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‘Umno should thank Khalid if S’gor falls’

 | April 24, 2012

A source close to Selangor PKR alleged that Khalid is 'handing the state back to BN' by not acting to get the electoral roll in the state cleaned up.

PETALING JAYA: Umno should “thank” Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim if the Barisan Nasional (BN) retakes the state in the 13th general election, said a source close to Selangor PKR.

The source, who claimed anonymity, said this after alleging that Khalid had been dragging his feet in disbursing funds to get the electoral roll in the state cleaned up.

“The objection period set by the Election Commission [EC] expired in March. So what’s the point of him allocating RM5 million to clean up the electoral roll now?” said the source.

Last week, Khalid announced that the state government had allocated RM5 million under its “democratisation programme” to clean up the roll before the 13th general election.

“This is a special initiative to allow people regardless of their political affiliations to file complaints if they find any suspicious voter,” Khalid was reported as saying.

Although another objection period to the electoral list would be in June, it is widely speculated that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak may dissolve Parliament next month.

The EC charges RM10 to investigate for every name objected in the electoral list.

The source said that even last year, Khalid had announced RM1 million to get the list cleaned up after the Mismah-gate scandal erupted.

(In August last year, opposition politicians alleged that an Indonesian permanent resident in Malaysia known as Mismah was awarded voting rights by the EC.

(She was registered as a voter in Ijok, the state seat of Khalid. Subsequently, Pakatan leaders urged the government to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the matter.

(However, the EC attributed the error to a technical glitch after conducting an investigation.)

“Selangor PAS and several other NGOs had estimated that there are about 150,000 dubious names in the state electoral list in 2011, but when we asked Khalid for funds to raise objections, he never entertained us,” the source said.

He said that only in March this year did Khalid disburse more than RM60,000 after much pressure but it was too late.

The source also said that Selangor executive councillor Yaakob Sapari was in charge of handling the RM5 million programme.

“But Yaakob is not too keen to be in charge of the programme in the first place. Besides, no unit in the state government had the expertise to deal with electoral fraud,” he said.

‘A mistake to trust Khalid’

The source claimed that Khalid had wanted to train the Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK) to report on fraudulent voters.

However, he questioned such a proposal, saying it would take months to train the JKKK to identify fraudulent voters.

“Why doesn’t Khalid just give the funds to political parties or NGOs which have experience in dealing with electoral fraud? It’s not like we are going to use the money for ourselves,” the source said.

He added that if Khalid wanted to train the JKKK to detect electoral fraud, he should have done it last year.

“We had warned Khalid of an increase in dubious voters in Selangor last year but he just refused to act,” the source said.

He cited Kelantan, where the PAS state government had consistently raised objections to dubious names on the electoral list with the EC.

“That’s how PAS had managed to rule the state for 20 years,” the source said.

He added that he regretted that he did not raise the matter earlier because he had faith in Khalid.

“If we were given the funds earlier, we could have at least got the EC to clean up 60% of the electoral roll. I think Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim made a mistake by putting his trust in Khalid to run the state,” said the source.

Best to let locals to deal

When contacted, Yaakob said cleaning up the electoral roll was only part of the “democratisation programme” mooted by Khalid.

“Among others, we are trying to get people to register as voters and get Selangor-born people outside of the state to come back and vote,” he said.

He also said that while he was in charge of the programme, the money was being handled by a state agency, Menteri Besar Incorporated.

On why the state refused to give funds to political parties and NGOs to clean up the electoral roll, Yaakob said it was best for the JKKK to handle the matter as it knows the people best.

“How can an NGO or political party know who lives in a village in Ulu Bernam? Only the locals there would know best,” he said.

When asked if it was too late to train the JKKK’s to identify fraudulent voters, Yaakob said it was easy to train JKKK for the task.

“All you need to do is go door-to-door to find out who lives in a particular village. That’s why JKKK’s is the best authority to do so,” he added.


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