Were 900+ Voters Deleted and Replaced in Permatang Pauh?

The numbers are about right – 951 voters were deleted from Permatang Pauh and replaced by another 961 since the 12th GE. But the reasons were technical and not too sinister. Still, the whole confusing affair highlights the needs for SPR transparency and voter registration reform.

Background: PKR has complained that about 900 voters were “missing.” SPR is indignant.

PKR complained that (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/88268):
“The names of 900 voters are missing from the electoral roll for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency. The names were in the last electoral role and the voters were eligible to cast their ballots in the 12th general election.”
SPR’s reply (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/88553):
“Explaining on the 868 names which went ‘missing’ in the ‘updated’ roll, Kamaruzaman [of SPR] clarified today that there were only 158 names which were removed in the latest roll.
The reasons why these names were removed among others include ‘wrong’ voters registration, deaths, those who aged above 100 and deemed fit by the EC to remove their names from the roll on the presumption that they have passed away.”
More: “SPR Can’t Explain 949 Missing Voter Names,” Chinese language article by MerdekaReview.com. (Machine translation. Please note that machine translation provides only a “gist” translation; the result will contain funny translation mistakes.)

Our investigation did find that 951 voters were “deleted” after the 12 GE in Permatang Pauh, while another 961 voters were “added” to the by-election roll dated 2008 Jul.
But we also found that these changes were due to three not-too-cynical reasons and minor SPR mistakes:

  1. The technicality of modifying police IC numbering scheme,
  2. Regular voter registrations, inward and outward movements, and
  3. SPR’s dead-voter deletion overdrive.

Although the reasons are not sinister, there are lessons for the SPR: How can SPR avoid such public confusion and distrust in the future?

  1. First, let police and military voters switch to a 12-digit civilian IC to simplify verification, update, and avoid duplicate registrations.
  2. Second, make voter registration automatic with MyKad status at the NRIC Department. Meanwhile, make NRIC accountable to the parliament, to prevent Sabah-like IC mess,
  3. Third, make SPR more transparent with the gazetted and quarterly electoral rolls. SPR has recently stopped the online publication of the quarterly rolls in PDF format.Given adequate data, NGOs and the media can actually help SPR avoid unnecessary confusion.

What’s so complicated about the electoral rolls?

  • First, we need to clarify which versions of electoral rolls are being bandied about.
  • We believe the confusion arises from comparing these versions:
    • the 2008 Feb 5 gazetted roll used in the 12th GE, with data up to 2007 Dec 31 (=2007Q4),
    • The 2008 Jun 19 gazetted roll, with data up to 2008 Mar 31 (=2008Q1),
    • The ungazetted supplementary roll with data from 2008 Jun 30 (=2008Q2),
    • The 2008 Jul 31 ungazetted roll for Permatang Pauh, based on the 2008 Jun 19 gazetted roll, adjusted for subsequent deletions, but not additions, ie, deletion-type changes between 2008 Apr 1 and 2008 Jul 31.
  • PKR members are probably comparing versions (a) with (d), because they are most likely to have the MS Access soft copies for these two. Version (c) is most widely available in hard copy printed from PDF files, and reflects a “flow,” or change, data, not a “point-in-time,” cumulative, data.
  • In contrast, the SPR probably thinks in terms of versions (b) vs (d), since (b) is a gazetted version. Version (c) is an intermediate version, that is to be gazetted. If and when (c) is gazetted, the Permatang Pauh section can lead to further confusion, because its data are dated 20080630, and is a “prequel” to the by-election version (d).
  • We will focus on versions (a) and (d), because these are the most accessible to the public, and also from where the questions likely arise. We will supplement the information with version (b) which we have built into a “pro forma” version.

If you haven’t been completely confused, read on!

So what happened? We will explain our finding in 8 points:
Finding 1. The difference of only 10 voters between the 12th-GE and by-election rolls hides larger changes beneath.
Table A below shows that Permatang Pauh:

  • contained 58,449 voters at the time of 12th GE roll gazetted on 2008 Feb 5,
  • but now contains 58,459 voters at this by-election roll, dated 2008 Jul 31.
  • On the surface, the roll has simply increased by 10 voters.
  • But the underlying picture is a bit more complicated.

