The debate between EC and Bersih was nothing like a debate: the EC started off on a wrong footing and got booed till the end! The EC spokeperson Wan Ahmad claim to be an election manager with all changes in laws and regulations to be approved by the politicians. In that case the politicians behind the EC should perhaps be the debaters instead! In anycase their reading of the laws is flawed-due partly to their lack of training and background in election administration. They need to be told by the Bersih chair Ambiga that the EC is the only body mentioned in the Constitution to administer elections where they are empowered to obtain assistance from all other government departments! Further their appointment is as secured as high court judges-so they should have no fear of pushing free and fair elections. When challenged repeatedly to disclose the amendments proposed by the EC to the ruling party the EC spokeperson choose to remain silent. When the EC spikeperson was booed repeatedly he sought refuge in the `rural voters’ who still respect EC. Wonder why they choose to seek respect only from BN’s remaining strongholds?
The lack of qualification from the EC spokeperson speak for itself when he cannot understand the EC ‘s actual role and power. Instead of retiring civil servants who lack training in election administration the EC are headed by top judges, law academics and respected civil society leaders in Malaysia’s regional neighbours!
When asked by the audience why EC does not change its name to Election Management department EC answered that they were constrained by the Constitution from doing it-but the Singapore counterpart has indeed been named as a government department! Since the EC is in fact a manager -who is the real Election Commission of Malaysia? Can the real EC please stand up so the citizens can dialogue with you?
After the 3 speakers (3rd being Prof Shamsul Amri) spoke for only 5 min the Q&A session was open to the floor. Very lively exchanges ensued where the EC spokeperson was booed repeatedly when his speech reek of apologising for the ruling party.
In the middle of it 2 speakers were allowed to add their points: a UMNO assistant minister try to be diplomatic to say a few smoothing words to avoid the booing that EC received. He succeeded quited well. Another speaker is academic Wong Chin Huat who try to cover delineation within the unmanageable 5min.
Around 5.00pm the moderator Wan saiful from IDEA disclosed that the conclusion by the panel of speakers will not be done because there are someones higher than the Karang Kraft media boss-the host of the debate, who want the debate to close earlier than planned. The debate attracted some 1000 participants who blocked the entire floor of the building in Section 15 of Shah Alam. Several police trucks and scores of uniform police were around for dubious purpose.