"Who would want this job?", retorted Election Commission Chief Abdul Rashid when asked whether he would extend his service as chairman of the Commission.
Then he added,
"The general election is getting nearer, how could I run away? The critics would say I am a coward. I am not scared. I am also not scared if there are people wanting to stage riots but they have to face the law if they do that," he told reporters.
The Dewan Rakyat this week passed the Constitution (Amendment) Bill to extend the retirement age of EC members from 65 to 66. Rashid became EC chairman in 2000 and will reach 65 at the end of this year.
He said he would need time to think if the government offered him an extension. He said he did not want to make a hasty decision. "It is not something automatic," he said.
Abdul Rashid should care more for rules and regulations than his own reputation. What he should do is to abide by the law which stipulated that he should retire when reaching 65 years of age. Like others, he is not indispensible.
Talking like some fellows in UMNO makes us wonder who is actually Abdul Rashid? "I don't like being challenged", resonates here. I am sure you know from whose mouth this statement came. No one is going to say that Abdul Rashid is a coward if he chooses to retire. This is the right thing to do, we will instead applaud his courage.
His explicit endorsement of the current regime, his chilling reminder that he will not run away from being challenged and his absurdity do not augur well for his position and the independence required.
Now he said he would like to consider the offer to extend by another year. He should have told the Abdullah administration earlier, before the bill amendment, that he does not think it is right for him to stay on and there are other people who can continue to do the job - unless it is a DIRTY one.
Abdul Rashid should JUST GO.