THE TRUTH BEHIND THE ACCUSATIONS AND LIES TOWARDS THE ELECTION COMMISSION (EC)
THE TRUTH BEHIND THE ACCUSATIONS AND LIES TOWARDS THE ELECTION COMMISSION (EC)
TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.
The EC deliberately adjusts the boundaries of the State and Parliamentary constituencies without the approval of the Parliament, with the intention of increasing the number of voters in a given constituency to enable Barisan Nasional to win in the 13th General Elections (GE-13) 2.
The Hon. Tan Sri Abdul Khalid bin Ibrahim was illegally transferred by the EC to another constituency 3.
Allegation 3: EC has failed to clean up the electoral roll. A total of 42,051 doubtful voters are still in the current EC electoral roll.
The EC registered foreigners who have obtained citizenship as electors 5.
There are still many voters over 100 years old in the EC electoral roll 6.
The ECâ€™s electoral roll is deemed dirty because it contains many voters registered under one address 7.
There has been a sudden increase in the number of voters in several constituencies represented by the opposition candidates Â Â
Allegation 8: The EC deliberately increased the number of workers to vote by post at the 13th General Election (GE-13)
The EC failed to ensure fair media access for all parties throughout an election 10. Allegation 10:
The issue of the members of the Armed Forcesâ€™ spouses registered as postal voters 11. Allegation 11:
The issue of police and spouses registered as postal voters 12. Allegation 12: The issue of phantom voters
Allegation 1: The EC deliberately adjusts the boundaries of State and Parliamentary constituencies without the approval of the Parliament, with the intention of increasing the number of voters in a given constituency to enable Barisan Nasional to win in the 13th General Elections (GE-13) This allegation is malicious and has no basis at all. The EC has never made any changes to the boundaries of State or Parliamentary constituencies as such changes can only be made when there is a review of the constituency boundaries as provided for, under Article 113 of the Federal Constitution. The EC had already issued a statement to the effect that the review of electoral boundaries will only be undertaken after GE-13. The EC will issue an official statement as to when the review will commence at the appropriate time. What the EC actually did was to correct the mistake it made in placing the locality along with the voters in that locality in a wrong constituency. These mistakes had occurred in the past, possibly because the placement of localities in a constituency was done manually prior to 2004. Thus, under sub-regulation 25(3), Election Regulations (Registration of Electors) 2002, the Chief Registrar is vested with the power to correct such mistakes. The Chief Registrar had therefore placed the locality along with the electors in that locality in the constituency where it should be rightfully. Only after the EGIS system (Electoral Geographical Information System) was adopted in 2004 did the EC realize 1Â
that several localities and the electors placed in these localities were in the wrong constituencies. Using the powers vested under the Chief Registrar, the EC placed the localities in the constituencies where they should be rightfully. This exercise involved a total of 19,342 electors in several constituencies. The localities along with the electors must be placed in the right constituencies as they exist in the field. It must be emphasized here that the placement of localities in the right constituencies does not involve changes to the boundaries of any constituency, be it State or Parliamentary. In fact, by placing the localities in the right constituencies, the electors will be able to vote in the right constituencies, both State and Parliamentary, and in the right polling districts based on their respective addresses. After these corrections were made, the EC officially informed through notification letters that were addressed to leaders of all political parties in the affected constituencies. The EC assumed that the political parties, through their leaders at the polling districts and the state constituencies, were aware of the corrective actions taken by it and would therefore inform the affected electors in their respective constituencies. However, based on the feedback that the EC received from the electors, many were not aware of the corrective actions taken to place the locality they are in the right constituency. As a result and in view of the approaching GE-13, the EC will write to all the affected electors throughout the country notifying them of the changes in their constituencies. 2Â
Thus, the EC would like to reiterate that the action taken to place the localities in the right constituencies based on the actual location of these localities on the ground, does not involve any changes to the boundaries of the constituencies, both state and federal. Those who need further clarification on this matter can get in touch with any of the EC Offices. Allegation 2: The Hon. Tan Sri Abdul Khalid bin Ibrahim was illegally transferred by the EC to another constituency Allegations that The Hon. Tan Sri Abdul Khalid bin Ibrahim was transferred illegally by the EC to another constituency is untrue and baseless. The EC had given a detailed explanation to Members of the Parliament on 16 April 2012 with regards to this matter. However, this matter continues to be manipulated to mislead the public who may not understand the issue of corrections made to the placement of localities within a polling district, which in turn lies within a State constituency which in turn lies within a Parliamentary constituency. In the case of The Hon. Tan Sri Abdul Khalid bin Ibrahim, the EC took the corrective action to place the locality in which Hon. Tan Sriâ€™s name appears, along with others, in the right constituency in accordance with sub-regulation 25(3) Election Regulations (Registration of Electors 2002). 3Â
