Posts Tagged ‘Indelible Ink


Indelible ink: Zaidi sacked, EC gets off scot-free

Bersih: Zaidi sacked, EC gets off scot-free

While serviceman Major Zaidi Ahmad was sacked today after telling the press the indelible ink used by the Election Commission rubbed off, no action was taken on the EC over the ink, electoral watchdog group Bersih said.

The military court today dismissed the Air Force pilot of 26 years from service after he was found guilty of making a press statement without approval from the Armed Forces Council.

“Despite his valiant efforts, no action has been taken on the EC till this very day, and no one from the EC has ever had to account for this sham.

“Nothing has ever come from the hundreds of police report lodged against the EC over this except for this particular one, which resulted in punishment for the whistleblower instead of the wrongdoer,” it said in a statement.

It said that the faulty ink was “the biggest scandal among the irregularities that marred the 13th general election”.

“For that, he has paid a heavy price, while Malaysia, too, has lost a fine soldier today.”

The fact that the military court did not wait for the judicial review challenging the court’s authority on the matter is also unfair, it said.

Zaidi does not want to appeal the decision, but Bersih said the judicial review could bring some measure of justice for the pilot.

Jan 12, 2015 – Malaysiakini
Bersih: Zaidi sacked, EC gets off scot-free


RMAF pilot’s court martial charges over indelible ink likely to be challenged in High Court

A legal team assembled to represent a Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) pilot in a military court charged with providing statements to the media regarding the indelible ink is mulling challenging the charges in a civil court.

PAS lawyer Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, who is leading the team, said he was considering filing a judicial review in the High Court as the charges framed against Major Zaidi Ahmad (pic) had violated his constitutional right.

“He is entitled to lodge a police report when a wrong has been done and framing charges against him runs contrary to Zaidi’s freedom of speech and expression,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Hanipa, who is also Sepang MP, said Zaidi was also being harassed.

“He should not be penalised. The Armed Forces Council has the option to withdraw the charges and bring the matter to an end.”

He said even the Election Commission had conceded that there was a fiasco over the use of the indelible ink in last year’s general election.

Hanipa said Zaidi’s case did not come under the purview of the attorney general, who was also a public prosecutor.

“Usually we will write to the AG to drop the charges or file an application in court to strike out the charges. Since Zaidi is court martialled, we can only resort to a judicial review,” he said.

Hanipa said he had spoken to the council authorities to drop the charges but there had not been any indication of a positive outcome.

“We are running out of time as the military court will begin the three-day proceeding next Tuesday,” he said.

RMAF pilot’s court martial charges over indelible ink likely to be challenged in High Court
April 04, 2014 – TMI


Why go after RMAF pilot and let big sharks get away

Why go after RMAF pilot and let big sharks get away, asks DAP

DAP leader Lim Kit Siang (pic) today questioned Putrajaya’s move to charge air force pilot Major Zaidi Ahmad for complaining about GE13’s indelible ink when it let “big sharks of corruption, who steal hundreds of millions of ringgit worth of properties and wealth, act with impunity as they enjoyed immunity”.

He said the government should be ashamed for behaving in “a mean and petty manner” against the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) pilot who had lodged a police report against the indelible ink used in the May 5 general election.

“Why is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration so perverse that they prefer to charge Zaidi using a 40-year-old military law?” the Gelang Patah MP said in a statement today.

“Zaidi did what every Malaysian is expected to do, he spoke the truth about the indelible ink which was used in the last general election as it was quickly washable and removable.”

“The use of the Armed Forces Act 1972 on Zaidi shows that military leaders have no standing and took their cue from political leaders,” Lim said.

He also urged Najib and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to intervene and drop all charges against Zaidi, who faces two years in jail if found guilty.

“If Zaidi is sent to prison, both Najib and Hishammuddin should be ashamed and embarrassed in the eyes of the world. But they appear to be numb and insensitive,” he said.

