Monday, January 12, 2015

Bersih: Zaidi sacked, EC gets off scot-free

5:52PM Jan 12, 2015
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 13thgeneral 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.

The NGO has been campaigning for Zaidi's cause since he was charged.

The military court said it chose to sack Zaidi and not mete out the maximum sentence of two years in jail or dishonourable discharge, due to his exemplary service.

Zaidi is decorated with the Kesatria Angkatan Tentera and had also served in the Bosnia mission during the civil war in the Eastern European country.

"He has an excellent and impeccable record, and the fact that this is his first offence was considered in the mitigation," military court judge Colonel Saadon Hasnan said while delivering the sentence.

"The issue is not about indelible ink but that he had made a statement to the media without approval."
~ Malaysiakini

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