Free Malaysia Today – ‘EC ignorant of its own procedures’

Tarani Palani | March 23, 2012

The Election Commission seems to be tripping over itself trying to explain its absentee voter procedure, says PKR.

PETALING JAYA: PKR vice-president Fuziah Salleh kept up her salvo against the Election Commission (EC) and the electoral roll’s integrity, refuting the EC’s explanation over the case of registration of absentee voters.

Fuziah today hit out at the EC’s ignorance of its own procedures.

She was refering to the EC’s explanation of the case of Zarina binti Abu Tausi (IC number 811001015036) who was a voter in Pulai but who now appears as a new voter in Pekan.

She said that in order to be registered as an absentee voter, the EC must first display the name of the said voters to be deleted from the ordinary voter’s list while simultaneously displaying their names on the absentee voter list.

In Zarina’s case, her application to change her voting constituency is registered under the “new voters” application, hence there is a double entry.

Fuziah had raised the issue yesterday, alleging that the EC was manipulating the voter roll by converting existing “ordinary voters” into “postal voters” and moving them to specific constituency.

She said the new voters were already registered elsewhere with the same identity card numbers but the “slash” (/) character had been added to the numbers to trick the data entry system.

Responding to her allegations, an EC officer had reportedly told Malaysiakini that it was simply a case of an ordinary voter applying to be an absentee voter.

“Zarina was previously on the master roll as an ordinary voter but had applied to be an absentee voter on Dec 20, 2011, as her husband is serving in the military,” the EC officer said.

According to the EC officer, the “slash” character was not used to register the same voter twice but rather to differentiate the same voter from their old and new identity card numbers.

‘Questionable database’

But Fuziah said today that in the case of Zarina and others, their names were not displayed to be deleted from the ordinary voters’ list.

“The officer should also have the knowledge that the normal procedure for EC in the case of registered voters who are applying to be absentee voters, will be, first, to display the name to be deleted from the normal voter list and, at the same time, to display the applicant’s name in the new registration for the absentee voter.

“Both deletion and the new registration must be displayed at the same time in the additional electoral roll on display at the end of every quarter.

“This action is part of the audit trail in ensuring the integrity of the electoral roll,” she said.

Fuziah repeated her allegation that this was the technique used to achieve an alternative voter roll.

She also added that in the last quarter alone there were 1,689 similar cases as Zarina’s who were existing voters but still registered under “new voters”.

“This kind of manipulation on the electoral roll can only point to the fact that the database is questionable, totally flawed and has lost its credibility.

“The procedure is open to abuse and the possibility of the presence of a system B is highly probable.”

Fuziah, the Kuantan MP, said that there needs to be an inquiry into the matter and repeated her call for the top-brass EC leaders to resign, should they fail to rectify the situation.

“An audit into the procedure and the system of the electoral roll must be allowed to take place. The chairman and deputy chairman of EC must answer to the citizens of Malaysia or be prepared to resign”.

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