KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — Wan Ahmad Wan Omar is an Umno branch member from Kubang Bunggor, Pasir Mas, but he is not the Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman, Sinar Harian reported today.
Wan Ahmad, a 63-year-old stall trader claimed that PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution had confused him with EC deputy Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, and that both of them coincidentally shared the same name.
“Actually, the Kubang Bunggor Umno branch member is me, and the identity card serial number is mine,” Wan Ahmad told Sinar Harian in an article published today.
The stall trader said he felt “compelled” to come out and refute Saifuddin’s claims, and that he sympathised with Datuk Wan Ahmad who was subject to much criticism over the issue.
“What’s more he (Datuk Wan Ahmad) has been urged to step down as EC deputy.
“The information (produced by Saifuddin) is about me, not the EC deputy chief.”
The EC deputy head has repeatedly denied allegations that he is an Umno member, calling the accusation “lies” aimed at tarnishing the credibility of the polls body.
“This is a political motive aimed at tarnishing the credibility of the EC as an independent and separate entity.
“He (Datuk Saifuddin Nasution) must be held accountable for his lies and should publicly apologise for his statements,” Wan Ahmad was quoted by Bernama as saying last week.
“I have not been in Umno since joining the EC on May 1, 1998,” he stressed.
PKR secretary-general Saifuddin claimed last week that the EC deputy chief is a member of the Kubang Bunggor Umno branch in Pasir Mas, Kelantan and that his membership number is 2374564.
Wan Ahmad, however, denied this, and said that Saifuddin was actually referring to an Umno member with a similar name.
“I am not Kelantanese and have never lived in Pasir Mas or elsewhere in the state,” he said, adding that he was from Terengganu and the MyKad number in the allegation did not match his.
The EC was heavily criticised in the lead-up to Bersih’s rally for free and fair elections on July 9 last year in which tens of thousands flooded the streets of the capital in chaotic scenes that saw over 1,500 arrested, scores injured and the death of an ex-soldier.
Widespread condemnation of the Najib administration’s clampdown saw Putrajaya make major concessions including the formation of a bipartisan Parliamentary Select Committee to look into improving the electoral system.
During the committee’s six-month tenure, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) accused the EC of not being committed to reforms and eventually rejected the panel’s findings, which then led to last Saturday’s Bersih 3.0 rally.
The coalition of 84 civil societies said last month that the findings of the select committee were disappointing and did not meet its demands for electoral reform.