Pakatan Rakyat could have won about four more parliamentary seats in Sabah in the recent general election if not for dubious voters on the electoral roll, said Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS) secretariat director Jannie Lasimbang.

Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS) secretariat director Jannie Lasimbang frontShe told a seminar in Kuala Lumpur today that number of dubious identity card holders in Beaufort, Tawau, Kota Marudu and Batu Sapi exceed the majority won by BN.

In Beaufort for example, she said there are around 1,061 alleged dubious IC holders but the BN's majority there was 673. In Tawau, there are 7,472 such IC holders compared to the 4,947-vote majority.

She said this is based on the Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project's (Merap) analysis of Sabah and Sarawak National Registration Department (NRD) identity card division assistant chief Ruslan Alias' testimony at the Sabah Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), who had produced a list of such identity card holders to the commission.

"The analysis shows that there should be three, possibly four, that could have been won, based on the assumption who were put there (on the list) were not really there," said Lasimbang, who is former Suhakam commissioner.
‘59 election complaints received’

Suhakam commissioner James Nayagam (below) told the same seminar the commission has received 59 complaints of electoral irregularities, of which the majority (22 complaints) are related to the indelible ink.

Another 12 complaints are regarding voters being issued pencils instead of pens to mark their ballot papers.

NONEIn addition, James said Suhakam has done its own research on media coverage of the elections and found it disappointing, with Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian and New Straits Times focussing on BN, while The Star focussed its coverage on MCA.

Meanwhile, he said, Sinar Harian, Sinchew Daily Nanyang Siang Pau and the online media carried reports from the BN, Pakatan Rakyat, and independent candidates.

In terms of advertisements, he said almost all of the print media carried many BN advertisements and little or no Pakatan advertisements.

NONEHe said while Suhakam pursues answers from the Election Commission (EC), it wants to address the deficiencies in the media as well.

“We are not satisfied (with getting answers from the EC alone) because what is bothering us is the media.

“Why should the media be let off so easily while people are being charged with sedition and so on?” he said.

Therefore, he said Suhakam will hold a roundtable discussion with media agencies on the issue.

Speaking to reporters after the seminar, he said the discussion will most likely be held after the upcoming fasting month, and the commission will invite editors from all media agencies in addition to the NGO Centre for Independent Journalism.

He hopes that the roundtable discussion could hammer out guidelines for professional journalism.