TUMPAT (Bernama) – The communication and multimedia ministry still maintains a proposal for live telecasts of the vote counting process at by-elections and has urged the Election Commission (EC) to review its stand.
Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said he had made the suggestion of a live telecast, via Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM), for the Kuala Besut state by-election last year, but was turned down by the EC.
He said the proposal was still on, to enable Malaysians to witness the full process of elections which were transparently and fairly carried out.
“I have made the proposal previously, and I am hoping that one day, the EC will change its stand and it will be implemented,” he said after a gathering with workers at the Geting district voting centre in Pengkalan Kubor yesterday.
The Pengkalan Kubor state by-election will see a three-cornered contest involving Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Mat Razi Mat Ail, PAS candidate Wan Rosdi Wan Ibrahim and independent Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary on Thursday.
Ahmad Shabery said the EC should be receptive to the proposal to allay allegations by certain quarters that the commission was not transparent.
“Actually, it is an opportunity which the EC should take because we can still remember the lies of the opposition during the last general election.
“They mustered the people to the main roads via ‘Black 505’, claiming there was fraud, via thousands of Bangladesi national phantom voters.
“They also claimed that there was a blackout during the vote counting process. We want to show transparency in all these processes to the public,” he added.
However, Ahmad Shabery said the EC, as an independent body, had the right to reject the request.
“It is different with the live telecast of the proceedings in Parliament, they allow government television to conduct a live telecast, so it is not a problem on our part,” he noted.
Prior to this, the EC, via its chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof rejected the ministry’s proposal on the excuse it involved the secrecy of the voting.