5,000 Sabah voters moved to other polling centres, claims Warisan

sabah-voterKOTA KINABALU: As many as 5,000 Sabah voters have been transferred to different polling centres, claims Parti Warisan Sabah.

Warisan secretary-general Loretto Sipin Padua Jr said the moving of such a large number of voters was discovered after its members sieved through the 2017 fourth-quarter Supplementary Electoral Roll (RDPT SK4/2017), which was on display for two weeks until Jan 31.

He said the party’s Data Unit found several issues that made the validity of the RDPT SK4 questionable when the roll displayed an alarming rate of applications from voters changing their addresses.

“The parliamentary constituency of Sepanggar has a record of 932 voters changing their addresses, followed by Putatan (651), Kota Kinabalu (429) and Kalabakan (426).

“It is difficult to trace where their new locations are before the RDPT is gazetted by the Election Commission,” Padua added.

“What is certain, however, is that we have found 30,000 voters have been transferred since 2014 all across Sabah,” he said.

He said this a something of great concern because some of them could be “dubious” voters.

Padua noted that a monitoring team, comprising several NGOs, reported cases of voters opting not to cast their ballots after discovering their polling centre had been moved quite a distance away during the 2013 general election.

“If the same scenario occurs in GE14, the voter turnout will be low and this will be an advantage to Barisan Nasional,” he said.

Padua said even Warisan president Shafie Apdal was affected as his name was transferred to a different polling centre in Semporna last year without his prior knowledge.

“It is clear the list of voters being transferred is extraordinary when compared to RDPT 2 and 3 where there were fewer than 500 names,” he said.

“Logically, the number would not be as high if the voters themselves had chosen to be transferred to another polling centre after moving to a different address,” