The Election Commission shall be appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after consultation with the Conference of Rulers, and shall consist of a chairman, a deputy chairman and five other members. (Art 114(1), Federal Constitution)
To protect their independence
* There is security of tenure until age of retirement, and early removal is difficult
A member of the Election Commission shall cease to hold office on attaining the age of sixty-six years or on becoming disqualified under Clause (4) and may at any time resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, but shall not be removed from office except on the like grounds and in the like manner as a judge of the Federal Court. (Art 114(3), Federal Constitution)
* There is security of salary - paid from the consolidated funds
Parliament shall by law provide for the remuneration of members of the Election Commission, and the remuneration so provided shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund. (Art 114(5), Federal Constitution)
What about reasons for removal of members of the Election Commission?
(4) Notwithstanding anything in Clause (3), the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall by order remove from office any member of the Election Commission if such member -Maybe, what we need is an amendment so that Art 114(4A) not just apply to the Chairman of the Election Commission but is extended to all members of the Election Commission.
(a) is an undischarged bankrupt; or(4A) In addition to any disqualification provided under Clause (4), the chairman of the Election Commission shall be disqualified from holding such office if after three months of his appointment to such office or at any time thereafter he is or becomes a member of any board of directors or board of management, or an officer of employee, or engages in the affairs or business, of any organization or body, whether corporate or otherwise, or of any commercial, industrial or other undertaking, whether or not he receives any remuneration, reward, profit or benefit from it:
(b) engages in any paid office or employment outside the duties of this office; or
(c) is a member of either House of Parliament or of the Legislative Assembly of a State.
Provided that such disqualification shall not apply where such organisation or body carries out any welfare or voluntary work or objective beneficial to the community or any part thereof, or any other work or objective of a charitable or social nature, and the member does not receive any remuneration, reward, profit or benefit from it. (Art 114(4 & 4A), Federal Constitution)
Maybe, it be best that the proviso in Art 114(4A) is removed and there be no exceptions. Why? Because, many such 'organisation or body carries out any welfare or voluntary work or objective beneficial to the community or any part thereof' are politically affliated, and/or may have members of political parties also sitting in some of these boards and committees...maybe participation in activities as a volunteer may be permissible, but not the sitting in the Board, Committees and/or even receiving any awards, etc
We really should insist that, like Judges, members of an independent Election Commission should refrain from socializing with person/s from political parties, and/or the Government.
5. Certain communications to be privileged.Therefore, this section 5 need to be repealed - if not amended.
No person shall in any legal proceedings be permitted or compelled to produce or disclose any communication written or oral which has taken place between the Election Commission or any member of the Commission and the Government or any Minister or public officer or any communication between members of the Election Commission in exercise of or in connection with the exercise of the functions of the Commission unless the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall in writing consent to such production or disclosure.
8. Giving false information to Commission.
Any person who, in connection with the exercise by the Election Commission of any of its functions, wilfully gives to the Commission or to any member thereof or to any person or body of persons appointed by the Commission to assist in the exercise of its functions any information which is false or misleading in any material particular shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding two thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both.