Pauline Puah (The Sun)
SHAH ALAM (Nov 15, 2007): The Selangor Election Office today held a public inquiry to investigate complaints that the electoral roll for the Sekinchan state seat contains names of outsiders.
Its director Jailani Abdul Majid said this was the second time this year that such an inquiry was being conducted. The first inquiry was held in the first quarter of the year.
He said more than half of the five complainants and 49 respondents or people complained against, attended the public hearing from 11am to 5pm in its office here.
“I am satisfied with the turnout today,” he said in a telephone interview at 5pm.
According to Sekinchan state assemblyman Ng Suee Lim from the DAP, the party had discovered the dubious names listed in the July-September electoral roll.
“There were 17 names registered under the address of a barber shop in Sekinchan. There were also 19 names registered under one home address in Site C and another 11 people were registered under one same address in Site B,” he said when met in the Election Office earlier.
It is unclear if all the voters belong to the same family, as in the electoral list made available to theSun, almost all the names listed under one roof have different family names.
According to procedures, upon receiving the complaints, the Election Office would issue a letter to the complainants and respondents, asking them to appear before a public inquiry. However, attendance is not compulsory.
Under the electoral regulation, in order to change to another constituency, a voter must also change his or her address in the Mykad to prove that he or she has a permanent address in that area.
Ng said this showed a loophole in the voter registration system, which allowed people to move to any constituencies.
Three complainants – Loo Kim Yong, Dau Kwee Hong and Wong Ah Chia – went to the inquiry with Ng. The other two –Ng Siew Hong and Loo Kee Lin – were unable to attend the hearing.
One respondent who declined to be named said he did not see why he could not change his address in order to move to a new constituency.
“I should be able to vote wherever I like. I had changed my address in my Mykad. Why can’t we change our address [in order to vote in a new constituency]?” said the man, who hails from Tanjong Karang, about 15 minutes’ drive from Sekinchan.
He claimed that the address he registered under in Sekinchan was his brother’s home – the barber’s shop – and that he did not know why there were so many names registered under the same address.
Ng pointed out that the complaints system was not conducive to efforts to weed out dubious voters.
He said under the electoral regulation, a complainant had to pay a maximum of RM200 compensation to a respondent should the former fail to prove the legitimacy of the person’s right to be registered in that constituency.
“They actually don’t encourage people to point out if there are any dubious voters in the electoral roll,” he said.
Each complainant can only file complaints against a maximum of 10 voters. The complainant has to pay RM10 for each complaint made.
However, Jailani defended the regulation and said it was meant to prevent abuse.
“The complainants should make full preparations before they file any complaints. Otherwise, anyone can file complaints as you only need to pay RM10 for each complaint,” he said.
Updated: 07:14PM Thu, 15 Nov 2007
Selangor EC probes Sekinchan electoral roll
Pauline Puah (The Sun)