The Hon. Tan Sri Abdul Khalid bin Ibrahim registered as an elector on 1/1/1985 using Jalan 16/2, Section 16, Petaling Jaya, Selangor as his address. When keying in the information contained in the registration form, the EC officer had placed him in locality ‘Jalan 16/2’ under the State constituency of N.34 Bukit Gasing and the Parliamentary constituency of P105 Petaling Jaya Selatan. This was based on the address given in the registration form without recognizing the fact that on the ground, locality ‘Jalan 16/2’ comes under the Federal Territory with Jalan Datuk Abu Bakar as the official boundary between the Federal Territory and Selangor. Hence, the locality ‘Jalan 16/2’ where The Hon. Tan Sri’s house is located really lies within the Federal constituency of P. 121 Lembah Pantai under the Federal Territory. With the implementation of EGIS in 2004, the EC realized that the locality ‘Jalan 16/2’ was placed in the wrong constituency. In line with the corrective actions that were being taken in other constituencies throughout the country, the EC made the correction and placed the locality ‘Jalan 16/2’ Seksyen 16, Petaling Jaya under the Parliamentary constituency of P.121 Lembah Pantai, Federal Territory based on the location of that locality on the ground. This action does not involve any changes to the boundaries of constituencies, both State and Federal. Those who need further clarification on this matter may visit the the EC Headquarters or the Selangor EC Office or the Federal Territory EC Office.
Allegation 3: EC has failed to clean up the electoral roll. A total of 42,051 doubtful voters are still in the current EC electoral roll As part of its continuous effort to clean-up the electoral roll, the EC sent the Principal Electoral Roll (PER) with12.5 million registered electors to the National Registration Department (NRD) on July 2011 for a comprehensive review for the purpose of confirmation and verification. In September 2011, the NRD informed the EC that of the total of 12.5 million electors, there were 42,051 names of electors on whom they do not have clear and reliable information. This means that the names of the 42,051 electors are in the records of the NRD. However, these electors cannot be contacted because of the absence of address though the NRD would like them to come and update their latest status. At the same time, they have not been to any of the NRD offices to update their status. As a result, the EC decided to categorize the 42,051 electors as doubtful due to the absence of the latest information on their status. Following this, to ensure that the rights of the registered electors are guaranteed under the Constitution, the EC took the right step in not deleting their names from the electoral roll without confirmation from the rightful department, the NRD. Instead, the EC took the initiative to display all of the 42,051 names for a period of 3 months to provide an 5Â
opportunity for the public, especially electors to come forward to update their information at the NRD and the EC. This would enable the NRD and the EC to update the status of the elector and remove him or her from the list of doubtful electors. During the same period, the EC also distributed the names of these 42,051 electors to the headquarters of all major political parties, as well as political leaders. The EC hoped that they will get confirmation and feedback on their address or their latest status. Unfortunately, the response received by the EC from political parties and the public during the three months was disappointing. On 28 March 2012, the NRD informed the EC that based on detailed ongoing reviews the number of electors with dubious status was reduced to 40,803 people. This is due to the fact that there had been individuals who went to the NRD to update the information on their identity cards, while others, as heirs, came forward with evidence to the NRD on the death of family members or their relatives. The law does not allow any name in the electoral roll to be deleted without confirmation of their status from the NRD. Thus, the names of 40,803 electors of dubious status should continue to remain in the electoral rolls, in order to ensure that their rights are protected under the Constitution. The EC would only delete their names from the electoral roll after official confirmation had been received from the authority, that is the NRD, on whether the individual has died or lost his or her citizenship status, or is disqualified for other reasons as provided for under the Federal Constitution. 6Â
Therefore, as long as the final confirmation has not been obtained from the NRD, the names of all the 40,803 electors must be maintained in the Principal Electoral Roll.
