Meeting with Rashid as to how
Election Commission proposes to apply the caretaker government concept when
Parliament is dissolved to ensure free, fair and clean general election
Media Statement (2)
by Lim Kit Siang
I will seek a meeting with the
Chairman of the Election Commission Chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul
Rahman to discuss how the Election Commission proposes to ensure that the
12th general election is free, fair and clean, particularly whether the
Election Commission proposes to apply the caretaker government concept
when Parliament is dissolved.
When he became Prime Minister four years ago, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi propounded the concept of Islam Hadhari, founded on just and
A government which genuinely believes in fair play and justice as two
important ingredients of Islam Hadhari would support the concept of a
caretaker government between the dissolution of Parliament and the
election of a new legislature.
Under this concept, which has become commonplace in first-world developed
nations, there is only a caretaker government when Parliament stands
dissolved for a general election to be held.
In a caretaker government, Cabinet Ministers should not abuse government
positions, machinery, resources and funds for any electioneering purpose
for a political party or candidate. A candidate, who benefits unfairly
from any such “unhealthy” and dishonest practices, as campaigning
assistance by the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister or Cabinet
Minister through the abuse of their government positions or misuse of
public funds and resources, should be subject to disqualification.
Rashid has just had his tenure as Election Commission Chairman renewed in
the most unusual circumstances, viz:
• requiring Parliament to rush
through a solitary amendment to the Constitution to extend the retirement
age of the Election Commission Chairman from 65 to 66 before his
retirement comes due at the end of last year (Dewan Rakyat passed it on
Dec. 11 while Dewan Negara adjourned on Dec. 24 – with Dec. 25 the next
day, Christmas Day, a public holiday);
• requiring the Yang di Pertuan Agong who returned to the country on Dec.
26 after performing the haj pilgrimage in Mecca to give his Royal Assent
to the Constitution Amendment Bill 2007 on the very same day of his return
as well as the publication of the government gazette of the legislation,
so that the new law comes into instant effect the same day – allowing
Rashid to extend his service by another year the very next day on Dec. 27.
With these unusual efforts
involving the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, Parliament and the Yang di
Pertuan Agong to act in a most unprecedented manner to expeditiously
approve the constitutional amendment so that Rashid could preside over
preparations for the next general election, what guarantee can Rashid give
that the conduct of the 12the general election would not be as disastrous
and disgraceful as the 11th general election but can stand national and
international scrutiny as the most free, fair and clean in the 50-year
history of Malaysia?
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman