Zahrain: No complaint at all, except that we did not capture Putrajaya
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Parti Keadilan Rakyat MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohammed Hashim said it is baffling that the opposition are now bent on criticising the Election Commission and electoral process when they were generally happy with the result they got in the last general election.
Zahrain told The Mole: "There were no complaints against the EC or the election system at all. If there were any dissatisfaction, it was mainly due to the fact that they failed to capture Putrajaya.”
"In fact most of them were happy with the election result as they won more parliamentary and state seats than they did in the 11th General Election (in 2004)," he added.
Thus, Zahrain said any opposition leaders who are questioning the electoral process now should be principled enough and demand a recount on the votes they got in the last general election to ensure that it was legitimate.
“I would suggest to the opposition leaders who disagree with our electoral system to demand a recount on their votes in 2008 as well."
"They might have not won the seat if the process is flawed,” he added.
Zahrain who is now the Independent MP for Bayan Baru said it is highly impossible to do anything to please the opposition when it comes to electoral reforms, as their main aim is to topple the current Barisan Nasional-led government.
"No matter what the government do, it will not be enough for them, unless they become the government. Maybe then we can see them praising our electoral system."
He also said credit must be given to the EC for being committed in improving the system in the wake of numerous pressure from Bersih and the opposition leaders.
Zahrain won his parliamentary seat in Bayan Baru before becoming an independent MP after leaving PKR in 2010 due to dissatisfaction against DAP.
Prior to this independent MP Wee Choo Keong had said the opposition's incessant blame on the Election Commission (EC) and electoral process is puzzling as they had no problem contesting under the very same system in the 12th General Election in 2008.
Another former PKR leader N.Gobalakrishnan also expressed similar view, saying that he and PKR de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim would not win with a big majority in the 12th General Election if the system is tainted.
“If the election is tainted, then how could I have won with more than an 11,000 majority in 2008?” he asked.
“Anwar won his Permatang Pauh (parliamentary) seat in the by-election with more than a 15,000-vote majority. Why didn’t any opposition leaders cry foul on the election results?”
Gobalakrishnan contested under the PKR banner in 2008 for the Padang Serai parliamentary seat where he won with a 61 per cent majority, making him one of the PKR leader with highest number of votes.
Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club member Datuk Seri Shahrir Samad said it was unfair to blame EC and the country’s electoral process when the power to decide lies solely with the voters.
He said if the electoral process is tainted, as an independent candidate, he would have not won the Johor Baru parliamentary seat during the by-elections in 1998 against BN.
“Surprisingly, I won. Now, tell me, if the electoral process is tainted, how can I still win against a strong government then?”