Manipulation of electoral roll a threat to democracy

11 October 2007
Manipulation of electoral roll a threat to democracy
The integrity of the electoral roll is one of the most important moral elements in an election. A tainted electoral roll will render an election illegal and illegitimate.
BERSIH, the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, is concerned with the recent revelation that the voter base of Ipoh Timur parliamentary constituency has “grown” by 8,463 in just three months.

Something is very wrong with this figure. It is a hefty 12% increase in a quarter for a seat which had 73,333 voters in the 2004 general election. The seat was won by Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang with a majority of 9,774 votes.
Further, this unusual and extraordinary quantum increase in voters raises a number of serious questions, which may not end there as the third-quarter figures from July 1 to Sept 30 have not been released.

1. The wholesale transfer of all 2,231 voters in the Pengkalan Pegoh polling station in the Sungai Rapat state constituency (Gopeng parliamentary constituency) to the neigbouring Pasir Pinji state constituency (Ipoh Timur parliamentary constituency);
2. A sudden increase in postal voters by 3,208 even though there are no new army camps or new police stations; and
3. The extraordinary increase in new voters or those transferred to Ipoh Timur – the figure stands at 3,024 new voters when it should typically be would be about 400 per quarter.

BERSIH demands that the Election Commission investigates and rectifies the problem or risk losing whatever is left of its credibility as an “efficient and transparent” institution.