Only 42,000 doubtful voters and not 3.3 million as alleged, says chairman
Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 16:26
Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 16:26
He said it was unfair to simply point fingers at the EC, which was striving hard to clean the electoral roll, without confirming the details and checking the facts.
“Be fair to us. If you think there is a mistake in the figures, check with us. EC doesn’t play politics,” he told The Malay Mail yesterday.
Abdul Aziz was responding to a statements by Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project (Merap) director Ong Kian Ming on Sunday that the number of dubious voters on the electoral roll was 78 times more than the 42,000 given by EC.
Ong said Merap found 3.3 million cases of unverifiable voters, in response to Abdul Aziz’s comment in a local Chinese daily that Malaysia had the cleanest electoral roll in the world and that the EC had cleared all disputed names.
Abdul Aziz, however, reitirated that the number of doubtful voters in the current roll was 42,051.
“I have no idea where Merap obtained the 3.3 million figure,” he said.
“The number of doubtful voters that EC gave is verified information from the National Registration Department (NRD) and the Malaysian Institute of Microelectronic Systems (Mimos) as they are the authority on the population database.
“They are categorised as doubtful voters because NRD could not confirm whether they are alive or not. This is because the 42,051 didn’t turn up to collect their identity cards which have been changed from seven digits to 14 digits, for 20 years.
“About 22,000 didn’t turn up to collect their high quality plastic identity cards or kad bunga raya for 15 years.”
Abdul Aziz also refuted Ong’s allegation that the 3.3 million cases included 65,455 foreigners.
“Get this fact straight. EC cannot register a non-citizen as a voter. However, if a Bangladeshi or Indonesian applies for Malaysian citizenship and gets it, then according to the law, it is legal and the person is considered a Malaysian,” he said.
“As long as they are Malaysian citizens, they are eligible to register as voters. EC cannot go around and tell people things like ‘you are originally from Bangladesh, so you can’t register as a voter’.”
On Ong’s comment that the 3.3 million voters included 106,743 which were deleted, Abdul Aziz said EC could not just delete names from the electoral roll.
He said cases that warranted deletion included death which must be verified with a death certificate, Malaysians who had become citizens of other countries, those who were mentally ill and prisoners.
“I think Merap should read our newly-launched booklet entitled The Facts Behind Allegations and Lies Against the EC before accusing us,” he said.
The booklet, launched on Tuesday, contains the EC’s response to issues raised by the Opposition, from the alleged shifting of electoral boundaries to the presence of dubious and phantom voters.
During the launch, Abdul Aziz had said the EC’s aggressive approach had contributed to a sharp rise in the number of new voters in all constituencies.
No need to display changes, says AzizTHE Election Commission need not display changes termed as “locality corrections” whch are made on the electoral roll, said its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof.
The Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project’s (Merap) had said that 6,762 additions were carried out from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the third quarter of 2011 and not put on public display.
“The cases that Merap refers to might be figures of locality correction. When we clean up the electoral roll, we might discover some localities that are wrong, and as such, we proceed to correct them.
“For instance, when we found out that Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s address at Jalan 16/2 in Section 16, Petaling Jaya was erroneously included as part of the Petaling Jaya Selatan, we corrected it.
“This is because his address does not fall under Selangor, but instead, it is under the Lembah Pantai constituency.
“After we corrected it, there is no need to publicly display it,” he said.
Abdul Aziz clarified that the EC displayed only new voters and those who changed addresses.
Merap’s director Ong Kian Ming had also said that the presence of 3.1 million voters whose identity card addresses did not match their voting constituencies was troubling because the information was given to the EC by the National Registration Department (NRD) in 2002, before the implementation of the new registration system where all voters had to register according to the constituency indicated by their identity card address.
To this, Abdul Aziz said that there were many Malaysians who did not stay at the addresses stated in their MyKad.
“These people move houses without informing NRD. Even if they inform NRD, they fail to inform EC. So, what can we do?
“By right if a particular person stays in a place for more than three years, he or she must inform the NRD and EC,” he said.
Abdul Aziz said the EC’s job was not exactly a bed of roses and the commission needed cooperation from the people in order to carry out its job without complications.
“Yes, it is EC’s job to clean up the electoral roll, but how can we clean it up without the support and cooperation from the people.
“We can do a better job with everyone’s cooperation,” he said.