Lim said when Zaidi lodged a police report over the indelible ink fiasco, he was acting in his capacity as a Malaysian voter and citizen.

“He was not lodging a police report in his capacity as a RMAF pilot,” Lim said.

“Which has the higher calling, loyalty to the Federal Constitution or to the bureaucratic rules and regulations of the military services?”

He added that if Putrajaya was not prepared to drop all charges against Zaidi, then he would raise the issue when Parliament reconvenes on March 10.

Zaidi lodged a police report after the indelible ink on his finger washed off only hours after voting in the 13th general election in May last year.

Why go after RMAF pilot and let big sharks get away, asks DAP
February 15, 2014 – TMI


This is indelible ink?

COMMENT Finally, the formula is out! Ladies and gentlemen, the ‘indelible’ ink is made of: Silver nitrate 1%, organic colour 60%, moisturiser 29% and solvent 10%.

This, as declared by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim (left), makes a perfect 100% indelible ink fiasco that rocked the nation and mocked our country’s electoral process.

It has made me wonder why the Election Commission (EC) as a constitutional panel set up to safeguard the electoral process from being manipulated by either party, has not been that forthcoming with the truth or willing to use the right tool correctly to tighten the loopholes within the system.

Now, with the ink formula being told in parliament, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel.

Firstly, the minister should be censured for misleading the Dewan Rakyat by earlier stating that the ink did not have chemicals and only contained food colouring.

Minister Shahidan, please do not also make a mockery out of our august House by stating what is apparently untrue. Even a young teenager will be able to tell you that silver nitrate and moisturisers are chemicals; or else, would you also categorise them as food “colouring” that can be consumed?

But at least you score a point by telling the world the composition of the “indelible” ink. So, to be fair, now we know that in the indelible NONEink, there is one percent silver nitrate after all! I give the Election Commission chairperson Abdul Aziz Yusof (left in photo) a one-point score for stating the ink should not be more than 1% silver nitrate, but excuse me, I have to minus two points from his deputy, Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, for insisting that the ink had at least 4% silver nitrate.

Do not think that the rakyat are all stupid. We are in fact very disgusted with the way that ministers and the EC duo contradict each other, hoping that the public would buy their stories. There are no reasons why they should be playing the hide-and-seek, especially since the EC no longer enjoys public confidence after the indelible ink fiasco. If they have any sense of dignity left, they should immediately resign.

After over a thousand police reports being lodged after GE13, the issue is still being taken lightly? Why?

Silver nitrate!

According to public knowledge, industry standard for electoral inks contain anything between 10 to 18% silver nitrate solution, depending on the length of time the mark is required to be visible.

A one percent silver nitrate is as good as the 2% aqueous silver nitrate solution used for the treatment of Ophthalmia neonatorum (ON), or neonatal conjunctivitis. In other words, if a 2% silver nitrate solution cannot cause a stain on the eyes of newly-born babies, do not expect a 1% silver nitrate to do the magic that we all know about in the genuine indelible ink.

Hardly anything carcinogenic

There is, in fact, no basis for the ink manufacturer to reduce the silver nitrate to 1 percent, especially since there is hardly anything carcinogenic about silver nitrate.

Bingo! This is indelible ink
Stephen Ng
Jul 18, 2013 – Malaysiakini


Here’s an indelible record of that election ink

Nowhere in the world has there been so much controversy about ink. What did it contain? How much silver nitrate? Why did it come off so easily? Who supplied it?

These and other questions were raised as early as 2011, two years before the general election on May 5.

The Malaysian Insider reproduces the various statements made by the Election Commission on the indelible ink. Put together, it is easy to understand why the EC could not shake off the stench surrounding the ink.

Dec 19, 2011: EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof announces that indelible ink will be used in GE13 to prevent multiple voting. He assures voters that the ink will contain at least four per cent to seven per cent silver nitrate and will last for at least seven days. EC’ s announcement was the culmination of a long campaign by political parties and Bersih.

