The latest nonsensical suggestion from him was to ban posters, banners and bunting during the election campaign.
With the opposition being deprived of the fair and equal access to the media, there would be nothing left to enable the opposition to disseminate their messages to the voters and to run a proper election campaign if Rashid’s suggestion were to be accepted.
Rashid should, instead, strive to look into the various weaknesses in the present unfair laws, regulation and practices in the registration of voters, the scrutiny of the electoral rolls, procedures and conduct of elections, and all unfair practices as complained by the opposition. The havoc on the polling day in the last general election which resulted in the unprecedented extension of polling hour in Selangor still remains the most telling example of the incompetence of the Election Commission for which priority must be given by Rashid.
In the past, Rashid had made several statements most unbecoming of him as the chairman of the election commission including that the opposition should strengthen their own organization and not to blame the election commission for its failure to win election when the opposition lodged the complaints on unfair election regulations and procedures.
He was reported in the New Straits Times to have said yesterday that,
“a survey by a non-governmental organisation and a political party showed that RM110 million was spent on posters in the last general election. In the December Pengkalan Pasir by-election, …..the cost of posters was RM3.5 million and these were printed in Thailand.……. the money could have been spent on projects that could benefit the people. …… the posters had led to friction and fights between party workers. They also became an eyesore because not all of them were removed after elections.”
Rashid must have also forgotten that every candidate had been made to pay a deposit of RM3,000.00 each to the local authority and if the candidate failed to clean up the poster within 2 weeks after the polling day, the deposit would be forfeited. Thus, if the candidate failed to clean up, the local government had been paid do the job. What was the problem that the election had that it had to complain?
Rashid must be quite naïve when he said that the money saved from posters could be spent on projects that benefited the people. Did he really believe that the ruling party would spend their own money to help in the government projects? Rashid could not even differentiate between political parties and government! No wonder all his funny ideas and proposals for the electoral reform.
His most disgusting statement was that,
"Malaysia is supposed to be civilized and it is high time we act like a civilized country."
Mind your language, Rashid.
Picture by courtesy of Malaysiakini