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The Election Commission head says the commission is well prepared for the possibility of floods swamping the Sarawak state election. But Abang Adek says the commission’s performance during the recent flood-hit Tenang by-election is hardly reassuring.

Floods hit the Tenang by-election - Photo credit: Hellen Tan Soek Peng

Recently, our Election Commission chairperson, Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, said the following in a press conference while in Sibu, Sarawak.

Parts of what he said were so amazing, they are worth reproducing:

SIBU, Feb 23 — The Election Commission is prepared for the possibility of a flood occurring during the coming 10th Sarawak state election.

“Of course before we decide on the date for the polling, we will consult the meteorological department for the weather report, any possible occurrence of flood and so forth.

“But if any flood should occur, we are ready for it as we have faced such trying situation in the Tenang state by-election in Johor last month,” its chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, said today.

“We have all the logistics in place as well. We are going to use 24 helicopters, 4,124 four-wheel-drive vehicles, 919 longboats and 63 speedboats given the vast area of the state, its widely scattered population pattern and its rough terrain,” he said.

“These are the challenges. But if we have made the best and detailed preparations, we can overcome them,” he said.

Umm, this is the same EC that cannot even implement the logistics of simple indelible inking of voters’ fingers during elections. Yet, they want us to believe that they are able to interpret weather reports and coordinate “24 helicopters, 4,124 four-wheel-drive vehicles, 919 longboats and 63 speedboats”? One minor flood in one constituency (Tenang) also they could not handle. And now they are saying they are prepared to handle elections even during widespread floods in numerous constituencies in Sarawak?

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All I can think now is that our dear EC Chairperson and his staff would do well as dressed-up performers with over-sized shoes and big fake red noses in a circus.

Abang Adek is a political observer

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