Art Harun Ready to Quit as EC Chairman if Public Unhappy

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Election Commission (EC) chairman Azhar Azizan Harun has declared that he is prepared to step down if the public is unhappy with his performance.

Azhar made the comment on Twitter on Friday (Jan 24), just a day before the Cameron Highlands by-election goes to the polls.

“I will let the 30 million Malaysians judge me and the EC.

“And if the majority are not happy with me or the EC, please tell the (respective) MPs to vote against me in Parliament.

Azneal Ishak

“I will resign without condition if there is such a vote. That is my solemn promise,” he tweeted.

Azhar, better known as Art Harun, has come under fire over the EC’s decision to close several polling stations earlier than others.

The opposition has questioned if the move was aimed at polling stations in Barisan Nasional strongholds.

Azhar explained that similar to previous general elections, the polling stations in remote areas are closed for logistical and safety reasons.

“These places are far away from the tallying centre. This was never an issue prior to this election. In fact, voter turnout in GE14 in these places was 80-85 per cent despite early closure.

“No party had complained before, this should not be an issue now. Had this been raised before I would surely look at the issue and try to come out with a solution. But it was never an issue,” he added.

Azhar said for this by-election, the EC has increased the number of voting streams in these places so that more voters could cast their ballots at the same time.

“They do not have to wait long as compared to GE14. In fact, in one of these places we are closing 30 minutes later than during GE14,” he said.

Azhar was also criticised for alleged inaction over claims of Pakatan Harapan’s wrongdoings in the campaign for the Cameron Highlands by-election.