KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 — New Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah said he will engage with citizens groups such as poll reforms group Bersih 2.0 to gauge public perception of his agency.
Mohd Hashim said such efforts were also necessary to obtain feedback on the reforms needed for Malaysia’s election process.
“We will be visiting all NGOs including Bersih. We need to see the perception people have toward us,” he told reporters in his first ever press conference at the EC headquarters today.
Mohd Hashim today pre-empted the repeat of demands that will likely come by saying these need to be consistent with the Federal Constitution and Elections Act.
Mohd Hisham, who became EC chairman effective last Sunday, urged critics like Bersih to allow the EC to “do our jobs” and insisted the commission has maintained a clean track record despite multiple allegations.
The former EC deputy chairman insisted his agency has not committed major flaws and maintained that it was not biased towards any particular party, adding that the ruling Barisan Nasional would not have lost Selangor and Penang if the EC was unfair.
Bersih 2.0 has repeatedly accused the EC of favouring the ruling BN and ignoring its demands for electoral reform.
Mohd Hashim took over from Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof whose term of office expired upon his attaining the age of 66 in accordance with Clause 3 Article 114 of the Federal Constitution.
He last held the post of secretary-general of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry.
Mohd Hashim retired from the civil service on Aug 31, 2014, and was appointed the EC deputy chairman on Sept 5 of the same year.
He said the Sarawak polls will be the first challenge he will face as the new EC chairman and hoped it would run smoothly through the strength of the EC officials and existing sources of reference.