Allegation 4: The EC registered foreigners who have obtained citizenship as electors Only Malaysian citizens are eligible and entitled to vote in the elections in this country. It would be impossible for those who are not Malaysian citizens or are foreigners to register as voters. Any Malaysian citizen aged 21 years old and above and has applied to be registered as an elector will have his or her application processed through the computer system and in accordance with procedures prescribed under the law. Hence, the issue of who or the background of a citizen who applies to be registered as an elector, does not arise since the basic requirement is for the applicant to be a citizen of Malaysia and has attained the age of 21 years old or above, apart from satisfying other conditions prescribed under the Constitution. This information is verified using the ALiS of NRD which contains the details of each citizen. Allegation 5: There are still many voters over 100 years old in the EC electoral roll The name of a registered elector can be deleted from the 7Â
electoral roll for only two reasons. Firstly, the voter must have passed away as per the confirmation from the NRD. Secondly, the voter must have been disqualified as per the confirmation by the relevant departments. Therefore, although an elector may be over 100 years old, the law does not allow the EC to arbitrarily delete their names from the electoral roll on the assumption that they may have died. The EC hopes that individuals who have knowledge of the death of their relatives and be able to prove it will proceed to the NRD to have the records of the deceased updated. With regards to the issue of confirming the records on the death of a citizen, the EC is obliged to rely on valid information from the NRD to prevent fraud or the likes.
Allegation 6: The ECâ€™s electoral roll is deemed dirty because it contains many voters registered under one address The public perception regarding the findings by MIMOS that many electors are registered in clusters under a single address is incorrect. What has happened is that MIMOS had misunderstood the large number of electors in a locality, so as to mean that all the electors in that locality are registered under one address.The fact is that the EC places the registered electors in the appropriate locality which in turn will be placed under the appropriate polling district and the polling centre. As such, the EC has established the policy to place electors with different addresses but within the same locality in that locality. In the election map, the locality
constitutes the smallest unit and consists of several addresses. The combination of several adjacent localities will constitute the polling district, and the combination of several polling districts will constitute a State constituency; while one or more State constituencies will constitute a Parliamentary constituency. For example, the locality of Kampung Melayu Majidee in Johor, was assumed to have just one address with more than 100 electors. In reality, this locality has tens of complete addresses, as well as incomplete addresses that have all been combined to form a locality, i.e., Kampung Melayu Majidee. MIMOS had misinterpreted this to mean one address when in fact it is a locality under a polling district.
Allegation: 7 There has been a sudden increase in the number of voters in several constituencies represented by the opposition candidates The ECâ€™s initiative in aggressively promoting and calling out for people to register as voters, and the current atmosphere with the GE-13 fast approaching, would be the major factors contributing to the increase in the registration of electors up until the fourth quarter of 2011. An increase in total registration has occurred in all constituencies across the country. However, there are several constituencies that recorded a higher increase than other constituencies, as observed in several states and in some particular 9Â
constituencies. This is not surprising as till the end of June 2011 there were still 3.7 million citizens who are qualified to register but have yet to register as electors. The highest number of individuals who have yet to register by state would be in Selangor followed by the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur,Johor, Perak and others. Thus, if the increase in the registration of new electors is high in the state of Selangor, this is to be expected as it has about 750,000 citizens who are qualified to register but have yet to register as of June 2011. In some constituencies, the increase in total registration was rather high, exceeding 30% in some cases compared to the number of electors in 2008. This includes constituencies such as P.107 Subang (34%), P.158 Tebrau (34%), P.111 Kota Raja (33%), P.086 Pekan (33%), and P.032 Gua Musang ( 30%). The increase in voter registration was not planned by the EC for any particular purpose, as alleged by some parties. Instead, it had occurred because there were many people who were eligible to register as voters across the country, including those in Selangor, who have yet to register as electors. As a result of aggressive promotion and the realization among them of the impending elections, they have come forward to register on a large scale via post offices, as well as through the help of assistant registrars appointed by the EC throughout the country.
