More transparent method should be used in appointing commissioners, says acting EC chairman Azmi Sharom

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

PETALING JAYA, May 25 — There should be a more transparent method with how the Election Commission (EC) chairman is appointed, acting EC chairman Azmi Sharom has said.

“From what we can see, the system is very much behind closed doors, I’m just proposing, and a lot of people are also making the same suggestions.

“There has to be a slightly more transparent method within which we choose our commissioners, not just the EC’s,” Azmi told reporters when met after the G25's book launch and forum on Institutional Reforms and the Federal Constitution for a better Malaysia.

He was responding to questions by reporters on how there are calls by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to revamp the appointment of the EC chairman.

Azmi however clarifies that he is speaking in a personal capacity.

On May 12, in a joint statement by 56 NGOs, they called for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to ensure that the appointment of the EC chairman would not be done similarly to how two election commissioners were appointed — Datuk Sapdin Ibrahim and Datuk Lee Bee Phang — under the current government.

“There’s been a suggestion that we (do it) via the parliament, (or) select committees.

“For this to be done seriously, we need a government which is serious in wanting to see these changes.

“Please be clear that these are suggestions that are being made, it’s not something that is going to happen, it’s not something that we in the EC have the power to change, it’s something which has to happen by the government.

“But yes, we need to look at it, as you know, democracy is something that needs to be as transparent as possible,” Azmi said.

Under the Federal Constitution, the EC chairman, Deputy Chairman, and five commissioners are appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after the consultation with Conference of Rulers.