Election Commission chairman doesn’t see facts!


It is incredulous that Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof is totally blind to facts. But that seems to be his speciality.

Crowd jostle for cheap essential food stuff being sold at a BN carnival in Sungai Limau, yesterday. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Zulkifli Sulong, 4 November 2013.
A crowd jostles for cheap essential foodstuff being sold at a BN carnival in Sungai Limau on 3 November 2013 – The Malaysian Insider pic by Zulkifli Sulong

He is unable to see the various election abuses and offences blatantly committed by the Barisan Nasional in their true perspective. He seems to be an expert in explaining away these abuses as non-electoral offences.

His recent comment following the Sungai Limau by-election – that there was no element of bribery in the sale of rice and sugar at greatly discounted prices by the BN – is mind-boggling.

A 1kg packet of sugar was sold for RM1; and a packet of 5kg rice normally selling at RM18-20 was sold at RM5. A huge surge of people snapped up these offers.

The point to take note of is that this generosity was not displayed in Sungai Limau before the by-election; nor were the discounted prices made available in other parts of Kedah. These reduced prices were confined to Sungai Limau and offered on the eve of the by-election.

But according to Abdul Aziz, “What I know is, the act is not an offence. I was not informed of this. If it was sold to the public, it shouldn’t be a problem but what is not allowed is if they had called voters to buy the items at a cheap price and then insisted that they vote for a certain candidate.”

READ MORE:  Voters seek another judicial review of Electoral Commission's refusal to hold local inquiries

There is no need for the voters to be told to “vote for a certain candidate”. It was obvious that the offer came from the BN and the intention was very clear. No one could miss the point as to why this was made available on the eve of the by-election. There was no need to say the obvious. The implication was crystal clear.

Yet, Abdul Aziz contends, “There are no election laws regarding this…” Indeed there are no restricting laws to prevent offers at rock bottom prices. The question is, why at this point in time? And why, only in Sungai Limau?

Aren’t there laws about bribery during elections? Doesn’t it say that it is not permitted to offer inducements to influence voters?

Ask the person in the street, ask the person who has not gone to university, ask any simple person and they will tell you that it was nothing but blatant bribery! It is a wonder how this simple truth did not dawn upon Abdul Aziz!

The voters of Sungai Limau must be congratulated because they refused to be swayed by the last-minute inducement to vote for the BN. They realised that the BN was not addressing their need but was only feeding the greed of the people. And that did not work!

Hopefully, this will be the fate of the BN in future by-elections. The people will accept what is given to them but they will vote according to their conscience.

P Ramakrishnan
Executive committee member
7 November 2013

(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)
Thanks for dropping by! You are one of an increasing number of readers looking up Aliran for independent analyses and views. We work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to continue the struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. So would you consider making a donation to keep us going - or why not become an Aliran member or subscribe to our FREE newsletters.
P Ramakrishnan
P Ramakrishan, the long-serving former president of Aliran who served three and a half decades on our executive committee, has been with Aliran since its inception in 1977. Now an ordinary Aliran member, he continues to highlight issues of public interest to a larger audience.


  1. Are you very sure that everyone of those ‘caught’ by your spies jostling for the cheap essentials were registered bona fide:
    1. N20 SG. LIMAU registered voters who voted on the pooling day, or
    2. Neutral registered voters who will vote for the party that ‘bribed’ them with the discounts, or
    3. They were really outsiders camping in Sg. Limau getting their hands on cheaper essential provisions?
    Casting doubts on people’s mind is easy, proving it is another kettle of fish altogether, right?

    • What matters is not whether the recipients were registered voters but whether the intention behind the offer of reduced prices was to induce the local residents to vote in a certain way, don’t you think?

  2. We should call a spade a spade. It is not as if the Election Commission chairman is so dumb that he cannot see that this is clearly bribery, but that it is much more likely that it is because he has a motive to pretend that this is not bribery.

  3. This is why the EC is known to be a lackey of Umno ! They are nominated by Umno, take instructions from them and most of all to ensure they that Umno’s survival in Putrajaya is not only vital but at any cost including gerrymandering as proven in the recently concluded GE !


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here