The electoral watchdog clarifies allegations made in the past weeks against the EC, stating that it does not want to mislead the public.
Speaking at a press conference here today, the coalition’s co-chairperson S Ambiga said Bersih did not want to mislead the public.
On April 12, Bersih claimed that it found 15,520 voters from Sabah and 8,585 voters from Sarawak who were re-registered in Selangor.
Bersih had said that these were cases of double registration where the names appeared twice – in the Selangor roll and the East Malaysian states’ roll.
“We clarify now that they are not cases of double registration. There are now about 24,105 voters from East Malaysia in Selangor,” explained Bersih steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah.
“These high number of voters can be due to genuine cases of voter transfer. However, we don’t rule out that some of these people were transferred without their knowledge. But it is up to the Election Commission (EC) to explain why there is such a high number of voters in Selangor,” she told FMT.
She added there were 45 names that were confirmed suspicious as these people shared the same name, birthday but had marginally different IC numbers.
One such case was Sapariah Binti Abin who was born on Nov 3, 1984. One voter (841103125620) was registered in the Kalabakan parliamentary constituency in Sabah. The other (8411031225292) was registered in the Serdang parliamentray constituency in Selangor.
These voters might genuinely be two different people but Maria said since the EC’s record had been questioned numerous times, the onus was on the commission to clarify these cases which raise doubt.
The EC had previously said that the irregularities highlighted by Bersih was from a list that was yet to be gazetted. The first quarter roll as of March this year would only be gazetted in mid-May.
Amendment not passed
Bersih today also clarified the statement it made last Friday over the newly passed Election Offences Act 1954.
This was regarding an amendment to Section 14 1(A) which now allowed the EC to allocate time slots determining when a candidate’s polling or counting agents could be present.
Although this amendment was proposed, it was not passed as part of the Act due to strong objections from the parliamentarians.
This effectively meant that the presence of polling and counting agents would still be determined by the candidates.
The Act was among the eight bills rushed through the Lower House last Thursday.