A par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee can vet can­di­dates, says re­forms com­mit­tee mem­ber


ASUGGESTION has been put forth to ad­ver­tise for ap­pli­cants for the post of Elec­tion Com­mis­sion (EC) chair­man should the post be­come va­cant.

Com­mit­tee on In­sti­tu­tional Re­forms mem­ber Emer­i­tus Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, in mak­ing the sug­ges­tion, said a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee could in­ter­view those who ap­plied for the job to eval­u­ate their ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

“This is a prac­ti­cal sug­ges­tion be­cause any­one who thinks he is qual­i­fied can ap­ply,” he said.

“This is more trans­par­ent and free. The par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee will ap­point the EC chair­man af­ter vet­ting and eval­u­at­ing can­di­dates who ap­ply when there is a va­cancy.

“This is one of the ideas that can be im­ple­mented if we want to see re­forms in ma­jor in­sti­tu­tions, such as EC,” he told the New Straits Times Press yes­ter­day.

The ten­ure of EC chair­man Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Ab­dul­lah has been short­ened to July 1.

The guess­ing game has be­gun on who will re­place him.

Pakatan Hara­pan (PH)’s man­i­festo stated that ap­point­ments to im­por­tant po­si­tions, such as the at­tor­ney-gen­eral, in­spec­tor­gen­eral of po­lice, Malaysian An­ti­Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion chief com­mis­sioner, armed forces chief and EC chair­man, would be made by a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee.

Shad Saleem said the ques­tion of who would re­place Hashim did not arise, but, more im­por­tantly, the in­di­vid­ual se­lected must be vet­ted by a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee.

He cited the United States, where a con­gres­sional com­mit­tee eval­u­ated per­sons named by the pres­i­dent to see if they were qual­i­fied to head an in­sti­tu­tion.

EC head of cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions Mohd Sabri Ab­dul­lah said the ap­point­ment of the EC chair­man must ob­tain the con­sent of the Con­fer­ence of Rulers af­ter the prime min­is­ter had sug­gested a name.

“How­ever, ac­cord­ing to the PH man­i­festo, the EC chair­man will be ap­pointed by a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee.

“In the pre­vi­ous prac­tice, the chair­man may not nec­es­sar­ily be from EC but a high-rank­ing for­mer gov­ern­ment of­fi­cer,” he said, point­ing out that for­mer EC chair­man Tan Sri Ab­dul Aziz Mohd Yu­sof was a re­tired of­fi­cer from the Home Min­istry.

Emer­i­tus Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi

Mohd Sabri Ab­dul­lah

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