Table A: Comparing 20080205 and 20080731 Data

Date of publication Gazetted Data date voter count Comment
20080205 20080205 20071231 58,449 Used in 12th GE
20080619 20080619 20080331 58,761 Pro forma version estimated by Malvu.blogspot.com based on 2008Q1 changes
20080731 Not gazetted 20080731? 58,459 Used in this by-election

Finding 2. 951 voter ICs were deleted after the 12th GE roll, while 961 voter ICs were added to the by-election roll, netting the superficial increase of only 10 voter ICs.
Table B below shows that, between the times of the 12th GE and the by-election:

  • 951 voter ICs were deleted. In other words, these voters existed in the 12th GE roll, but are now “missing” from the by-election roll.
  • 961 new voter ICs were added. In other words, this many IC numbers were in the newer by-election roll, but had not existed in the 12th GE roll.
  • Net result is the addition of only 10 voters (=961-951) on the surface.
  • Meanwhile, 57,498 voter IC numbers exist in both the newer and older rolls. In other words, they remain valid voters both during the 12th GE and today’s by-election.
  • The number of 949 missing names cited in the MerdekaReview.com article above likely refers to the 951 deleted ICs (not names), less the 2 easily-explained police retirement cases,
  • Our question is then: Were the deletion of 951 voters and addition of the other 961 voters reasonable and kosher?

Table B: Cross-Checking IC Numbers Between the 12th GE and By-Election Rolls

Postal &
IC found in 20080205 but not in 20080731 951 = 491 + 460 These IC numbers were in the 12th GE roll, but now “gone” from by-election roll
IC found in 20080731 but not in 20080205 961 = 489 + 472 These IC numbers were not in the 12th GE roll, but are now in the by-election roll
IC found in both versions 57,498 = 1 + 57,497 These were in both the 12th GE and by-election rolls

Finding 3. Nearly half the changes involved an identical group of police postal voters, who have not actually moved, but have only had their police IC numbers slightly modified. This is enough to confuse the public, even apparently the SPR itself.

  • Overall, there were 492 police postal voters in Permatang Pauh as of the 12th GE.
  • One of them (G6014602) already had the “most updated” IC numbering format, and hence this IC number was not changed, “deleted” or “added back.”
  • Another two (I0013148 and R0071611) were permanently deleted after the 12th GE, probably due to retirement.
  • The remaining 489 (=492-1-2) police postal voters had their IC numbers modified slightly, as we will explain later.
  • This IC number change causes these 489 postal voters to appear to have gone “missing” en masse.
  • The “missing” voters would total 491 if we count the 2 retirement cases mentioned above.
  • Meanwhile, the same 489 postal voters’ newly modified IC numbers make them look like 489 newly “added” voters. This likely happens because PKR, and even SPR itself, have no choice but to search the database by relying on the unique IC numbers, known in database parlance as the “primary index”.
  • This apparent and illusory “deletion” of 491 and “addition” of 489 postal voters account for about half the 951 “missing” and 961 “replacement” voters in the by-election roll.

Finding 4. The proof is in the detail: Let us look at all 489 pairs of slightly-changed police IC numbers.
From Table C below, we can see that the 489 pairs of old and new police postal IC numbers are nearly identical, having only these 2 feature changes:

  1. All police IC # starting with “R0” or “R” in 2008 Feb 5 roll have been changed to “RF” in the by-election roll. For example, R0117812 has been changed to RF117812.
  2. All police IC # starting with “G0,” “I0,” or “RT0” have been changed to “G,” “I,” or “RT” eliminating preceeding zeros. For example “RT007013” and “I0013642” have been changed to “RT7013” and “I13642” respectively.

