Proham, a human rights NGO formed by former commissioners of Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), called on NRD to come clean on the various irregularities related to the issue of voter identity.
"The NRD should be much more transparent and accountable to the rakyat for the many irregularities that have been found in the voter registration as the integrity of the whole electoral process and its legitimacy are now widely questioned at home and abroad," it said in a statement jointly endorsed by Simon Sipaun, Ramon Navaratnam (above), Hamdan Adnan and Denison Jayasooria.
They quoted the findings by political researcher Ong Kian Ming (left) that some 50 voters having foreign names with code 71 (born outside of Malaysia) in Kampung Majidee Melayu, Johor, and the inability of the EC to verify the situation.
"Since this matter (voter identity) is directly under the responsibility of the NRD, it is, therefore, imperative for NRD and the Home Ministry to make a clear statement on this matter, to restore public confidence in the electoral process.
"Proham believes that it is of utmost importance within the context of our democratic tradition, that there is full public confidence in the voters registered. Otherwise the whole integrity of the electoral process and its legitimacy is now being questioned, given the analysis and conclusions drawn from available specific data and case studies."
Proham was responding to the EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof's statement on Tuesday that the commission has no right to reject the registration of voters with incomplete and dubious addresses as long as they are in the record of the NRD.
Voters without vital details
Abdul Aziz was requested to respond to Ong's findings that many non-Malaysia born new voters registered by government agencies (not the EC) have no house numbers and street names in their addresses.
One of the examples cited by Ong is Kampung Melayu Majidee, which is located in a heavily urbanised area in Johor Bahru.
All the 56 foreign-born new voters in that area registered in the last three quarters, do not have house numbers and street names, while all 75 Malaysia-born new voters, except one, have complete addresses.
This lack of complete addresses make it difficult for political parties to trace these voters and verify if they are valid voters in the areas they are registered.
Ong further raised the question whether these dubious voters were given identity cards by the NRD to vote in the polls.
Ong is also the project director of Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project (MERAP), which has been providing statistics and evidence on electoral irregularities to back the demands of the electoral reform coalition, Bersih.
In the statement, Proham also reiterated its call to the prime minister and the federal government to urgently institute an independent inter-agency and multi-party supervisory unit, comprising EC representatives, parliamentarians, election monitoring civil society organisations and all relevant federal agencies particularly the NRD, to oversee the cleaning up of the election rolls before the 13th general election.
"This must be an open and transparent process and the main objective is to restore public confidence in the electoral process and the EC, especially the NRD whose credentials and credibility are now being seriously questioned by the general public and voters," it added.
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