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Biometric voting system a sham?

 | July 26, 2011

Sarawak DAP believes the biometric voting system can be manipulated by the Election Commission.

KUCHING: The biometric voting system being touted by the Election Commission (EC) is not a solution to a free and fair election process.

According to state opposition DAP, the system can “still be manipulated”.

The EC had said that it would introduce the biometric system for the coming parliamentary election.

But state DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen thinks otherwise.

“The biometric system can still be manipulated.

“Secondly, it is too costly. The EC needs to have thumb-print reader in every stream and in every polling station.

“It’s not practical. We would prefer the EC to use the indelible ink. It is much cheaper. This is our party’s stand,” he said.

In the last parliamentary election, the EC was supposed to use the indelible ink.

The EC had bought RM2.9 million worth of ink from overseas but at the eleventh hour, it decided not to use it due to “security reasons”.

End to phantom voters

Defending the biometric system, EC chairman Abdul Aziz Mod Yusuf said here it will put an end to allegations of “phantom voters”.

He said phantom voters will no longer “exist” in the electoral lists once the biometric system is used to verify registered voters.

He said that over the years the EC has been receiving allegations and accusations about the existence of phantom voters and it has never stopped.

“In fact, there is no end to this (accusations of phantom voters).

“This system will demolish its existence,” he said, adding that the system was not a new invention as it was currently used by the Home Ministry, national anti-drugs agency, the Immigration and the police.

Issue of trust

But yesterday, a Bersih 2.0 steering committee member, Wong Chi Huat, said it was not the system itself which was being questioned.

“I don’t trust the biometric system because I don’t believe the EC has the competence and integrity to prevent rigging and other abuses,” he said.

He also questioned the EC’s ability and competence in maintaining the system and “detecting or eliminating” hacking by an external party.

Drawing an analogy to the usage of online banking for transactions, Wong said the issue now was trust.

“Do you trust the EC and can it guarantee the biometric system is foolproof ?

“The issue here is the level of trust in EC to implement the biometric system and much depends on the integrity of the EC itself,” he said.


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