Millions of ringgit spent on the inefficiency of an Elections Commission that had not considered all aspects of using indelible ink. With so much at stake, why didn't the EC chairman think about fraud in the first place? Did he ever think that people would not try to take advantage of the use of indelible ink? Did it ever come into his radar screen?
The newspapers reported that the ink had been smuggled into the country - no mention of whom - and the intent was to sabotage voters from the rural and remote areas of Kelantan, Perlis and Perak by tricking the villagers into believing that their fingernails had to be marked before they can go to vote. This would immediately disqualify them from voting because it is only at the polling station that the ink was to be applied to the nails.
With so much always at stake during elections, the commission seemed interested only in how to implement the use of the ink. I suppose the only big decision the EC made was to determine whether the ink was haram or halal.
But as I continued to read from the newspapers, I'm starting to wonder. Was the scrapping of the use of the ink due to a claim of sabotage or ultimately the inefficiency of the EC itself? Are they now trying to cover up the mess (that is, the inefficiency) by hiding behind the constitution? Here's an excerpt from The Star newspaper of 5 Mar 2008:
When asked whether a proper study was done before introducing the ink, Abdul Rashid said a study was done on how it was used in other countries.And now the bugger says that Article 119 of the Federal Constitution guaranteed the right of a registered elector to vote and laws providing otherwise should be ultra vires the Constitution. The EC now seems to realise - afraid, even - that the use of the ink to prevent voters from exercising their rights, either rightly or wrongly, would open the commission to law suits.
“In the beginning, we thought it was just an ordinary process that we could just introduce but then we realised, after getting all the necessary advice from the legal experts, that we would have to take a look at the (Federal) Constitution,” he said.
So, the only quick solution is to backtrack from the previous decision and what better excuse is there than to say that there'll be sabotage if the ink is used. I think there should be a commission to investigate the EC's inefficiency. Heads should roll for the wastage of my money as a tax payer and it should start with the EC's chairman. After all, the buck stops with him.