Mafrel delegates paid a courtesy call to SPR
On the 16th March 2009, Mafrel delegates comprising four members: Mr. Ong Boon Keong (the Batang Ai by-election Mission Chief), Mr. Peter John Jaban (Coordinator), and two other Mafrel observers, Mr. Richard Thomas and Miss Bernadette Thomas, paid a courtesy call to the state director of SPR, Tuan Hj. Takun bin Sunggah at 12.15 noon.
We were happy that we were entertained in a very official manner and the meeting was very fruitful. The discussion was to clarify several issues and to improve the system for the coming Batang Ai by-election.
In the discussion, we were informed about means of transportation to the polling district whereby to reach most of the areas-involving 9 polling centres, would be by boat. Delegates were also told about the process of the ballot box and the counting process.
It is also learnt that the names of deceased voters are also still on the list. In this context, Hj Takun said it is the duty of the National Registration Department to inform the SPR or the Election Commission (EC). Nonetheless, he said he would look into the matter.
The discussion also covered on the rights of the voters and the counting process. In this process, the agents would be given the Borang 13 to verify the ballots in the many cases-involving 14 polling centres, where ballots would be transported to the Returning Officer for counting, instead of being counted on the spot. This involves usually polling centres with small number of voters, usually with only 1 stream, with the highest voters number being 449.
We also discussed on the subject of postal votes.
Mr Ong also talked and shared about the new system used in other countries’ election process based on his experience in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Thailand.
The new system requires the voters’ identification numbers and full image of the voter. This includes the signing, or leaving of thumbprint, on the counter foil of the voting paper.
We were also allowed to buy the printed electoral voters name lists, area maps and the by-election voters’ roll CD.
Tuan Hj Takun bin Sunggah also advised Mafrel coordinator, Mr Peter Jaban to keep in touch from time to time.
The meeting with Tuan Hj Takun bin Sunggah is successful and meaningful.
Meeting report by: Peter John Jaban ( Mafrel coordinator for Batang Ai) & Ms Bernadette(also photographer).