PUTRAJAYA: Allegations and the perception that the Election Commission (EC) cheats during general elections are baseless and wrong, and are an insult to the people on duty who had been selected from among the public and agents of the political parties themselves.
EC chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah said all matters connected to general elections were not conducted by the EC alone but with the cooperation of the people of Malaysia.
He said, for the 14th general election, the EC had appointed more than 250,000 part-time staff comprising members of the public, besides the more than 200,000 agents of the candidates or political parties, as observers.
“So, if anyone accuses the EC of cheating during the general election, this actually means that they are accusing the people of Malaysians and those from the political parties because these are the ones who are at the frontline during the election, during the process of voting, counting votes and tallying of votes,” he said in a statement here yesterday.
Commenting further, he said the EC only had about 75 staff throughout the country who were mostly based in the headquarters here or state election offices to manage administrative and operations matters.
Mohd Hashim also said the EC’s permanent staff were also occupied with providing training and guidance to election officers and others on duty so that they performed their tasks with integrity, observing all the rules and laws.
He said the EC had appointed returning officers and assistant returning officers for GE14.
He added that it was also the responsibility of these officers to appoint support staff to help them manage the election process
Mohd Hashim said most of those appointed as election staff comprised civil servants, private sector employees, members of the local community, private individuals and university students with political experience and background.
“However, as election personnel, they have to be non-partisan even if they support a candidate or political party,” he said. — Bernama