Allegation 8: The EC deliberately increased the number of workers to vote by post at the 13th General Election (GE-13) Sub regulation 3(1) Election Regulations (Postal Voting) 2003 provides for election officers on duty on polling day to apply to vote by post. Thus, through this provision, the EC workers are allowed to make an application to the Returning Officer in their respective constituencies to vote by post. However, not all EC workers would vote by post. A staff on duty at a Polling Centre and is also a registered elector in that polling district, will be allowed to vote in the same polling station just like any ordinary voter. Likewise, if an EC staff was on duty in a Polling Centre, and he or she is to vote at another Polling Centre nearby as his or her name is in the electoral roll for that polling district, the staff would be given the time to go and vote as an ordinary voter in that Polling Center. It is the practice of the EC to try and identify people from a polling district and appoint them as staff of the polling station for that polling district. This would enable them to vote as ordinary voters on polling day. However, one must be aware that for GE-13, the EC would have to appoint a large number of workers. Therefore, it would be very difficult to ensure that those appointed as EC workers in each polling station would be registered electors from the respective polling district or even nearby polling districts.
Allegation 9: The EC failed to ensure fair media access for all parties throughout an election The power to control the media during an election is not under the authority and responsibility of the EC. What more with privately-owned media, as each has its own own policies and approaches as regards its support and attitude towards the issues raised duringelections. Thus, they are free to report according to their interests. There is no legal provision that provides EC the power to control any media to ensure that they provide equal access to all the parties contesting in the elections. However, for GE-13, the EC will discuss with the relevant agencies in its effort to create space and equal access to the public media for all the parties contesting in the elections. In addition, the EC will also discuss with the owners of several private media groups (electronic and print media) to obtain their cooperation to create fair access to the media for all political parties and candidates contesting in the elections.
Allegation 10: The issue of members of the Armed Forcesâ€™ spouses registered as postal voters Under Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Election Regulations (Postal Voting) 2003, spouses of the members of the Armed Forces
can apply to be registered as absent voters and be able to vote by post. Therefore, there should be no dispute regarding the position of the spouses of the members of the Armed Forces. For the upcoming GE-13, the EC will introduce the Early Voting System for members of the Armed Forces and their spouses, members of the Police General Operations Force and their spouses and members of the Police Force who are all now classified as absent voters. During GE 13, they will be required to vote under the Early Voting System at Early Voting Centers that will be opened and managed by EC officials in the Centre where they were registered to vote. Those on operational duties and are unable to vote early will have to apply to their respective Returning Officers to vote by post
Allegation 11: The issue of police and spouses registered as postal voters According to the Elections Regulations (Postal Voting) Act 2003, members of the Police General Operations Force and their spouses are eligible to vote by post. This is clearly stated under sub regulation 3(1)(c) of the above regulation. Detail procedures are in place to process their applications for registration as absent voters (postal voters) by members of this Force and their spouses in order to avoid double
registration, that is, to ensure that their names do not appear in the ordinary electors list as well. As with the armed forces, members of the police force will vote earlier under the Early Voting System in GE-13. However, those involved with operational tasks may apply to vote by post.Therefore, there should be no dispute regarding the registration of the spouses of the members of the Police General Operations Force as absent voters who will now be able to vote early under the Early Voting System. Allegation 12: The issue of phantom voters With regards to the issue of "phantom voters" raised by certain parties, the EC had repeatedly pointed out to these parties and to the general public that there are no phantom voters in the elections in this country. To the EC, claims of "phantom voters" are accusations made deliberately by certain parties with political motives and with the intention of tarnishing the image of the EC in the eyes of the public. In reality, the accusations were never been proven by any party either in the court of law or outside the court. In the history of elections in this country, the issue of â€œphantom votersâ€? has never been proven in any of the election petitions filed in court after an election. What happens during an election is the existence of registered electors who are no longer residing at the addresses that were used when applying to be registered as 14Â
an elector. During the elections, these electors will return to vote in the constituency in which they have registered themselves as electors. Thus, these voters are genuine voters under the law and not â€˜phantom votersâ€™ as is often claimed by those who accuse the EC of deliberately allowing the names of these voters to be left in the electoral roll although they are no longer residing in the constituency concerned. These electors are registered electors who have the right to return to cast their vote in the polling centers where they had registered before.