PRESS STATEMENT (28 April 2017): Checks against phantom voters hampered by limited access to draft supplementary rolls

BERSIH 2.0 is outraged at the latest action by the Election Commission to forbid the distribution of both hard and soft copies of draft supplementary electoral rolls to political parties.
A letter from EC Secretary Abdul Ghani Salleh, sighted by BERSIH 2.0, instructed all state directors to comply with the directive following a decision at a 28 March 2017 meeting. Upon a phone clarification with the EC Registrar’s office, BERSIH 2.0 found out that even the sale of the rolls to political parties is not allowed.
Copies of the rolls used to be given free to political parties in pdf format but now cannot even be bought, whether in print or CD.
Why is the EC making it more difficult for the relevant parties to have access to these rolls, especially with the general election approaching?
The move effectively prevents any review of the electoral roll before it is gazetted as it is impossible to thoroughly review and investigate the rolls when they are only available to view in hard copy at the EC and local council offices, at limited office hour times.
This means the avenue to fight for a clean electoral roll now grows considerably smaller. Once a roll is gazetted, Section 9A of the Elections Act prevents any challenge to its integrity. The timing of this move is highly suspicious as it comes after numerous parties, including BERSIH 2.0, raised concerns over the illegal shifting of voters in the Q3 and Q4 2016 supplementary rolls.
By limiting access to the draft rolls, the EC appears to be less interested in facilitating the checks and balances of a transparent and clean roll but enabling electoral fraud by not stopping phantom voters at the door. Is that the message the EC wants to send out?
BERSIH 2.0 demands that the EC provide all interested parties, from political parties to NGOs, researchers and any affected members of the public, with the draft supplementary rolls at minimal cost if it wants to recover what little is left of its already severely tarnished image.
Issued by:
BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee