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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

EC tells govt to bar Bersih from PSC

Sulaiman Kamal | 4:38 PM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Election Commission (EC) deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar has urged the government to reject the participation of Bersih 2.0 in the parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms.
According to a report in Malay daily Berita Harian today, Wan Ahmad commented that the committee should only comprise MPs from various political parties, to prevent obstacles to the government's reform effort.

PKR's suggestion that Bersih 2.0 should be involved in the committee should be rejected, he said.

This is because the main agenda for discussion will be the management of elections with the purpose of satisfying all contesting political parties. 

"It is better that the committee is only joined by representatives elected by the people so that there will be no interference," he told the daily.

Wan Ahmad had previously attacked Bersih 2.0, claiming that its July 9 rally was a dirty tactic to garner public support for the opposition.

In his letter to Umno-owned newspaper Utusan Malaysia, he claimed that elections in Malaysia have always been free and fair, but the opposition has made the EC a scapegoat to win the next outing.
'EC will cooperate'

Meanwhile, EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Yusof has pledged to cooperate with the parliamentary committee.
"The EC is prepared to provide cooperation when the parliamentary select committee is formed," he said in a statement yesterday.

Abdul Aziz said the establishment of the committee was appropriate to renew the electoral system, thus strengthening the democratic system and upholding the rule of law.

Yesterday DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang had expressed his concern that the EC and other relevant government agency will use “official secrets”, “national security” or other excuses to stonewall the committee's requests for information.

He said the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity, formed during former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's administration, met hostile reception from government departments, resulting in the resignation of its chairperson Bernard Dompok and the select committee, producing no report when Parliament was dissolved in February 2008.

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