Malaysia

EC No 2 denies he is Umno member

Wan Ahmad said today he has “not been in Umno since joining the EC on May 1, 1998.” — file picWan Ahmad said today he has “not been in Umno since joining the EC on May 1, 1998.” — file picKUALA LUMPUR, May 2 — Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar today denied allegations that he is an Umno member, calling the accusation “lies” aimed at tarnishing the credibility of the polls body.

“This is a political motive aimed at tarnishing the credibility of the EC as an independent and separate entity.

“He (Datuk Saifuddin Nasution) must be held accountable for his lies and should publicly apologise for his statements,” Wan Ahmad was quoted by Bernama as saying.

“I have not been in Umno since joining the EC on May 1, 1998,” he stressed.

This contradicts Wan Ahmad’s statement to Sinar Harian last week, where he admitted to being an Umno member but claimed he could not remember which branch he was registered with.

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin claimed last week that the EC deputy chief is a member of the Kubang Bunggor Umno branch in Pasir Mas, Kelantan and that his membership number is 2374564.

Wan Ahmad, however, denied this, and said that Saifuddin was actually referring to an Umno member with a similar name.

“I am not Kelantanese and have never lived in Pasir Mas or elsewhere in the state,” he said, adding that he was from Terengganu and the MyKad number in the allegation did not match his.

The EC was heavily criticised in the lead-up to Bersih’s rally for free and fair elections on July 9 last year in which tens of thousands flooded the streets of the capital in chaotic scenes that saw over 1,500 arrested, scores injured and the death of an ex-soldier.

Widespread condemnation of the Najib administration’s clampdown saw Putrajaya make major concessions including the formation of a bipartisan Parliamentary Select Committee to look into improving the electoral system.

During the committee’s six-month tenure, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) accused the EC of not being committed to reforms and eventually rejected the panel’s findings, which then led to last Saturday’s Bersih 3.0 rally.

The coalition of 84 civil societies said last month that the findings of the select committee were disappointing and did not meet its demands for electoral reform.

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