Table C: Permatang Pauh’s 489 Police Postal Voters’ ICs as Formatted in Electoral Rolls Dated 2008 Feb 5 and 2008 Jul 31

20080205 20080731 20080205 20080731 20080205 20080731 20080205 20080731
R0117812 RF117812 I0016525 I16525 R0150393 RF150393 R0115049 RF115049
R0083450 RF83450 R0121314 RF121314 R0156472 RF156472 R0122015 RF122015
R0075343 RF75343 I0015495 I15495 RT017150 RT17150 R0075600 RF75600
R0110379 RF110379 R0106264 RF106264 R0121553 RF121553 R0117609 RF117609
R0066165 RF66165 R0144589 RF144589 R0099644 RF99644 R0082847 RF82847
R0094340 RF94340 R0147646 RF147646 R0116111 RF116111 R0125958 RF125958
RT007013 RT7013 R0116861 RF116861 R0072226 RF72226 R0114448 RF114448
R0084073 RF84073 R0136943 RF136943 R0119542 RF119542 R0129824 RF129824
R0117802 RF117802 R0087700 RF87700 R0147791 RF147791 R0154684 RF154684
R0116501 RF116501 R0070383 RF70383 R0064730 RF64730 I0017421 I17421
R0075162 RF75162 R0106695 RF106695 R0122041 RF122041 R0118150 RF118150
R0104241 RF104241 R0119208 RF119208 R0066504 RF66504 R0096855 RF96855
R0081895 RF81895 R0098386 RF98386 R0152192 RF152192 R0150957 RF150957
R0064863 RF64863 R0092672 RF92672 R0120416 RF120416 R0155317 RF155317
R0133195 RF133195 R0105778 RF105778 R0160854 RF160854 R0106314 RF106314
I0013642 I13642 R0086517 RF86517 R0096185 RF96185 R0090262 RF90262
R0110443 RF110443 R0072837 RF72837 R0109868 RF109868 R0087460 RF87460
R0150829 RF150829 R0146826 RF146826 G0016759 G16759 R0070168 RF70168
R0104462 RF104462 G0010340 G10340 R0016140 RF16140 R0120817 RF120817
R0098522 RF98522 R0118270 RF118270 R0150851 RF150851 R0138717 RF138717
R0157454 RF157454 R0098446 RF98446 R0152253 RF152253 R0123647 RF123647
R0126342 RF126342 R0087746 RF87746 R0146804 RF146804 R0118151 RF118151
R0147641 RF147641 R0088872 RF88872 RT017092 RT17092 R0209015 RF209015
R0148019 RF148019 R0069129 RF69129 I0015669 I15669 R0122707 RF122707
R0111866 RF111866 R0082303 RF82303 R0074986 RF74986 R0127487 RF127487
R0109440 RF109440 R0059576 RF59576 R0102538 RF102538 R0135769 RF135769
RT009714 RT9714 RT009593 RT9593 R0121104 RF121104 R0104206 RF104206
R0092824 RF92824 R0104216 RF104216 I0016952 I16952 R0118437 RF118437
R0090872 RF90872 R0083428 RF83428 R0092461 RF92461 R0100972 RF100972
R0120704 RF120704 R0066678 RF66678 I0010102 I10102 R4068948 RF4068948
R0066493 RF66493 R0096059 RF96059 RT013524 RT13524 I0013105 I13105
R0103016 RF103016 R0007020 RF7020 R0119522 RF119522 R0087568 RF87568
R0115002 RF115002 R0101088 RF101088 G0015784 G15784 R0118571 RF118571
R0069264 RF69264 R0084978 RF84978 R0150373 RF150373 R0094393 RF94393
R0096808 RF96808 R0075855 RF75855 R0075364 RF75364 R0089600 RF89600
R0072849 RF72849 R065263 RF65263 R0117352 RF117352 R0157902 RF157902
R0122428 RF122428 R0118501 RF118501 R0099634 RF99634 R0146815 RF146815
R0075559 RF75559 R0094191 RF94191 R0156050 RF156050 R0127383 RF127383
G0009929 G9929 R0101759 RF101759 I0013498 I13498 R0082005 RF82005
