PETALING JAYA: Opposition MPs say that the Election Commission (EC) may have insulted Parliament by rejecting evidence from the Hansard – the official record of parliamentary proceedings – stating the contents “cannot be believed”.
PKR’s R Sivarasa said the law clearly views Hansard publications as an official document of Parliament, with Section 78 of the Evidence Act (EA) 1950 stating that the proceedings of Parliament are proved by the minutes kept in the Hansard.
“Section 81 of the EA provides that copies of the Hansard are presumed to be genuine. This is provided under the law. It is the official document.
“For them to say the document cannot be believed shows they are ignorant of the law,” the Subang MP told FMT.
Sivarasa, who is a lawyer, was referring to the revelation at a press conference today, where DAP legal bureau secretary Michelle Ng Mei Sze said the Johor registrar of electors had rejected a voter objection deeming the Parliament Hansard (official record) as not credible.
She was referring to the objection hearings pertaining to the entry of 949 army personnel and their spouses in the Segamat constituency.
Ng had said the applicant was told by the registrar that the Hansard produced “cannot be believed”.
It is believed that the Hansard produced was related to Deputy Defence Minister Mohd Johari Baharum, who on Nov 28, had defended the reason for the transfer of 1,051 army voters registered with the Segamat camp as their address when the building is yet to be completed.
“EC can say they are surprised by what the minister is recorded to have said. But the EC cannot say they did not believe he had said what is recorded in the Hansard.”
Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran agreed, saying the EC should understand constitutional law before making such statements.
“EC officers must act at the behest of the Constitution and not be beholden to politicians.
“This is a sad story… to have such shallow EC officers,” the DAP national vice-chairman said.
Kulasegaran added that the EC officers need an urgent re-education on separation of powers between the three branches – executive, legislature, and judiciary.