Early this month, Ong Kian Ming, project director of Malaysia Electoral Roll Analysis Project (Merap) had found that the MyKad number of registered voter Farimah binti Ansan Afandi was different from her date of birth as recorded in the EC online database.
A Malaysiakini search of the database confirmed that the MyKad number was 560615125826 but her date of birth was listed as Sept 17, 1970.
An inquiry with the EC returned a puzzling answer.
An officer authorised by the EC chief Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof to respond to the query explained that Farimah had first registered as a voter with her old eight-digit identity card number on Sept 14, 1993.
“In 1998, her 12-digit MyKad number was recorded as 700917125292, hence her date of birth was changed to Sept 17, 1970,” he said in a text-message.
“A check in 2011 found that her original 12-digit number (700917125292) was not active and she was given a new number (560615125826).
“On July 19, 2011, her MyKad number in the electoral master roll was updated to the active 12-digit identity number (560615125826) but her date of birth was not changed.
“The date of birth was changed after the mistake was detected. This is a normal update process which can be done immediately when realised.”
A second check of the EC online database indicated that Farimah’s date of birth has been corrected to June 15, 1956.
Malaysiakini then sent several questions to the National Registration Department (NRD) about the change of Farimah's MyKad number, as this is under its purview:
1.How did Farimah's original identity number (700917125292) become inactive, to be replaced with a new number (560615125826)?
2. What has happened to the original number?
3. Generally, what does 'inactive identity number' mean?
4. What are the reasons that lead to an identity number becoming inactive?
The NRD public relations office has yet to respond, after three weeks of repeated attempts to get answers.
Commenting on the issue, Ong agreed that the EC’s response - that Farimah was issued two identity cards with different dates of birth - is troubling for a few reasons.
“Firstly, the EC did not query the NRD as to the reason why two identity cards were issue and with different dates of birth. Can one person hold two identity card numbers? If so, can they register to be voters twice since the EC cannot easily detect the presence of such cases?,” he posed when contacted.
“Secondly, it is similar to other accusations revealed in the past, where the same person holds more than one identity card number and thus is allowed to vote twice.”
Ong cited another example raised in prominent Sabah blogger Mutalib MD's book ‘IC Palsu’ (Fake Identity Card), where an Indonesian named Abu Nawar bin Aswar was alleged to have been issued two identity cards: H0502717/650410126461 and H0491369/600407125411.
“A check of the EC records shows that both numbers are registered under a voter with the same name 'Abu Nawar bin Aswar' in the parliamentary seat of Silam,” he said.
A check of the EC online database today confirmed there are two persons named Abu Nawar registered in Silam with these identity numbers.
Ong noted that Farimah's case is one of the more obvious examples, and raised the possibility of many less obvious cases such as that of Abu Nawar.
“Of course, the EC can say that these are two different people but the documentation given in Mutalib MD's book for this individual was very comprehensive, including copies of his identity card, birth certificate and a form which shows the issuance of a temporary identity card,” he added.
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