Copies of electoral roll on sale

By Deborah Loh
16 February, 2008
PUTRAJAYA: What’s the price of 10.9 million names in the national electoral roll? The names, race, gender, identity card numbers and their polling locality are available from the Election Commission for RM44,584.20 in compact disc, and RM44,394 in book form.
The database covers all 222 parliamentary and 505 state constituencies.
As expected, political parties are the ones snapping up the CDs and books. Members of parliament, state assemblymen and election hopefuls are the other buyers.
Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said the electoral roll was also available according to state, parliamentary constituencies and state seats.
Prices vary, depending on the number of voters. The data on Selangor, with the most voters at 1,565,493, is the most expensive at RM6,343.20 for the book and RM6,363.20 for the CD.
Data from Perlis, the smallest state with 120,081 voters, is the cheapest at RM488.60 for the book and RM498.60 for the CD.
“If you are an MP or an assemblyman, you would just buy the roll for your area, and not the nationwide roll.
“Usually it’s the political parties that buy the master roll,” he said yesterday.
Sales began at the EC headquarters here yesterday for the book, and orders are being taken for the electoral roll in CD format. They are also available at state election offices.
Wan Ahmad said the CD, written in Microsoft Database format, was the preferred choice because customers could easily collate information such as the voters’ racial breakdown in a constituency.
The EC does not issue statistics on voters’ racial breakdown for general elections, but does so for by-elections.
It is learnt that the EC does not issue statistics on voters’ racial breakdown to avoid misunderstandings, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, where the term “Bumiputera” includes both Muslim and non-Muslim Bumiputeras.
The roll, in Portable Document Format (PDF), is also available in CD for about RM10 less.
A staff of MCA’s Bandar Tun Razak MP Datuk Tan Chai Ho was there to order a copy of the seat’s electoral roll in CD format.
A DAP worker was also there to buy a copy for the Bakri parliamentary seat in Johor, as was an aide for Selangau parliamentary incumbent, Joseph Entulu Belaun.
An EC officer said most political parties had placed orders for the master electoral roll, in both book and CD format. Payment was usually in cash or cheque.
“We also entertain walk-in customers, but they must state which party they are from and who they are buying the data for,” he said.