R0099581 RF99581 R0112305 RF112305 R0115735 RF115735 R0084519 RF84519
R0161034 RF161034 R0110411 RF110411 R0059422 RF59422 R0118524 RF118524
R0071196 RF71196 I0015858 I15858 R0085050 RF85050 R0139560 RF139560
R0086272 RF86272 R0117385 RF117385 R0118247 RF118247 R0081950 RF81950
R0058643 RF58643 R0087723 RF87723 R0150756 RF150756 R0071496 RF71496
I0017140 I17140 R0073939 RF73939 I0009048 I9048 R0092831 RF92831
R0111890 RF111890 R0121980 RF121980 R0112759 RF112759 R0094451 RF94451
R0158318 RF158318 R0082276 RF82276 R0124857 RF124857 R0085785 RF85785
R0122429 RF122429 R0117288 RF117288 R0110132 RF110132 R0090295 RF90295
R0101127 RF101127 R0104469 RF104469 R0065091 RF65091 R0141877 RF141877
R0109306 RF109306 R0111437 RF111437 R0074980 RF74980 RT012073 RT12073
R0139177 RF139177 I0016109 I16109 R0159393 RF159393 I0016795 I16795
R0153224 RF153224 R0138304 RF138304 R0074313 RF74313 R0138322 RF138322
R0154666 RF154666 R0152268 RF152268 RT017098 RT17098 R0141991 RF141991
R0067147 RF67147 R0138920 RF138920 R0144493 RF144493 R0069164 RF69164
R0106936 RF106936 R0120262 RF120262 R0111938 RF111938 I0010825 I10825
R0103900 RF103900 R0075173 RF75173 R0145358 RF145358 R0094306 RF94306
R0113253 RF113253 R0108918 RF108918 R0118325 RF118325 I0008287 I8287
R0102111 RF102111 R0089312 RF89312 R0116414 RF116414 R0121418 RF121418
R0137757 RF137757 R0097853 RF97853 R0150400 RF150400 RT007425 RT7425
R0125261 RF125261 R0084200 RF84200 R0106883 RF106883 R0127275 RF127275
R0117266 RF117266 R0090007 RF90007 R0100604 RF100604 R0090619 RF90619
R0110136 RF110136 R0138733 RF138733 R0102610 RF102610 R0119829 RF119829
R0089976 RF89976 RT007021 RT7021 R0069725 RF69725 R0111099 RF111099
I0015980 I15980 R0085327 RF85327 R0092344 RF92344 R0101869 RF101869
R0092005 RF92005 R0072814 RF72814 R0085523 RF85523 I0014237 I14237
R0115609 RF115609 R0073548 RF73548 R0075596 RF75596 R0069567 RF69567
R0129826 RF129826 R0120282 RF120282 G0010593 G10593 R0086808 RF86808
R0095077 RF95077 R0107024 RF107024 R0102663 RF102663 R0102645 RF102645
R0098789 RF98789 I0011269 I11269 R0068305 RF68305 I0013908 I13908
R0075212 RF75212 I0016783 I16783 R0073304 RF73304 R0069521 RF69521
R0066339 RF66339 R0089026 RF89026 R0106103 RF106103 R0148427 RF148427
R0116504 RF116504 R0102937 RF102937 R0094390 RF94390 R0116417 RF116417
R0060135 RF60135 R0123190 RF123190 R0119640 RF119640 R0131568 RF131568
R0106581 RF106581 R0110041 RF110041 I0014965 I14965 G0016185 G16185
R0090416 RF90416 R0103029 RF103029 R0119068 RF119068 R0110449 RF110449
R0066610 RF66610 R0098627 RF98627 R0138208 RF138208 R0070173 RF70173
R0113312 RF113312 R0099137 RF99137 R0138214 RF138214 R0105197 RF105197
R0097230 RF97230 R0069353 RF69353 R0075774 RF75774 R0160886 RF160886
I0017068 I17068 R0114111 RF114111 R0137764 RF137764 R0121142 RF121142
R0127064 RF127064 R0155827 RF155827 R0111484 RF111484 R0136263 RF136263
