Responding to claims by the Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project (Merap) that some voters on the list had "recycled" identification card numbers, EC chief Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof (right) said this was due to a clerical error.
He said that when the seven-digit identification numbers were issued prior to the 1990s, the lack of computing technology had caused some people to share the same numbers.
“We admit many voters having same old identity card number but they are different persons. Each and everyone of them has been issued a 12-digit new identity card number.
“During the issuance of old identity cards (in the past), we didn't have good telecommunication facilities and computer network, everything was done manually in all the districts around Malaysia.
“Hence there was the likelihood of same identity numbers issued to different persons,” he explained to Malaysiakini today.
The current 12-digit national registration identity card number system, or MyKad, was introduced in early 1990s to replace the seven-digit old identity card number.
The issuance of identity card is conducted by the National Registration Department (NRD).
Indelible ink to the rescue
In his latest article on irregularities in the electoral roll, Merap project director Ong Kian Ming highlighted dozens of cases involving two voters sharing same seven-digit identity card numbers.
The also claimed that there were cases of the seven-digit identity card numbers being transferred from one person to another.
Abdul Aziz promised that this will not pose a problem during the polls because all voters now identify themselves with their MyKad numbers.
Moreover, he said the implementation of the indelible ink system will also stamp out concerns on multiple voting.
Abdul Aziz added that in the recent vetting exercise on the electoral roll, the commission had discovered several cases of voters sharing the same seven digit identification card number, but all of them also have been issued unique MyKad numbers.
“Most importantly one person should not have more than one identity card to enable them to vote more than once.
“Now we have indelible ink, in case one person having two identity cards, he or she cannot vote more than once,” he said.
On other allegations raised by Merap, Abdul Aziz said the EC will be looking into them.
Merap, headed by Ong, has been providing statistics and evidence on irregularities in the electoral roll to back the demands by electoral reforms pressure group Bersih.
© 2012 Malaysiakini. All rights reserved.