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Influx of 18,000 voters in Najib’s Pekan

 | March 22, 2012

PKR reiterates the need to audit the Election Commission’s data entry system.

UPDATED

KUALA LUMPUR: There has been an influx of more than 18,000 voters in Pekan, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s constituency, PKR alleged today.

Fuziah Salleh, the PKR vice-president who has in recent days been making allegations of irregularities in the electoral roll, said she detected the increase by comparing the voter lists for 2008 and the third quarter of last year.

“In Kuantan, which is an urban area, there is an addition of about 5,000,” she told a news conference in Parliament House. “But in Pekan there is an addition of 18,568 voters.”

Pekan is a largely rural constituency, making it unlikely that it would see such a large increase in new voters in so short a time.

Fuziah said the new voters were already registered elsewhere with the same identity card numbers but the slash character (/) had been added to the numbers to trick the data entry system.

She suspects that the Election Commission (EC) intends to turn them into postal voters to boost Najib’s chances of retaining the Pekan seat in the coming election.

She highlighted the case of Zarina binti Abu Tausi (IC number 811001015036), a voter in Pulai who now appears as a new voter in Pekan.

“If you enter the IC number of a voter who is an existing voter, the system will reject it. But they use the slash sign behind the IC number in the new entry so it will not be rejected.” she added.

“That is why the EC’s system, and not the data, has to be audited.”

Fuziah spoke in the presence of other PKR leaders, including party boss Anwar Ibrahim, who chipped in with tongue-in-cheek comments.

“It is also the EC’s job to protect the rights of the Malays,” Anwar said. “Apparently, if the opposition takes over, the Chinese will rule.”

EC responds

In an immediate response, EC deputy commissioner Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said the surge of new voters in Pekan could be attributed to the active voters’ registration drive by political parties nationwide.

“Previously, we had about 3.7 million unregistered voters but the number is down to 3.1 million now,” he told FMT.

He also said that with the EC gazetting their new registration every quarter, it could have contributed to the high numbers.

“Besides, Pekan is fast becoming an industrial town. Probably, many voters changed their voting address to the constituency.

“As far as EC is concerned, as long as the registered voter had followed the proper regulations in changing their voting address, we will allow it,” he added.

On the slash character, Wan Omar said it was used to indicate the voter’s old identification number.

“And people often mistake it with one person having two identities because it replicates itself in the system. It’s just that the voter’s status is in the midst of being verified,” he said.


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