'Advertise EC chairman vacancy'

Mohd Anwar Patho Rohman

KUALA LUMPUR: A suggestion has been put forth to advertise for applicants for the post of Election Commission (EC) chairman, should the post become vacant. Member of the Committee on Institutional Reforms Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi in making the suggestion said that a Parliamentary committee can interview those who applied for the job to evaluate their capabilities. "This is a practical suggestion because anyone who thinks they are qualified, can apply," he said. "This is more transparent and free. The Parliamentary committee will appoint the EC chairman after vetting and evaluating interested candidates who apply when there is a vacancy. "This is one of the ideas that should be implemented if we want to see reforms in major institutions in the country, such as the EC," he told the NSTP today.

Member of the Committee on Institutional Reforms Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi. Pic by SALHANI IBRAHIM

The tenure of current EC chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah has been shortened, effective July 1, which means the guessing game has now begun on who will replace him. The Pakatan Harapan (PH) manifesto stated that appointments for important positions such as the Attorney-General, Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner, chief of the Armed Forces and EC chairman will be made by a Parliamentary committee. Shad Saleem said the question of who will replace Hashim does not arise, but more importantly, the individual selected must be evaluated by a Parliamentary Committee, citing an example of the United States where a committee in the Congress will evaluate persons named by the President to see if they are qualified to head any institutions. Meanwhile, EC head of corporate communications Mohd Sabri Abdullah said the appointment of an EC chairman must be consented by the Rulers' Council after the Prime Minister suggests a name. "However in the PH manifesto, the EC chairman will be appointed by a Parliamentary Committee. In our previous practise, the chairman must not necessarily be from within the EC but a high-ranking former government officer," he said, pointing out that former EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof was formerly a retired officer from the Home Ministry.

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