March 14, 2012: EC says the indelible ink will be in two different colours to distinguish advance voters from those voting on polling day.

May 24 2012: Bersih wants to know why rules made by EC with regard to use of ink was not extended to advance voters. Bersih also questions the efficacy of applying a single line on the finger of a voter rather than dipping the finger in indelible ink.

April 11, 2013: Abdul Aziz assures public that ink to be used in GE13 will be completely different from those available in the market, making duplication difficult.

April 30: Advanced voting takes place and numerous reports are lodged that the ink can be easily removed by using hand sanitiser gel and soap. Hearing this, Abdul Aziz says that as police reports have been lodged, it is for the police to investigate claims that the ink is easily washed off. This contrasts with earlier statement by Aziz that ink would last for seven days.

May 1: EC runs tests which reveal that stains marked on fingers with ink from bottles that had been shaken prior to use last longer than those which had not.

May 3: Tian Chua and Nurul Izzah Anwar, vice-presidents of PKR, ask the EC to send the ink for testing by an independent laboratory. EC refuses.

May 4: Abdul Aziz says ink to be used in Malaysia contains only one per cent silver nitrate.

On polling day on May 5, thousands of voters lodge police reports stating that the ink came off within hours of voting. EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar says he could not confirm the quality of the ink. Abdul Aziz says the health ministry issued an official letter to the EC stating that the level of silver nitrate must not exceed one per cent for health reasons. This is denied by the health minister on June 6, 2013. Till today, the EC cannot produce the health ministry letter.

May 7: Wan Ahmad says that EC stored the ink bottles in police lock-ups for safe-keeping and due to the “long storage period, the ink content dropped and it became thinner”.

May 13: Abdul Aziz blames the failure of the ink on voters’ fingers being oily.

May 21: Abdul Aziz says a special team had been set up to study the problem of ink being washed away. Till today, no reports have been released.

May 23: EC secretary Kamaruddin Mohamed Baria says some of the EC staff may have failed to use the ink properly during polling.

June 17: Abdul Aziz admits the failure of the ink.

June 26: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Shahidan Kassim told Parliament that the EC had used food dye instead of silver nitrate in the indelible ink.

June 27: Wan Ahmad maintains that silver nitrate was used instead of food dye but now says that the content was four per cent, not one per cent.

June 28: Shahidan says the EC was not responsible for fixing the amount of silver nitrate to be used during GE13. – July 15, 2013.

Here’s an indelible record of that election ink
July 15, 2013 – TMI


Democracy is dead in Malaysia

If Umno-Baru have nothing to fear and the Election Commission (EC) claims that it is independent, why were they afraid to use indelible ink in previous elections?

Both Umno-Baru and the EC want to bury this indelible ink story quickly. Don’t let them. The use of the indelible ink is the single, most important factor that would have ensured the defeat of Umno-Baru in the polls. Effective indelible ink will prevent people from voting multiple times.

Both the EC and Umno-Baru have lied; if they claim to be fair and to have done nothing wrong, they should have a re-run of the election. Who has the RM7.1 million? Did we buy some of the most expensive food colouring in the world?

Gerrymandering and the other tricks which Umno-Baru and the EC employ to cheat are effective up to a point, but with indelible ink, the police, the army, the illegal immigrants, the Umno-Baru agents and the pseudo foreigners holding Malaysian ICs will not be able to cast their votes several times and so ensure a win for BN.

Both Umno-Baru and the EC have, for successive general elections, prevaricated over the use of indelible ink, or found last-minute excuses not to use it. In GE13 they simply tampered with the product and told bare-faced lies about the ink.

In 2008, the use of indelible ink in GE12 was stopped at the last minute. At a forum on ‘Free and Fair Elections: Reality or Illusion?’ in Kota Baru in January 2012, the former EC chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman claimed that the EC was banned from using indelible ink in GE12 because it contravened Article 119 of the federal constitution.

