An indelible blot in Malaysian politics and democracy


Is this that part of the year when the intelligence of ordinary Malaysians is yet again being ridiculed by the powers-that-be?


It is already bad enough that the plan to make use of the RM2.7 million worth of indelible ink from India was scuttled at the eleventh hour prior to the recent general election of Malaysia because, according to the Election Commission (EC), similar ink type had been smuggled into the country from Thailand and, therefore, could cause problems to ‘national security’. This is apart from ‘legal reasons’ given by the EC for the halt on the ink use. 


Then, recently, we’re told that there was actually no evidence of the indelible ink being smuggled into the country, which certainly raised concerns and questions in the minds of the Malaysian people.


As if this conundrum isn’t enough, we now get conflicting accounts of why the indelible ink plan was abandoned. The EC claimed that the Cabinet of the caretaker government directed it to halt the ink plan. In response, the Abdullah administration argued that it didn’t instruct the EC to scrap the plan, but only offered ‘an opinion and not instruction’.


In any case, one of the nagging questions that still sticks out like a sore thumb: isn’t the EC empowered by law to be independent enough to make important decisions on its own, such as this one that involved the use of indelible ink?


Another, does this episode only serve to reinforce the suspicion that the EC often works for the vested interests of the ruling party?


And, does the EC make decisions purely on rumours?




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