Lawyer Azhar Azizan@Harun or better known as Art Harun is the new chairman of the Election Commission (EC).
The 56-year-old Kedahan takes over from Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah whose term of service ended on July 1.
In May, Hashim came under fire over his handling of the 14th general election for alleged misconduct, including unfair redelineation of constituency boundaries, holding the polls on a Wednesday, and withholding election results.
Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Bakar said today the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, had consented to the appointment in line with Article 3 (114) of the Federal Constitution.
Azhar, who has a big online following, holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Malaya and a Master of Laws from King’s College, University of London.
He is an advocate and solicitor with Messrs Azhar & Goh and has expertise in electoral laws.
“Azhar launched his career in law in 1987 at Allen & Gledhill. From 1992, he served as a lawyer at Messrs KH Koh, Azhar & Koh,” Ismail said.
He added that Azhar had also served at several leading legal firms, including Messrs Khaw & Hussein; Messrs TH Su & Partners; Messrs Lamin & Co; Messrs Hisham Sobri & Kadir; Messrs Shafee & Co and Messrs Cheang & Ariff.
“With his qualifications and experience, I believe he will be able to carry out his duty, obligations and responsibilities as EC chairman in line with the requirements of the Federal Constitution,” Ismail said.
It was reported that Azhar said he was honoured to be entrusted with the position and viewed it as a responsibility that he had to perform according to the law and the oath he would be taking.
“That trust has to be performed well.
“Of course, there will be challenges, but I look forward to performing the trust the best I can. I will give my best,” he said.
Azhar also said there were some things he would like to achieve with the commission, but it was too early to go into details at the moment.