PKR questions validity of Hulu Selangor vote

By G. Manimaran (Malaysian Insider)
HULU SELANGOR, April 21 — PKR today questioned the validity of this Sunday’s Hulu Selangor by-election, after the Election Commission (EC) moved 228 voters to the neighbouring Selayang parliamentary constituency.
The party claimed the voters from Kampung Tanjung in Batang Kali were not informed of the move, but the EC said they were transferred during a clean-up of the electoral rolls after Election 2004.
The election body has, however, admitted it failed to inform the affected voters.
“We see this as an action that is not valid, shifting voters from one area to another area,” PKR national election director, Fuziah Salleh, told reporters here today.
Fuziah asserted that the EC cannot relocate a voter to another area without the voter’s knowledge.
“This relocation was not done because of applications by the mentioned voters, but it is the EC who shifted them,” she said at the press conference attended by Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, the PKR candidate for Hulu Selangor.
Fuziah noted the affected group of voters were among those who helped PKR win in the Barisan Nasional (BN) stronghold two years by a narrow 198 votes.
“They were taken out from one area to another area, that is Selayang. This act of taking them out can only be done when boundaries are redrawn, not now.
“EC’s action has lost them the right to vote,” she continued, adding the EC legal advisor has not replied to her query as the officer had just returned from abroad.
When asked if PR will take legal action to declare the election invalid, Fuziah who is also the Kuantan MP said, “We are headed towards victory, so we don’t want to think of this action (filing a case).”
“We will think of follow-up actions after the election,” she said, adding the voters could also sue the EC.
EC deputy chairman, Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, refuted her claims, saying the EC’s move was not unlawful.
“This process was conducted since after the 2004 general election. So, we found that there were some areas which were included in other election areas, but the reality is that voters have to vote in another place.
“So the EC is taking the action of correcting the locality of voting stations by shifting voters of affected areas to other areas… one of the affected areas is Hulu Selangor and Selayang,” he said.
According to Wan Ahmad, the affected voters were now in the Rawang state constituency and not in the Batang Kali state seat, making them ineligible to vote this Sunday.
He said the EC only identified the matter after the last electoral roll was cleaned up for the Hulu Selangor by-election, adding the manual process of determining electoral boundaries was replaced in 2004 with geographical information systems.