Sunday, July 17, 2011

Election Commission admits it is helpless -Ronald Benjamin

A interesting write up by Roland Benjamin

Election Commission admits it is helpless — Ronald Benjamin

July 17, 2011

JULY 17 — The statement by Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof in The Star newspaper that under Section 10 of the Election Offences Act he could only report to the Police or the MACC to investigate the crime of bribing voters is clear evidence that a so-called dialogue suggested by some quarters between Bersih and the Election Commission to improve the electoral process would end up being a futile exercise.

What is the point of having a dialogue with an organisation which is unable to take action? Bersih would only have a sympathetic ear to air their concerns to.

Is the Election Commission admitting that it is not empowered to take credible action under Section 10 of the Election Offences Act? If the MACC or the police are empowered, why has there been no concerted effort to bring the culprits to justice?

What has happened to our judiciary? Is it not shameful that we are talking about becoming an high income nation yet feel helpless over the eradication of money politics at the national level which is the mother of all corruption?

The question is why is there such helplessness among vital institutions of justice in our country?

The truth is the Barisan National government exerts control over all these vital institutions due to its years in power and it is only by breaking up this hegemony that a level playing field will be created. The demand for free and fair elections is a great national priority because the powers-that-be who have benefited from an entrenched system would not in anyway give up their benefits voluntarily.

Therefore, I hope that the momentum from the Bersih rally will spark a grassroots movement of political change in this wonderful country.

* Ronald Benjamin reads The Malaysian Insider.

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