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EC holds demo on indelible ink

 | May 2, 2013

The indelible ink could not be removed from the finger of a media personnel despite washing it several times using several items.

UPDATED

PUTRAJAYA: Following public uproar on the indelible ink fiasco, Election Commission (EC) today held a public demonstration to prove that ink could last despite washing the finger several times.

EC secretary Kamaruddin Mohamed Baria invited a member of the press, who did advance voting, to participate in the demonstration.

This time, the EC staff shook the indelible ink bottle for about 30 seconds before applying on the Sinar Harian reporter, Muhammad Shamsul Abd Ghani’s index finger.

Later, Shamsul attempted to wash away the ink several times using disinfectant, spirit, vinegar and water but failed.

The attempts only turned the ink colour from dark purple to dark red.

Earlier during the press conference, Kamaruddin admitted that the indelible ink may not last 100 percent on a person’s finger should they attempt to wash it away using various means.

But he assured that the ink stain would remain around the nail of the index finger once applied between five to seven days.

“That’s why we will also provide magnifying glasses to our staff to check the voter’s finger,” said Kamaruddin.

He also reiterated that ink applied on advance voters on Tuesday could be easily removed as the election staff failed to shake the bottles before using it.

Queried on whether the EC briefed the staff on the matter, Kamaruddin was coy on the matter and said the election workers may have forgotten to read the instructions printed on the boxes.

“I have sent text message reminders to my staff to adhere to the instructions. I also reminded them to shake the bottles every two hours to prevent sedimentation,” he said.

Kamaruddin also said that the ink was tested on EC staff on April 30 and it had received certification from the National Fatwa Council, Health Ministry and the Chemistry Department.

On Tuesday, several military personnel alleged that the ink could be removed within minutes after being applied.

PKR vice presidents Nurul Izzah Anwar and Tian Chua subsequently lodged police reports on the matter.

Postal votes

On another matter, Kamaruddin said that the electoral body had received the postal votes from 85 out of 100 of its representatives worldwide.

“We expect the rest to arrive by end of the day. The ballots will be segregated accordingly by today and we hope to send the papers to its respective constituencies latest by Sunday morning,” he said.

Kamaruddin added out of 272,387 people who registered as advance votes, 83.88 percent of them had cast their ballots, or 200,979 in total.

Laughing stock

Meanwhile in Johor Baru, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng laughed off the EC’s explanation that the indelible ink must be shaken well before use to be effective.

“I have never heard that in other countries that an indelible ink must be shaken well. Even countries that are poorer than us don’t seems to have such problem.

“EC must come clean on why they chose a brand that requires shaking. Why can’t you choose a brand that can be used immediately. It makes Malaysia the laughing stock,” he said.


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