Thursday, September 6, 2012

EC still lacks staff to check irregularities (Free Malaysia Today: April 25, 2012)

Tarani Palani | April 25, 2012

Its deputy chairman says the EC is still determined to fix the problems despite the handicap.

PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission (EC) still lacks personnel to overlook the cleaning up of the electoral roll with its 12.6 million voters.

However, EC deputy chairman, Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, said that the EC is still determined to clean up the roll despite the constraint.

At present, EC has 15 personnel to upkeep the electoral roll, excluding the staff who input data in the registry.

Wan Ahmad said the 15-core group comprised two officers in the voter registration division, 10 supporting staff, one ICT manager and two database officers.

“There are also the data registry staff,” he said.

He added that the current EC computer system is linked up to National Registration Department’s (NRD) database and IC records for online verification.

He said the EC also works closely with the police and Defence Ministry to keep track of the registration of officers and changes in voting details,” he said.

He added that EC will also now consult with Mimos (Malaysian Institute of Microelectronic System) to check any irregularities.

“We’ll focus on each and every issue to work out short- and long-term solutions,”he said.

On the findings of the Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project (Merap), Wan Ahmad said EC is willing to meet Merap director, Ong Kian Ming, to clear up all the allegations and suspicions about electoral roll.

“It is unfair to tarnish the EC’s image when Ong is unaware of the many technical aspects about the voting list and how the EC works.

“He makes a lot of wild allegations based on his limited understanding of the cases mentioned in his findings,” he said.

Yesterday, Ong said that more than 59,000 foreigners have been registered as voters in Malaysia, raising suspicions over their status as genuine voters.

He also said that there were 3.1 million non-residential voters whose addresses in the IC did not match their voting constituency.

This was an offence under federal law but the EC has a loose interpretation of it. As a result, Ong said the law can be abused to register phantom voters.

Ong also claimed that the EC has detailed data of these voters but it was not taking measures to tackle the problem.