Sunday, July 14, 2013

Kuala Besut by-election Live telecast vote counting not necessary, Shabery sad but respects

Communication and Multmedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the ministry would discuss with the EC soon to allow RTM to broadcast the counting of votes in the Kuala Besut by-election, to enable the public to see that the election was carried out in a fair and transparent manner. 

However, the EC is flexing its legal muscles to decide that live broadcasting of vote counting by RTM in the Kuala Besut state seat by-election on July 24 is not necessary.

This was because during the vote counting, the election agents of the contesting parties would be present in the vote counting room, said its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said.

"The EC is an independent body and if RTM wants to record the vote counting process and the EC allows this, it cannot reject the applications from others, if there are.

"The EC has decided that any recording of the vote counting process should be managed by the EC itself and not by other parties.

"For the Kuala Besut by-election, the EC has also discussed and decided that there is no need for TV recording of the vote counting. We will discuss (for future by-elections)," he added at a press conference today.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek says he is “saddened but respects” the EC not to allow the state broadcaster RTM to air the Kuala Besut by-election’s ballot counting process. 

“We have discussed and I have stated my stance that the people needs to see the process ‘live’ because many do not understand (the process), but the EC has its own considerations.

“Since the EC is an independent body, I can’t order them, however, other state media organizations would continue to do the coverage for other aspects of the by-election, including the latest official result of the votes,” said Ahmad Shabery.

The question remains: Is the reform of the nation’s EC needs time?

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