The EC Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz reportedly told civil servants not to campaign in the Tenang by-election. On the face of it he seems to say a sensible thing. However consider this:what is the sanction for civil servants who insist on campaigning in election? From past experiences this much is clear: the EC has left the penalty to the head of the respective department! So what if the offender is the head of the department?
Actually the campaigning by civil servants are no joke: various departments especially the Education Department will use the teachers to campaign for BN candidates, use teachers to make up number in BN’s campaign functions, usse schools as campaign venues etc. It is no wonder that UMNO started as a party of teachers-and even though their commanding role had been taken over by business type the teachers/headmasters are still good recruits target for their party members as well as candidates!
A consequence of leaving the penalty on civil servants who do party campaigning to the head of department is: only those who campaign for the Opposition party will face the music eg being transferred or demoted. Those who support BN hardly get the rebuke as reported above! The worst offender ie the politicians who press the civil servants to campaign on their behalf never get rebuke or penalised-as can be seen in the above example.
Another way the EC wash their hands is by claiming that they are not entitled to stop campaigning ahead of the official campaign period-see 2nd report appended below. The fact is: they, the police or the local authority never penalised anyone for starting campaign ahead of official campaign period which start after the nomination period-even though that is an offense by the letter of the law!In any case the pattern is clear for all to see: if the EC intend to play it fair and square it can do many things to put the fear of fair law enforcement on the transgressing civil servants as well as the politicians who are the `black hands’ behind them! Also: they should allow civil liberty for open debates between parties and politcians over state run radio and TVs so that politicians don’t have to wait till elections to contest on their policies.
Report from Malaysiakini:
Pegawai kerajaan tidak boleh menunjukkan sokongan kepada mana-mana parti politik, kata pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR), Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof sambil menambah bahawa mereka perlu sentiasa menjaga tahap “profesionalisme” masing-masing.
Beliau mengulas kes seorang pegawai tinggi kerajaan di Johor yang menggesa para guru menyokong “kempen kerajaan” dalam pilihan raya kecil DUN Tenang yang akan berlangsung pada 30 Januari depan.
Abdul Aziz menjelaskan, kakitangan kerajaan mesti mengenepikan “pandangan dan pendirian politik” masing-masing dan menjaga kesopanan “profesional” serta sentiasa bersikap berkecuali.
Tarikh penamaan calon bagi pilihan raya kecil tersebut – ekoran
kematian penyandangnya dari BN, Datuk Sulaiman Taha – ditetapkan pada 22 Januari depan.
Bagaimanapun, Abdul Aziz (kiri) berkata, “adalah tidak salah” untuk kakitangan awam menjayakan dasar atau program kerajaan negeri.
“Baik Pakatan Rakyat atau BN, pegawai kerajaan perlu setia kepada kerajaan negeri, tidak kira parti mana (yang mentadbir negeri),” kata Abdul Aziz kepada Malaysiakini.
“Tidak salahnya jika mereka memaklumkan kepada rakyat mengenai inisiatif kerajaan negeri, tetapi ianya berbeza bila seseorang kakitangan awam berkempen dan secara terbuka meminta mereka yang hadir, untuk mengundi, contohnya, BN atau PKR,” tambahnya.
|EC: No Campaigning Before Nomination for Tenang|
|KUALA LUMPUR — The Election Commission (EC) today advised political parties not to campaign in the Tenang state constituency in Johor before the nomination date on Jan 22.
“Wait for the campaign period, and then campaign in accordance with the regulations of the EC, police and the local authorities,” EC Chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said.
He was asked to comment on allegations of campaigning and “ceramah” (talks) being held by political parties in the constituency prior to the nomination date.
Polling is on Jan 30 in the by-election, necessitated by the death of the assemblyman, Sulaiman Taha of the Barisan Nasional (BN), on Dec 17 last year.
Abdul Aziz said any campaigning which was held before nomination would be subject to the laws enforced by the police and the local authorities.
The EC would have no responsibility in the matter until after nomination, he added.
Asked whether anyone had collected the nomination forms, Abdul Aziz said that as of yesterday no one had bought the forms.
Sulaiman had retained the seat in the 2008 general election with a 2,492-vote majority, beating Mohd Saim Siran of PAS. (Bernama)