R0118159 RF118159 R0067825 RF67825 R0102302 RF102302 R0068361 RF68361
R0054978 RF54978 R0104197 RF104197 R0138212 RF138212 R0126897 RF126897
R0092037 RF92037 R0055360 RF55360 R0115649 RF115649 R0109539 RF109539
R0115637 RF115637 R0102590 RF102590 R0105562 RF105562 R0106522 RF106522
R0088651 RF88651 R0092888 RF92888 R0118252 RF118252 R0114994 RF114994
RT015000 RT15000 R0092114 RF92114 R0068148 RF68148 R0097692 RF97692
R0116711 RF116711 R0118351 RF118351 R0105909 RF105909 RT009716 RT9716
R0094465 RF94465 R0054938 RF54938 R0103137 RF103137 RT007026 RT7026
R0069476 RF69476 RT011990 RT11990 R0129943 RF129943 R0093626 RF93626
R0088717 RF88717 RT011958 RT11958 R0137820 RF137820 R0064917 RF64917
R0124440 RF124440 RT011988 RT11988 I0016516 I16516 R0098125 RF98125
R0072179 RF72179 R0073400 RF73400 R0155013 RF155013 R0116034 RF116034
I0013491 I13491 RT007035 RT7035 R0069136 RF69136 R0117340 RF117340
R0091444 RF91444 R0058175 RF58175 R0101891 RF101891 R0132520 RF132520
R0098521 RF98521 R0066078 RF66078 R0107972 RF107972 R0104387 RF104387
R0059415 RF59415 R0102961 RF102961 R0066208 RF66208 R0091382 RF91382
I0016226 I16226 R0122779 RF122779 R0087491 RF87491 R0113831 RF113831
R0090962 RF90962 R0082794 RF82794 R0059684 RF59684 R0085849 RF85849
R0063770 RF63770 R0067988 RF67988 I0014150 I14150 R0122598 RF122598
R0090810 RF90810 I0014091 I14091 R0100837 RF100837 R0116364 RF116364
R0092038 RF92038 R0138088 RF138088 RT012082 RT12082 R0104209 RF104209
R0095087 RF95087 R0118936 RF118936 R0098885 RF98885 R0117549 RF117549
R0137143 RF137143 I0015279 I15279 R0068460 RF68460 R0139473 RF139473
R0088718 RF88718 G0010459 G10459 R0105514 RF105514 R0125742 RF125742
I0012513 I12513 R0116946 RF116946 R0102949 RF102949 R0126530 RF126530
G0009068 G9068 R0139514 RF139514 R0157897 RF157897 R0094339 RF94339
R0092019 RF92019 R0108885 RF108885 RT007037 RT7037 R0113963 RF113963
R0108073 RF108073 I0016617 I16617 R0090997 RF90997 R0072823 RF72823
R0085982 RF85982 RT016618 RT16618 R0091885 RF91885 R0133525 RF133525
R0089495 RF89495 G0010714 G10714 R0088438 RF88438 R0100831 RF100831
R0139568 RF139568 R0118710 RF118710 R0064739 RF64739 R0110553 RF110553
RT015968 RT15968 R0101581 RF101581 R0092126 RF92126 I0013880 I13880
R0094405 RF94405 R0146589 RF146589 R0085474 RF85474 R0124820 RF124820
R0100609 RF100609 R0094259 RF94259 R0071032 RF71032 R0139594 RF139594
R0150986 RF150986 R0085635 RF85635 R0069950 RF69950 R0116477 RF116477
R0090113 RF90113 RT016106 RT16106 R0075273 RF75273 R0082136 RF82136
R0105635 RF105635 R0152652 RF152652 R0118573 RF118573 R0070484 RF70484
R0127580 RF127580 R0110021 RF110021 R0138188 RF138188 R0063476 RF63476
R0091637 RF91637 R0111843 RF111843 R0067341 RF67341 R0072256 RF72256
R0119628 RF119628 R0139485 RF139485 R0105516 RF105516 R0136959 RF136959
R0089897 RF89897 R0145798 RF145798 R0131432 RF131432
R0072131 RF72131 I0016650 I16650 R0130748 RF130748
R0106937 RF106937 I0012250 I12250 R0107051 RF107051

