GEORGE TOWN (May 28, 2008): By Opalyn Mok
The Election Commission's talk about snap election appears to be a plan hatched by certain quarters to prevent any change of government by defections or crossovers, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
"That's why I think it is important that this is not used as a device because there's some talk that to prevent people from jumping over, they are using the threat of snap election to stop them from doing so," he said in a press conference after announcing a RM115.2 million investment by Honeywell Aerospace here.
"Is this a device? It looks like it to me. They are saying, if you jump over, we can have snap election and you will get defeated," he said.
"Is that the real message they are trying to send out?"
Lim also asked EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman to reveal the identity of the party who had told him that there was going to be a snap election.
"Has he been getting indications from the Cabinet or the prime minister?" he asked.
Lim said it is the government of the day which has the power to call for a snap election and not the EC.
"The EC only conducts elections. When the term is up, it has the power to decide but when the term is not up, it has no power to decide.
"So who told the EC that there is going to be snap election? Does this show that EC is no longer independent. If that is so, we will go back to the same problem that elections are unfair, not free and not impartial," he said.
He called on the EC to explain why they are suddenly talking about snap election.
As for whether the state government is ready if a snap election is called, Lim said the federal government can call for a snap election but the state government has a choice of whether to have the snap election or not.
Lim was commenting on a statement by Abdul Rashid that EC has told its officers to be prepared for snap polls recently.
On the EC's proposal to re-register voters to clean up the electoral rolls, Lim was sceptical that the rolls could be 'cleaned up'.
"Whatever you do, if the organisation is not clean, it does not make any difference," he said.
He said it is more important to reform the EC.