PAS vice-president Husam Musa had challenged this and said that Abdul Rashid had announced on national television then, that the ban was for security concerns. Abdul Rashid had claimed that various people had obtained a similar ink and were using it to trick rural Malaysians into staining their fingers before voting.

Husam said: “This means that Rashid was made to lie to the people,” and added that in 2007, the Fatwa Council had approved the use of the ink.

Former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz confessed that it was he who had prevented the use of the indelible ink prior to the 2008 general election.

He cited constitutional concerns and the worry that Muslims would be unable to perform the proper ablutions for prayers. He denied Husam’s claim that the Fatwa Council had endorsed the use of indelible ink in the 2008 general election.

Democracy is dead in Malaysia
Mariam Mokhtar
Jul 1, 2013 – Malaysiakini


EC in the line of fire again – for bonuses

Opposition members of parliament have questioned the rationale behind the RM200 million paid out in bonuses and allowances to Election Commission (EC) officials and workers who were on duty in May’s general election.

Leading the charge was Gombak MP Azmin Ali who said the EC did not deserve any bonus because they had failed to conduct free and fair elections.

“They failed in their duties. How can they be rewarded for that? They are spineless,” said Azmin.

“It is disheartening for taxpayers to learn how their money is being spent.”

However, Azmin agreed that the civil servants who had served in the GE had worked hard and lauded the Government for recognising their efforts.

“But our main concern is the top brass of the EC.”

Liew Chin Tong concurred, saying that chairman Abdul Aziz Mohamad Yusof and deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar should not be rewarded.

“They should be resigning in shame, not getting bonuses,” the Kluang MP said. Padang Serai MP N. Surendran said the payout shows that there was an abuse of funds during the elections.

“It is an extremely large amount (referring to the RM200 million), also the RM7 million spent on the indelible ink,” he said.

“The Government has to answer and give clear a breakdown of how the funds were used. This is the people’s money.”

EC in the line of fire again – for bonuses
July 01, 2013 – TMI



IDEAS was accredited by the Election Commission of Malaysia (EC) to observe the recently concluded 13th General Elections. Our mandate was to observe, record, analyse and report events leading up to GE13, and subsequently recommend ways to improve any weaknesses found. We benchmarked our observation against the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Declaration on Criteria for Free and Fair Elections. We deployed 325 observers to 99 parliamentary constituencies in Peninsula Malaysia and 6 overseas polling centres.

It is important to examine the events building up to GE13 in order to get a better perspective. Taking a long-term view, we saw that (1) The media was heavily biased in favour of Barisan Nasional. State-funded media platforms have been abused to project partisan views to the public; (2) There were doubts about the EC’s impartiality and competency despite their many efforts to improve the electoral system. They were seen as being part of an already biased civil service. The fact that EC members repeatedly issued statements that could be construed as partisan did not help. Their defensiveness when criticised further angered the public; (3) Trust in the integrity of the electoral roll is low. This resulted in the public being very cautious when there were reports of foreigners being flown in, when they saw foreign-looking individuals, or when the indelible ink was seen as ineffective; (4) The Registrar of Societies did not treat all political parties equally, delaying the registration process of non-BN partie; (5) Constituency sizes are too unequal, allowing parties that win many smaller seats to win parliament, despite not commanding popular support; (6) Financing of political parties is not transparent, resulting in a big lack of clarity about the financial standing of the competing parties; (7) During the campaigning period, government and armed forces facilities were repeatedly used for campaigning purposes during the official campaign period; (8) Racial issues were dangerously exploited for political gains. There were many instances of BN fishing for votes by sowing mistrust between the Chinese and Malay communities.

Therefore, although the official campaign period and electoral processes may have proceeded smoothly and with minimal major issues, wider issues that are not within the EC’s purview have built up over the last few years. These issues conspired against non-BN parties, therefore creating a very uneven field. Due to these reasons, we conclude that GE13 was only partially free and not fair.