Note: If you can’t see the whole table width, reduce your browser text size (Menu>View>Text Size). You can also click, drag, highlight the table, copy, and paste special, value, into your Excel spreadsheet for easier viewing.

Finding 5: SPR did a poor and confusing job in modifying these police IC numbers, and in explaining the changes.

While we now understand that 489 police postal voters really did not move in or out of Permatang Pauh, there remain other questions and expected problems:

  • SPR should have expected this IC number confusion, should have been ready to explain the changes, thereby preempting a loss to its own credibility.
  • This postal IC number modification occurred in a rush, only after the 2008 Jun 19 gazetted roll, in which we can find the old-formatted IC numbers. Confirming this timing is that we cannot find these “deletion” or “addition” in the 2008Q1 supplementary roll.
  • The changes do not look permanent. Any further changes will again invite confusion. Some of the “new format” police IC numbers are too short or too long to be a standardized, permanent, format:
    • Most of the IC#s are preceded by one or two alphabets, followed by 6 digits,
    • But there are IC#s followed by only 4-5 digits, for example, RT9714, G9929, and I13642.
    • There is an IC# followed by 7 digits, ie, RF4068948. With the “RF” prefix, this IC# has 9 characters in all, and is a non-standard occurrence.
    • With the above oddities, we would expect SPR at anytime to add back the zeros to the shorter IC#s make them a standard length, reigniting confusion.
  • A separate matter is that about 404 of the “Bukit Mertajam” police HQ/station officers have probably been gerrymandered into the “Permatang Pauh” seat. We will deal with the geographical question another time.

Why did SPR risk confusion to modify the police IC numbers? We believe SPR “shortened” the police IC numbers to preempt any embarrassing discovery of duplicate registrations of postal voters, as reported earlier:

  • MalaysiaKini.com reported just before the 12th GE that computer programmer Ong Guan Sin had found 278 pairs of such double-registered voters that differ by a leading zero.
  • With a complete database, we later found 771 such doppelgängers that differ by a leading zero, or only different by the initial “R0” and “RF.”

Obviously, the SPR didn’t anticipate that this IC-shortening move itself would cause new internal and external confusions.
The solution to this and future problems? Switch to using 12-digit civilian ICs for all postal (police and military) voters. Aren’t they exercising their civilian duties when voting? Aren’t they born civilian? Haven’t they received the MyKad and 12-digit IC numbers by the age of 12 – before they enter the police and army? Aren’t they going to retire as civilians?
Moreover, we feel the SPR also does not fully realize that many of the duplicated postal registration also involve input mistakes and variations in names (Nama) and year of birth (Tahunlahir), albeit not in P044. See Tables B and C in “771 doppelgängers.” It is these second and third layers of input mistakes at SPR’s voter registration procedure that caused the errors to be so difficult to trace.
The solution to this and future problem? Make voter registration automatic, as they attain their MyKad and 12-digit ICs.
Finding 6: The deletion of 460 non-postal voters after the 12th GE is more dicey. We can only trace 218 of the 460 deletions – given SPR’s lack of transparency. The remaining 242 could have contained the 5 embarrassing cases of “alive-and-well but deleted-as-dead” voters documented by the media and NGO.
Table D tells us that:

  • 460 of the 951 voter ICs deleted were non-postal voters
  • Our investigation of the 2008Q1 supplemental roll revealed that 84 voters were deleted because they moved out of P044, and 89 deceased voters were deleted. SPR was going through an aggressive campaign to clean up cumulated dead voters across the country.
  • In total, SPR deleted 173 (=84+89) voters from Permatang Pauh in 2008Q1. We have recorded this finding in our earlier blog “Pro Forma Electoral Roll for P044 for 2008Q1.”
  • In all, we can trace 218 (=84+89+25+20) of the 460 deletions of non-postal voters so far.
  • That leaves 242 deletions of non-postal voters to be explained.

