PAS wants retired servicemen removed from postal voter list

By Clara Chooi (Malaysian Insider)
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 — PAS claimed today that there are only 1,200 servicemen who are registered postal voters in the Bagan Pinang state constituency in Negeri Sembilan.
The rest of the 4,604 postal voters are actually retired servicemen, the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party claimed.

PAS is now demanding the Election Commission (EC) disallow retired servicemen from voting in next week’s by-election.
Postal votes have become a major point of contention in the campaign because of the high proportion of such voters in this state constituency.
Such voters are a traditional vote bank for Barisan Nasional (BN), and coupled with a popular candidate in Tan Sri Isa Samad, Umno is expected to win the by-election.
PAS secretary general Datuk Mustafa Ali said today many of the servicemen who are postal voters are retired and no longer live in the constituency.
“If they are no longer even serving there and are retired, they should be voting like the regular voters and should no longer be listed in the postal voter list.
“This is what raises the question of whether the by-election will truly be a free and fair one,” he told reporters in a press conference at the PAS headquarters here today.
Mustafa, however, admitted that the EC could do little to rectify the situation.
“I can pre-empt that they would just leave the list as it is but we believe that this would not be fair.
“Many of these people have left the state and are residing elsewhere — it is only right that they become voters in the place that they stay,” he said.
Despite the clear advantage of postal votes, Mustafa also warned BN against assuming that they would sweep clean the entire postal voter electorate.
“They (postal voters) have their own beliefs, too, and they will use their intelligence and good judgement to vote for the candidate that is clean and has integrity,” he said.
Mustafa added that if the entire by-election process was truly free and fair, PR could very well achieve a surprise win over the BN.
“Perhaps Umno believes in their choice of candidate — that he was formerly a mentri besar and is the people’s choice.
“However, the rakyat now want to see a clean candidate, a candidate that is honest and has integrity and (Tan Sri) Isa (Abdul Samad) does not match that criteria. He has a case against him,” said Mustafa.
Isa, as the former Negeri Sembilan mentri besar, may be popular amongst the Bagan Pinang electorate but he does not come without a tainted past — he was previously suspended for three years from Umno over his involvement in money politics.
Besides Isa’s “case”, Mustafa said there were also other “factors” that were favourable to PR.
He said that based on this, PAS had already identified the few issues that would be used as ammunition against BN during the campaign period.
“They are both local and national issues. We will not reveal them now, however; you would have to listen to the ceramahs,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mustafa also slammed the EC’s directive to disallow other PR component parties from displaying their party symbols on campaign materials during the campaigning period for the by-election.
“This was a self-created regulation by the EC. This is what they do to parties that are campaigning against the BN.
“In previous years, this was never a problem. Umno would use its keris insignia on the campaign materials although it is the BN symbol that should be used,” he said.
Nomination for the Bagan Pinang by-election is scheduled for tomorrow while polling day is set for Sunday, Oct 11.
Isa will be up against Negri Sembilan PAS commissioner Zulkefly Mohamad Omar.