May 8th, 2013 –


A referendum for EC perhaps?


‘The Writest Thing’ by Mohsin Abdullah

To Pakatan leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the “EC and that ink is a big joke”, going on to say “the mandate given by the public to the EC has been gravely abused, so what trust is there anymore”.

Not that “public mandate” was overwhelming in the first place. And Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim’s recent “clarifications” over the ink has only succeeded in making the list of EC detractors longer.

What the minister said about the ink we also know all to well.

To PKR’s Tian Chua, the EC “must be dissolved before the Kuala Besut by election”. And DAP’s Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto had this to add: “How can the people of Kuala Besut be assured of a democratic ,fair and clean by-election if the same (EC) chairman and the same (EC) team are entrusted to run this election despite so many disgraceful loopholes that are still unresolved? Tan Sri Abdul Aziz (Mohd Yusof) must step down now (as EC chairman).”

That is not about to happen. Abdul Aziz and his deputy Datuk Wan Ahmad Omar have said it so many times before they have no intention of resigning. And chances of the entire EC team be dissolved is unlikely (impossible?) to happen anytime soon.

The EC boss has never failed to “remind” the public that his appointment, as well as his deputy and the five members in the commission, “are made by the King”. And as such “only the King can order us to step down”.

The appointments as well as the powers of the EC are stipulated under Article 114 of the Federal Constitution .

But said Kasthuri, Article 114 of the Federal Constitution clearly states “in appointing members of the Election Commission, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall have regard to the importance of securing an Election Commission which enjoys public confidence”.

And Abdul Aziz’s “reminder” is not lost on Kasthuri. “The EC chief said only the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the power to order the EC leadership to step down from their posts if they were found to have violated the election regulations and the Federal Constitution.

“What he has forgotten is that the commission must enjoy public confidence in carrying out its duties. In this case, what is obvious is that the rakyat has lost faith and confidence in the EC to shoulder the responsibility to nurture, supervise and preserve the democratic process in the country through free and fair elections.”

A referendum for EC perhaps?
Jul 01, 2013 –


Lim: EC must resign over ink fiasco

‘How many more lies must the public endure from the EC chairman and deputy chairman?’, asks DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

GEORGE TOWN: Lim Guan Eng has called on the Election Commission (EC) to resign en-bloc following Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim’s disclosure that food colouring replaced chemicals in the indelible ink used during the recent general election.

Bagan MP Lim urged the entire EC to resign for defrauding the people and abuse of public funds and power.

He also insisted that the whole EC shall resign due to lack of integrity and public credibility to carry out a clean, free and fair constituency re-delineation exercise, in line with principle of “one-person, one-vote, one-value”.

In his written parliamentary reply to DAP’s Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, Shahidan has said that the indelible ink did not last a week as promised because all the chemicals in the ink were replaced by food colouring.

The Penang CM claimed that Shahidan’s admission debunked EC’s previous claims that silver nitrate was used in the ink and was supposed to last seven days.

Shahidan’s revelation comes after Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam openly contradicted EC chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof’s claims that the EC consulted the ministry regarding the ink safety.

Abdul Aziz had previously reportedly said that the health ministry had advised EC against adding more than one percent of silver nitrate to the ink, which would have made the ink last.

Lim alleged that the EC was indirectly blaming the ministry for refusing to allow an extra 1% of silver nitrate and causing EC to waste RM 7.1 million on purchasing the indelible ink fiasco that could be easily washed off.

Lim pointed out that Abdul Aziz had failed to produce the ministry letter that stated putting more than one percent of silver nitrate in the ink could damage the kidney and cause cancer.

He noted that Subramaniam, who took charge of the ministry after the May 5 polls, had denied ever issuing such letter.

“How many more lies must the public endure from the EC chairman and deputy chairman?” asked Lim in his blog statement.

Lim: EC must resign over ink fiasco
July 1, 2013 – FMT

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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?