the date of the election.

Abdul Rashid’s statement has the effect of confirming the Bersih movement’s claim that the government parties have an unfair advantage over the oppositions and that the electoral process lacks transparency.

No less significant is the fact that the EC chairman’s statement contradicted the stance of the Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. When asked during the recent Umno General Assembly, Abdullah said he was yet to receive an inspiration on the date of the election.

For the record, “belum dapat ihlam” or haven’t yet received the inspiration has been Abdullah’s standard response to many urgent and difficult questions.

So who is lying? Or to be more palatable, who is not telling the truth – the PM who is still waiting for inspiration or the talkative EC chairman who said he knows the date but will not tell?

Bad information management and loose talks by a high official like Abdul Rashid can only lead to one thing – giving the Bersih campaigners more ammunitions to shot at the government.

Although Abdul Rashid had seen it fit to “tease” the public with his inappropriate statement, the general indications suggest that the general elections will be held after Jan. 29, 2008 when the EC is expected to complete its briefings and courses for returning officers and assistant returning officers throughout the country.

The first of the series started in Malacca on Nov. 15. The last, according to Abdul Rashid, would be held at the EC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Jan. 29, 2008.


Selongsong said...

I think there is a typo

“belum dapat ihlam

should be written as

“belum dapat ilham instead.

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum Dato',

Jangan terkejut dalam zaman pemerintahan AAB ini banyak 'loose cannons'.

Perkara seperti ini jarang berlaku semasa TDM because budaya 'mengampu' tidak akan dilayan.

Kalau nak bagi tau, bagi tau sajelah. Nak main 'secret...secret' macam ni style budak-budak. Kalau orang tua buat, hanyalah untuk cari publisiti.

Rockybru said...

Tok Scribe,

In a less eloquent manner than your rebuke, the PM has just expressed displeasure with the EC chairman's statement.

Looks like someone's going to beg for someone's pardon soon. I just hope the EC chairman will also apologise for "mocking the people" with his claim that he knows when the GE will be held.

Or will the Press be blamed for misreporting, again?

The Bernama story:
I'll Decide Parliament Dissolution Date, Says Abdullah
November 18, 2007 19:30 PM
KUALA TERENGGANU, Nov 18 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he will decide on the date to have Parliament dissolved to pave the way for the 12th general election.

He said the decision on when to dissolve Parliament was vested with him as the Prime Minister.

Therefore, he advised all parties to wait for Parliament to be dissolved to know the actual date of the general election.

The Prime Minister said it was not necessary to be concerned too much about when the election would be held.

"If I've not decided yet to have Parliament dissolved, how can he (Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman)'s I who will decide when to have Parliament dissolved," he told reporters after visiting the Islamic Civilization Park on Wan Man Island, near here, Sunday.

raja2u said...

YBhg Dato',
The General Election issue is a hot topic with no clear indication when it will be held.Since we are now getting into 2008 it may be safe to assume that Parliment will serve its full term of 5 years unless something drastic happened that call for a snap election.This of course will cause unhappiness to some people who from the start predicted our PM will only last for one term.

Contrary to the belief by some people that our PM is weak his strength is in his patience and not being panicky. He did not rushed into things and thereby managed to diffuse what would have been explosive issues such as those involving the judiciary.

The best thing for political parties should do now is to get to the voters and to win over their hearts rather than continuously repeating charges against the government on issues which is already a common knowledge to all.

Raja Abdul Rahman
Petaling Jaya

Berita dari gunung said...

EC Chairman could be telling the truth. BN Chairman could have whispered yesterday.

Anonymous said...

I am not quite sure that he is mocking the public or knows the exact date of the General Election but certainly he has mobilised his men and the last of their briefings would take place at the end of he is probably suggesting that it would not take place before that date...
obviously the actual date depends on the day parliament is dissolved so if he had been told when it may be dissolved and asked to prepare his men that does not constitute collusion, he is merely being informed to make sure the EC is ready for its big job...
At least that's how I see it, he should have kept the facts confidential instead of blabbering it all over the place....

Anonymous said...

off course everyone knows when election is going to be...before the next term ends ma in 2009!!!

Nevertheless as EC chairman, he doesn't need to play with words like above. It is really unbecoming of him and makes the EC and the govt look bad. Only the PM can request for parliament to be dissolved and the Agong has the final say. So I guess there will some brooms given out to EC soon.

actually under Pak Lah there are too many loose personalities and shows what kind of leadership we are having.

freelittlebrain said...

The political senarion has changed ? not the the Prime Minister DECIDED when the general election would be held but the Election Commission chairman, Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman ?

Anonymous said...

info daripada sahabat di ULC(Umno link company) di PWTC ada menyebut pilihanraya akan diadakan sejurus selepas raya cina. Tidak pasti kesahihannya.

da real deal said...

Unfair advantage becomes fair when the opposition wins and uses the same system to beat the former incumbent.

marn said...

Apa jua sandiwara yang berlaku, pastikan kita bersedia untuk membuat keputusan sama ada hendak berubah atau tidak. Sama ada kita masih inginkan kepimpinan yang sama memimpin kita ataupun beralih angin.

