MAFREL Press Statement 3 April 2009
Dead voters `living’ in electoral roll of BATANG AI
Mafrel’s investigation found 3 dead voters still “alive” in the electoral roll of Sarawak state N29 Batang Ai.
Case 1: Dayang Utat Binti Kamaruden (1898-1981) The oldest voter in the constituency, Dayang Utat binti Kamaruden(981231-13-0146) was born in 1898, 111 years ago, died on the 29th of May 1981. She was buried at the Muslim cemetery of Kampung Ulu Sri Aman . Another question is why Dayang Utat’s name appears differently in the previous electoral roll? Her name was Dyg Bt Abg Kam in the electoral roll dated 05.02.2008, but her name in the current electoral roll is Dyg Utat Binti Abang Kamaruden . Both names are under the same IC number, 981231-13-0146.
Case 2: Timah ak Ambal(1900-?)According to the ‘Kapitan Cina’of Lubok Antu, Mr Tay Chow Ming (who is also the nephew of Timah), Timah ak Ambal(001231-50-5984), born in 1900, was buried many years ago at the Chinese Cemetery next to her husband, behind the Lubok Antu Bazaar with the traditional tajau (jar) and gongs that marks her grave, the only iban grave at the Chinese cemetery .
Case 3: David Aling ak Usit(1942-2007)The other name, David Aling ak Usit (born in August 1942) who died more recently in 2007, also found as one of eligible voters in the coming by-election on 7 April.
The findings were made by MAFREL team of 11 local observers led by Chief Peter John Jaban on the 2nd of April 2009.
Conflict between JPN & SPR’s records
The team found that a dead person whose name is still in the electoral roll and no longer active within the JPN system. So MAFREL is now questioning why this name is still in the electoral roll of Daerah Mengundi Lubok Antu and the Pusat Mengundi is SMK Lubok Antu.
David Aling ak Injan , a retired police officer (420819-13-5327)was born in 1942, and died on the 24 of March 2007 and was buried in the Christian Cemetery behind the Jabatan Penerangan Lubok Antu building.
The gravesite was found by Seli ak Bedil.
As a matter of fact, the electoral roll of N29 shows 26 people with ages 99 and above. It is possible that some of them are living today. However, the investigation reveals that Election Commission (SPR) has done very little to update the list. Despite the exposure of Mafrel on one 108 years old voter, Sadiah Binti Taha of N49 Nangka (Sibu) during the state election in 2006, SPR has not proved its competency. Since the various government departments are well equipped with e-administrative capacity, it is a matter of minutes, if not second, to check the on the records of the National Registration Department (NRD).
Instead, the blame was put on people who do not report the dead. SPR secretary Datuk Haji Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor told the media that Sadiah’s name would remain on the roll as long as her death was not reported to the NRD (The Sunday Star, May 14, 2006). He was quoted that NRD had provided SPR every month of its latest status of death record for SPR to delete names of voters who had died (The Borneo Post, May 13, 2006). The claim was not true as some Mafrel observers found, they’re own parents whose death were duly reported with NRD, but their names are still in the roll.
In a specific case Mafrel had verified that the name of David Aleng ak Usit has been removed from the NRD’s record of living citizens. And yet the SPR’s roll still contain his name as an eligible voter! This seems to cast doubt on the efficiency of the SPR to clean up its roll consistent with the NRD records.
Mafrel urges SPR to immediately clean up the electoral roll. It is amazing that the non-existing voters, including those who died long before the national new identification card system was introduced, are all efficiently given a new 10-digit IC number.
`Mafrel views that a clean electoral is a must for ensuring a free and fair election, where there is no room for `phantom voters’ to operate.’ Contend Mafrel’s Batang Ai election Observation Mission Coordinator Peter John Jaban.
If it has been proven that SPR cannot provide a clean and updated electoral roll Mafrel recommend that SPR do away with its redundant and inefficient registration of citizens as voters. All citizens as already registered by the much more efficient NRD, should automatically be accepted as voters once they achieve sufficient age. It will be saving a lot of expenditure for the country and also save the voters a lot of mistakes to adopt the automatic system.
Meanwhile, as the polling of the by-election is right round the corner, Mafrel calls all parties to respect the electoral system as a mechanism to achieve democracy.
Enq. 019-8056107 (Peter John Jaban)
Update: Have a look at how bernama water down the press statement here:
LUBOK ANTU, April 4 — Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel), an election watchdog, has detected the names of three dead people on the electoral rolls for the Batang Ai state by-election on Tuesday, Mafrel team leader Peter John Jaban said today.
The three people were two women, Dyg Utat Kamaruden and Timah anak Ambal, and a man, David Aling anak Usit, he said in a statement.
John said Dyg Utat was born in 1898 and died in May 1981, and was buried at the Kampung Ulu Muslim Cemetery in Sri Aman. Timah was born in 1900 and died many years ago and was buried at the Lubok Antu Chinese Cemetery next to her husband’s grave.
He said he found it weird that Dyg Utat was still registered as Dyg binti Abg Kam in the electoral rolls dated Feb 5, 2008.
“In the current rolls, she is registered as Dyg Utat binti Abang Kamaruden,” he said.
David Aling was born in 1940 and died two years ago, and was buried at the Lubok Antu Christian Cemetery here, he said.
John said that though David Aling’s name was removed from the National Registration Department (NRD) records of living persons, his name had yet to be struck off from the electoral rolls.
“He is an eligible voter for this by-election where he is to cast his vote at the SMK Lubok Antu. This is casting doubt on the efficiency of the EC (Election Commission) to clean up its rolls consistent with the NRD records,” he said.
Mafrel is all for a clean electoral rolls to ensure a fair and free election, he said.
“As such, we would like to suggest for the EC to use the NRD records as a system to automatically register all eligible voters once they come of age,” he said. — Bernama