Tuesday, August 29, 2017



Media statement by M.Kula Segaran MP Ipoh Barat and DAP National Vice Chairman, Thomas Su MP Ipoh Timur and Cheong Chee Khing ADUN Bercham in Ipoh on 29th August 2017

Election commission frustrates scrutiny of its actions

Introduction

The Election Commission (SPR) has the sole authority under the Federal Constitution to register new voters. Thus the SPR plays an important role to ensure only citizens are registered as voters. Registration of voters is done on a quarterly basis namely the last been done in the months of April, May and June. After this due registration exercise the SPR than puts up voters list at strategic places in Parliamentary constituencies for any one to file objections if the new voter is not residing in the area he has registered for. Unfortunately such process has been made difficult because the EC has weakened the process of stakeholder empowerment to question its actions by creating obstacles that goes against the common interest of voters.

New voters address incomplete

In Ipoh Barat new voters and transferring of voters have applied to be registered as voters. Although we welcome the voters we find the address of this voters misleading and confusing. The SPR has given the house number and the Gardens (Taman) where the new voters are residing. Unfortunately in almost all Taman’s the process to locate and confirm the new registered voters is time consuming and tedious and most of the time impossible. For example we took a symbolic objection to a new voter registered at a place known as no 63 Kg. Kacang Puteh, Buntong. As the road name was not given in the data made available we could not locate this house no 63. In fact in our search at Kg.Kacang Puteh, there were another 2 houses with the same address 63 at Kg,Kacang Puteh, Buntong. The question is why has SPR refuse to provide the road names? Are there hidden agendas that make objections/verifications impossible? The SPR seems to act in an unacceptable manner which is against reason and common sense. It creates more suspicion on the presence of hidden hands out to frustrate the transparent process of voters registration and verification exercise.

In Ipoh Timur, we have faced the similar problem eg. Lokaliti No. 0642610001 – Kg Sri Kinta, as the road name or details of the address are not provided in the Voters List published, it is almost impossible task to locate house merely identified as “No. 11”. We took a symbolic objection to a new voter registered at this address instead of four (4) new voters applied to be voters at this address, the costs involved is a hindrance and our reluctance to file a comprehensive objections with the SPR . In fact, there are many other new voters where we are unable to locate them as there many same house number registered in the same locality or Taman. SPR should display a more transparent and detailed address of New Voter for proper and due verification purpose.

Softcopy have been refused

The SPR at every quarter of new voters registered will extend a soft copy of the applicants name, address and constituency to political parties. Softcopy Rang Daftar Pemilih Tambahan(RPDT) – Previously the draft supplementary roll was provided to political parties, for them to analyze and detect irregularities for objection. From 2017 onwards, the Election Commission has decided to no longer provide softcopy of the supplementary electoral roll. No reason was given, except that they have no obligations to do so. This is a problem because without the softcopy, it is physically impossible to inspect the draft rolls effectively because they are voluminous and displayed in different areas. Voters have perceived the act of not providing soft copies has prevented stakeholders like political parties to play a legitimate and effective role of check and balance on the SPR.

Refusal to use the Website

Currently every quarterly voter can be found if one makes an effort to go to certain named places to check it. This process is difficult and cumbersome. Many of the voters have little time to physically be present due to work and family commitments. Instead the SPR should upload all this names of new voters and movement of voters onto the website for the public to know and provide feedback. Why has the election commission refuse to use such common technology that would serve the interest of voters?

Conclusion









The inadequacies mentioned above have one thing in common, i.e. they are done in marginal constituencies in a deliberate and coordinated manner in attempt to sway electoral results. The Election Commission has not been honest and transparent in coming up with concrete solutions on proper voter registration that would protect the interest of voters, although they are empowered to do so under several provisions in the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002.

The objection process and information is key to preventing illegal transfer of voters. The SPR must be people friendly and allow all stakeholders to have a say in the registration of voters. SPR is a public body and it is mandated to serve the common good of stake holders. The difficult process made to find out where the new voters are residing itself shows the SPR is acting against the interest of its main stakeholder who are the voters. The only way to command public confidence is for the SPR to illuminate the Malaysian public on how it registers and verifies new voters, and how do stakeholders identify them. Unless this is done the public will continue to doubt on its integrity

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