Sediakah kita untuk menggunakan satu-satunya senjata yang kita guna setiap 4-5 tahun sekali? Apakah kita masih yakin dengan kepimpinan yang sedia ada ataupun kita mengambil risiko untuk merubah senario politik tanahair?

Tepuk dada tanya diri sendiri, anak dan cucu kita. Seboleh-bolehnya cuba imaginasikan diri kita, anak dan cucu kita apa akan terjadi sekiranya kita memilih untuk tidak keluar mengundi, rosakkan undi, mengundi calon daripada parti yang sama ataupun keluar daripada kebiasaan yakni memilih parti lain.

Nak best lagi, tepuk dada tanya iman, bukan Aiman. Sebab Aiman tak kisah.

Mr. Smith said...

Yes, mocking is the word.
Actually the public are being mocked by every single institution beginning with the PM himself.
In fact the PM has been mocking ( or lying to ) us since the last general elections.
They think we are gullible fools - who will take in lock, stock and barrel that is being dished out by them.
Remember even the IGP claims only 4,00 turned up on Nov 10.

Anonymous said...

Attention! I know when the next election is going to be held. The melayu people always complain but never dare to make a change. On other hand the chinese are angry with mismanagement of the country and willing to throw Barisan Nasional out, so the election to be held like sometimes in March, because the government want to give the chineses ang pow

Anonymous said...

With all the overwhelming evidence, or rumors, whichever, how can the 'man-in-charge' remains ignorant?

I'm guessing he's sweating now, and his son-in-law too.

Actually, I'm hoping for it.

.. said... we go again,officials giving contradicting information to it's Rakyat, though I have never voted before, I "sudah dapat ilham" who to vote already. So,come rain or shine,tsunami or earthquake ka, die die also must vote, for my country, for myself !!

affendi hussain said...

Salam to all..

I don't see what is the chrono issue of the coming GE.. When the time just come..and we all throw our vote s to fullfill our responsibility..

it seem that the room is so full of combustible gas and everyone already grilled with high adrenalin excitement to tick the ignitor.. one thing for sure the person holding the clock is Pak Lah.. Obviously everybody trying to manipulate things in the space & time domain to their favour..

EC should remain neutral and not mockering something critical and sensitive with such immature statement..Rashid already given the Bersih a token of C4 to 'blow' him to the sky with his mentally retarded statement..the question of EC neutrality is for sure a dispute..

then as usual Pak Lah try to save the day coming from his elegent silence with blamer-pretender remarks denying whatsoever...good job eh?

Well..nowdays everyone among the pembesar and head of executive powerhouse seem to have a blunt equal shares to issue any kind of statement or remarks that were mostly below a value of intellectual worth to digest..they them dump at our face a if we are kindergarden kids- and that really trigger my nerve!

what kind of boss is our a company, a subordinate who simply issue out unauthorised statement to the press giving such negative impact for sure will be toast and grilled to ashes! ..

Tun Dr.M! Pak Lah does not even suit to be a CEO of a come you let him run the country..

i'm so i said before, he is your biggest mistake.

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Anonymous said...

Well, I wouldn't place too much importance on this creature's attempt at appearing more important than he really is. We know what to call bimbos who tease like this.

Everyone knows that the election date is supposed to be top secret, especially in pseudo democracies like ours. In other open, modern, progressive societies like the US, the date is no big has been fixed, in line with their great tradition of placing everything on the table, and let the best man win.

It is a reflection of the man that he has to make statements like this. Perhaps he has this thing called an inferiority complex, and making statements like that gives him the ego boost he so sorely needs. We know election dates are secret; why the need to tell us that he isn't telling? And by publicizing and debating such childish statements we have unfortunately given him his 10 sen worth of publicity that he so badly craves. If you and I know something is supposed to be a secret, is there any necessity to tell us you're not telling? I can understand primary school children behaving like this, but the top dog of the Election Commission? Have some dignity, for heavens sake. We know the levels to which this country is fast descending. You, Tan Sri should not hasten the process with your puerile and unbecoming behavior.

There are other more important and substantive issues on your watch, that could earn you solid and positive attention, and the respect of a grateful nation. But, then you know that, don't you, but are not doing.

Zainal A. Kasim said...


Saya rasa ini adalah "kebebasan" yang diberikan oleh pembesar negara kepada kita semua. Media dan sesiapa sahaja boleh bercakap dan menerbitkan apa sahaja. Jadi, apabila Pengerusi SPR "tersasul", pihak media pun "menerbitkannya" kerana di negara ini ada "kebebasan media".

Dalam masa yang sama, kita pun "terikut sama" untuk "berdebat" tentang hal ini sedangkan dalam masa yang sama ada beberapa isu lain yang penting.

Adakah ini kemungkinan kerja-kerja untuk mengalih pandangan masyarakat kepada isu pokok yang mungkin menggugat kredibiliti pemerintah Datuk?

PenganggurPaksa said...


Maaf mencelah...

saya dah sedia nak mengundi tapi belum sedia membuang undi...

About Me

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I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).