Tribunal on ex-members out of my jurisdiction, says EC chairman

Election Commission chairman Azhar Harun (second left) at the ballot box inspection centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Tanah Rata. (Bernama pic)

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: Election Commission (EC) chairman Azhar Harun today declined to comment on Attorney-General (AG) Tommy Thomas’ move to set up a tribunal to inquire into alleged misconduct by former EC members.

“That (tribunal) is beyond my jurisdiction,” he told reporters at the ballot box inspection centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Sultan Ahmad Shah here.

“Since the AG has advised conducting the tribunal, I will leave it to his office to oversee the matter. I don’t want to comment on that.”

Thomas announced yesterday that the tribunal, comprising five retired Federal Court judges, would assemble in the Klang courthouse on Monday to deliberate on the matter.

This sparked comments from some including lawyer R Kengadharan who questioned the necessity for a tribunal since the members in question had resigned from office.

Kengadharan said the Federal Constitution allows for a tribunal only if those hauled up still hold their positions.

He also questioned the tribunal’s consistency with the spirit of the constitution, saying it would be a waste of public funds as the proceedings could be subject to legal challenge.

Speaking today, Azhar also called for an end to disputes over the early closure of polling centres.

“Before this, polling centres closed at the same time (2pm and 1pm) but voter turnout still touched 83% and 85%.

“So I don’t see this being an issue this by-election,” he said.

A total of 31,639 registered voters are expected to cast their votes at 86 polling centres in the Tanah Rata and Jelai state constituencies tomorrow.