by Kuek Ser Kuang Keng@http://www.malaysiakini.com
Election Commission (EC) deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar today faced a hostile crowd in a debate with Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan.
He was booed a number of times, forcing him to plead with the audience to give him a hearing in the event organised by Kumpulan Karangkraf, a media organisation which publishes Malay language daily Sinar Harian and a score of popular magazines.
Wan Ahmad (left) also insisted that the EC is just a “management body” which does not have the enforcement powers to tackle the abuses raised by various quarters relating to the electoral system and processes.
He then kicked the ball to the Attorney-General’s Chambers regarding amendments to the election laws, stressing that it is a natural advantage for the ruling government to decide on the laws to be passed and amended, and the EC has no say in this aspect.
“Anybody who wants to push reform which touches on the fundamental policy of the government must approach the right person.”
The moderator, Wan Saiful Wan Jan from think-tank Ideas, then asked whether Wan Ahmad is suggesting that the problem lies with the government and not the EC, followed by a round of cheering and applause from the audience.
Not answering the question specifically, Wan Ahmad replied that the current government, elected by a majority of the people, certainly have a stronger say in law amendment.
“If you are elected, you will do the same thing,” he answered to another round of boos. “To push for reform, we need to work together, don’t treat the EC as an enemy.”
‘Don’t treat the EC as an enemy’
In response, Ambiga (right) rebutted that it was the EC that had adopted a hostile stand against the electoral reform coalition.
“I think you treat us as an enemy… It is wrong to say that ‘we won’t talk to you because the opposition is with you’… You sound like the government,” she said to the applause of the crowd.
She also lambasted the EC, which she claimed has been given a certain degree of enforcement power under the federal constitution, for not taking pro-active action in changing the laws.
For full story Here http://dinmerican.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/30174/