Table D: Accounting for deletion of 951 voters after the 12th GE

Voter changes Number
of Voters
of Voters
Number of voter ICs deleted after 12th GE 951
Number of postal voter IC deleted/modified 491
Number of non-postal voter IC deleted 460
2008 Jun 19 gazetted list (data as of 2008 Mar 31,
we calculate from our pro forma version)
Deletion of voters for moving out reported in 2008Q1 84
Deletion of voters due to death reported in 2008Q1 89
Subtotal – Deletion reported in 2008Q1 173
Number of deletions to explain
for 2008Q2 and 2008 July
SPR deletion of all voters 100 or older
in April, May, June, July
SPR deletion of voters 86 to 99 years old
in April, May, June, July
Subtotal – Deletion of 86+ year voters
in 2008Q2 and up to July 31
Number of non-postal deletion we can trace 218
Number of deletions to explain 242

From recent pattern of a special SPR campaign to delete dead voters, we figure it is reasonable to expect about 200 deletions of moved-out and dead voters per quarter, for April, May, and June, a period that should overlap with the above 86+ voter deletion (25+20).

  • Any registration changes for July 2008 (after 2008Q2), however, have not even been publicly displayed – not to mention gazetted. It would be imprudent for SPR to delete from July changes, although it could account for perhaps 100 or more missing voters.
  • SPR’s lack of transparency and unwillingness to make 2008Q2 supplementary roll easily available means we cannot trace the last 242 deletions. We can only make partial, manual, checking and guesses.
  • These 242 untraced deletions could easily contain mistakes created in a rush. If so, SPR would have embarrassed itself by trying to avoid embarrassing itself.
  • MalaysiaKini.com and MerdekaReview.com have reported a total of 5 cases of voters, who are alive and well, who were told by SPR staff on polling day that they had been considered dead and deleted from the rolls.
  • We can confirm one case (Ang Kean Tatt, born 1983) where the voter did exist in the 2008 Feb 5 roll, is alive and well, but is not found in the 2008 Jul 31 roll, and was told he was dead in the voters roll.
  • We suspect other cases may involve long-dormant voters who have suddenly found themselves gerrymandered away from Permatang Pauh even before the 12th GE.
  • See various reports:

Finding 7: The “addition” of 961 voters in the by-election roll was also inflated by 489 new-formatted police postal voter IC numbers
As we explained above in Finding 2, 489 police voters remained in Permatang Pauh so far this yea. But their newly-formatted IC numbers have made these 489 look like “new additions” to the roll.
Finding 8: The remaining 472 (=961-489) new non-postal voters can be traced to normal new voters and moved-in voters in 2008Q1, gazetted in 2008 Jun 19.

  • SPR press release indicated that SPR did not add new voters after the 2008 Jun 19 gazetted (2008Q1 data) rolls, and that SPR only deleted voters found to have moved out or to have died.
  • The 2008Q1 supplementary roll revealed that 485 new voters were added to Permatang Pauh in 2008Q1, gazetted on 2008 Jun 19:
    • 373 voters were added due to new registration, and
    • 112 voters were added because they moved into Permatang Pauh.
  • Earlier we calculated that 472 non-postal voters were added, which is fewer than 485 reported in 2008Q1.
  • This means we can account for almost all the addition to the by-election roll.
  • As a result, we had not been too worried about “phantom voters” being imported into the electoral roll. (Although bused-in phantoms using other valid voters’ ICs is another matter to worry about.)
  • Still, the difference of 13, between 485 non-postal voters added in 2008Q1 and 472 additional non-postal voters found on the by-election roll, is a small mystery. Some 13 voters were somehow deleted or not included somewhere.

With the above 8 points of finding, and the confusion created by SPR changes, we repeat these three recommendations for improving SPR and the electoral rolls:

  1. First, let police and military voters switch to a 12-digit civilian IC to simplify verification, update, and avoid duplicate registrations.
  2. Second, make voter registration automatic with MyKad status at the NRIC Department. Meanwhile, make NRIC accountable to the parliament, to prevent Sabah-like IC mess,
  3. Third, make SPR more transparent with the gazetted and quarterly electoral rolls. SPR has recently stopped the online publication of the quarterly rolls in PDF format.Given adequate data, NGOs and the media can actually help SPR avoid unnecessary confusion.