Indelible ink whistleblower demoted to lesser post, court told

Major Zaidi Ahmad was demoted from his post as commanding officer at the Butterworth airbase after he complained publicly about the inefficacy of the  indelible ink used in Election 2013. ― file picture
Major Zaidi Ahmad was demoted from his post as commanding officer at the Butterworth airbase after he complained publicly about the inefficacy of the indelible ink used in Election 2013. ― file picture

KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — Major Zaidi Ahmad was demoted from his post as commanding officer at the Butterworth airbase after he complained publicly about the inefficacy of the  indelible ink used in Election 2013, his court-martial heard today.

Captain Nor Asyikin Mohd Azmi, an officer in charge of keeping documents of officers’ personal details including ranks and positions, told the military court that Zaidi was moved to the administrative post after he blew the whistle about the ink meant to prevent repeat voting.

“Major Zaidi was transferred to the Human Resources Department at the Air Force headquarters on May 3, 2013.

“It was a temporary position as a second staff officer in research,” she told the court.

Two days prior, Zaidi lodged a police report after the early voting process claiming that the indelible ink used had washed off easily. He also held a press conference on the same issue.

His actions led to his court-martial on seven charges in February, on four counts of allegedly violating Malaysian Armed Forces Council orders and three other charges for making a media statement without authorisation and sending two text messages that were political in nature.

Five of the charges were thrown out in April, leaving two remaining against Zaidi for sending text messages that were political in nature.

The prosecution subsequently amended the five charges, initially under Section 50 (2) to Section 51 of the Armed Forces Act 1972.

Today, the third prosecution witness added that Zaidi was then transferred as an assistant to the executive officers on June 13, 2013.

On June 30, he was again transferred to another department, also as an assistant to the executive officers.

When questioned by defence lawyer Hanipa Maidin, Nor Asyikin said the commanding officer was the highest position in the squadron.

She said that in her opinion, Zaidi was transferred to a lower-ranking position.

The trial will continue on July 14 to 16

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