Forty-five 'transplanted' voters struck off

Syed Jaymal Zahiid and Kuek Ser Kuang Keng – malaysiakini
Nov 30, 07  

The Selangor Election Commission (SEC) has struck out the names of 45 ‘transplanted’ voters following complaints from Sekinchan state assemblyperson Ng Swee Lim.

In a letter last Friday, SEC director Jailani Abdul Majid (photo) said SEC held a public inquiry into the matter on Nov 15 after the DAP politician filed five separate complaints about the presence of 49 mystery voters in his constituency.
According to Ng, the SEC decided to allow the remaining four to cast their ballots because the allegations raised by him against them had to be dropped due to technical reasons.
The technical reasons include mistakes like inaccurate information pertaining to their identity card numbers as provided by the complainant.
Same address
The issue first came to Ng’s attention when he inspected the supplementary electoral roll for the third quarter of the year.
The supplementary electoral roll consists of the full list of new voters being added to the main rolls.
In the 2004 general election, Ng beat a MCA candidate by a 344 majority to clinch the seat.
Last month, the opposition politician’s team found alleged irregularities in two locations – Jalan Radin and Sekinchan Site C – which each had more than a dozen of voters registered to a single address.
According to Ng, in Jalan Radin 16 people changed their address to a shoplot which housed a hair salon, with another person at the address being a new voter.
In Sekinchan Site C, Ng pointed out that 12 new voters were registered to a single-storey wooden house which is currently occupied by a family of four. Another seven voters changed their address to that same house.
Another 13 ‘mystery voters’ were found to be allegedly from nearby constituencies and non-Sekinchan residents.
Loopholes exist
When contacted, Ng expressed satisfaction with the SEC’s action but believes that much more must be done in order to close loopholes in election laws.
“There are still flaws in the laws. These flaws allow voters to change their address and therefore their constituency, which means that voters can be moved about easily (by rival political parties) to secure victory in their constituency,” he said.
He said the government must “patch up the loopholes” and amend the Election Act. He also called for the removal of “excessive red tape” with regard to filing complaints on election irregularities.
“Elections would be fairer if voters who spot irregular practices can lodge complaints without having to go through a bureaucratic hassle which discourages them from doing so,” he said.
A copy of the SEC letter will be submitted to the Coalition for Fair and Free Election (Bersih) to be used as proof, to show EC chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman that there are irregularities in the election system despite his claim to the contrary.