PETALING JAYA: A visit to the Election Commission’s Selangor branch yesterday revealed the pure waste of time and resources by all concerned just to cater for the dubious objections against newly-registered voters, says Ong Kian Ming.
The DAP national election strategist had visited the EC’s Selangor branch in Shah Alam with his party colleague Lee Kee Hiong, who is also the state assemblyman for Kuala Kubu Baru, to observe the objection process yesterday.
“From our interviews with the newly-registered voters who were there, it was clear that the grounds for the objections against them were groundless and baseless,” Ong said in a statement released last night.
“Voters in the P103 Puchong parliament seat were objected to based on the reason of ‘pemilih diragui’ or ‘doubtful voter’ even though there was no further proof given as to why this voter was consider as ‘doubtful’.
“For voters in the P101 Hulu Langat parliament seat, the copy-and-paste reason given was ‘pengundi tidak dapat dikesan di alamat tersebut’ or the voter could not be identified at the registered address,” he said, adding that the voters who were present duly countered the objections and their voting rights were upheld.
Citing EC regulations, the Serdang MP said there was enough grounds for the EC to reject outright these objections in the first place without having to waste their time and resources, as well as the time of the hundreds of newly-registered voters.
“As the registrar, the EC can reject these baseless objections on the grounds of insufficient evidence and information.
“So, to allow such groundless objections to be filed is to make a mockery of the objection process and waste the valuable time of the voters who turn up at the public hearings and to deny the right of registration to those voters who did not turn up to the public hearing for various reasons,” Ong said.
Ong also highlighted one common factor among all the newly-registered voters being objected to was that they were Chinese Malaysians.
On April 8, Ong had provided more data from all the objections filed in Selangor last year, accusing Umno of having a racial agenda in filing objections to registration of new voters.
“Of the 4427 objections in Selangor in the first three quarters of last year, 92.8% were Chinese voters, 5.8% were Indian voters and 1.2% were Malay voters,” Ong had said, adding that the trend continued in the period October to December last year as well.
Giving more details on the constituencies involved in the objections process observed yesterday, Ong said there were approximately 400 newly-registered voters from four parliamentary constituencies affected.
“Specifically, voters from the state seats of N7 Batang Kali in the P94 Hulu Selangor parliament seat, N8 Sungai Burong and N9 Permatang in the P95 Tanjong Kajang parliament seat, N23 Dusun Tua and N24 Semenyih in the P101 Hulu Langat parliament seat, N29 Seri Serdang in the P103 Puchong parliament seat,” Ong said.
Yesterday, Ong was quoted as saying that the EC should dismiss objections filed against new voters if the complainants are not present during the public hearing.
“The EC should not conduct a public hearing if the objectors are not present themselves,” Ong had said, adding that the EC officer refused to clarify as to why the objectors were not present during the hearing.