Belantek gets extra voters in 'sneaky move'

Muda Mohd Noor | Feb 11, 08

PAS has alleged that about 1,031 army personnel from the Sungai Petani military camp have been registered as voters in the Belantek state seat in Kedah.
Party information chief Mahfruz Omar claimed that the registration was carried out in Belantek , which PAS holds, shortly after the objection period ended (on the most recent revision to the electoral rolls).
Belantek – in the Sik parliamentary constituency – is one of five state seats that PAS won in the 2004 general election. The others are Tokai, Sungai Limau, Anak Bukit and Bukit Pinang.
Mahfuz alleged that the move was to weaken the opposition party’s chances of retaining the state seat in the upcoming general election.
“The names of the army personnel were not in the electoral roll displayed in the last quarter of 2007. However, the names were included after the objection period ended,” he alleged.
PAS and the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) will seek a meeting with the Election Commission in Putrajaya tomorrow, to obtain an explanation on the matter.
Both the Opposition front and Barisan Nasional (BN) parties have previously traded allegations of wholesale shipping in of voters to bolster support for their respective parties.
Last year, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim alleged that the BN had plans to bring 40,000 ‘phantom’ voters into Kelantan to dilute support for PAS, which has led the state government since 1990.
He further alleged that a sizeable proportion of the ‘phantom’ voters would come from southern Thailand, where the population is predominantly Malay-Muslim.
Kelantan, a key part of the rural Malay heartland and currently the only opposition-held state, has seen pitched battles between arch-rivals PAS and Umno at every election.
PAS’ position in Kelantan was not seriously challenged until 2004 and today, it clings to a simple majority of one in the 45 seat legislative assembly.