Polls watchdog seeks evidence on phantom voters
Aug 23, 09 4:37pm
An independent election watchdog today appealed to political parties to provide clear evidence on the existence of thousand of phantom voters in Permatang Pasir.
Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel) chairperson Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh told reporters today that claims made by BN and Pakatan Rakyat have to be supported by facts.
According to Mafrel, the definition of phantom voters are based on three factors:
* Identity of the voter unknown to house owner
* Voter registered using a false address, and
* Those standing in to cast vote on polling day.
Mafrel’s Penang-based coordinator Jamaluddin Abdullah said that while there were several discrepancies in the Permatang Pasir electoral roll found, these could be resolved by the Election Commission (EC).
“We had conducted investigation and there are 135 less voters, not a thousand more as claimed by several quarters,” said Jamaluddin.
He was countering Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin’s allegation that there were over 3,000 phantom voters in the state constituency and an additional 1,000 voters in the electoral rolls.
“We checked the electoral rolls and we found that there is an address in Kampung Pelet with 16 registered voters,” said Jamaluddin.
“Our research showed that all voters have family ties and registered using the same address.”
He stated that there was however a woman who had died last year still on the rolls, despite that the voters list was updated on July 31.
Counterfeit money used as bribe
Last week, Mafrel received a complaint from a voter claiming that an envelope containing RM300 in counterfeit notes asking him to vote for BN. According to the voter, the envelope was slid under his door.
“The first crime is that the money is fake – whoever who had done so could be charged for counterfeiting. Secondly, it is a form of bribery under Section 10(a) of the Election Offenses Act 1954,” said Jamaluddin, adding that this was the only incident reported to Mafrel .
Meanwhile, Mafrel stated that 16 of its observers have been given access to monitor Permatang Pasir’s nine voting channels.
Jamaluddin further said that they have 51 trained observers on the ground to look out for any unwarranted violence, misuse of government resources and violations of election rules.
BN’s Rohaizat Othman, 38, faces PAS’ Mohd Salleh Man, 55, in a straight fight in the Permatang Pasir by-election on Tuesday.