Four names missing from electoral list

Athi Veeranggan | Aug 26, 08 (Malaysiakini)
Four constituents, who last voted during the March general elections, had a rude shock today when they found their names missing from the electoral roll in the Permatang Pauh by-election.
According to election watchdog group Malaysians For Free And Fair Elections (Mafrel), the four cases took place at two separate polling stations before lunch, when large numbers of voters had turned out to cast their ballots after an early morning downpour.
“Again the credibility, independence and integrity of the Elections Commission is in question,” Mafrel observation team director Ong Boon Keong told Malaysiakini.
Mafrel expects more names to be missing from the electoral roll used in this by-election. The list, dated July 31, was updated by the Elections Commission from a roll that was officially gazetted on June 19.
The Election Commission’s decision to use the latest roll has been criticised by Mafrel as an unprecedented, major departure from accepted election convention. According to Mafrel, the unchallenged roll would inherit discrepancies of missing names, addresses and other particulars.
The four voters who left without being allowed to cast their ballot were Asa Singh Mihar Singh, 72; Chieng Ngei Hwa, 56; Tan Gaik Liap, 61 and Ibrahim Saad, 45.
Asa Singh, a veteran voter since the country’s independence in 1957, had gone to vote at the SK Seberang Jaya national primary school in Persiaran Siakap. After waiting 30 minutes, he was told his name was not on the list by the officers in charge.
He left the station confused and complained to Mafrel volunteers stationed there.
The other three – Chieng, Tan and Ibrahim – had gone to the polling station at SMK Permatang Rawa national secondary school near Bukit Mertajam. Just like Asa, they were told their names were not on the electoral list. All three are experienced voters, who have voted in at least five of the previous general elections.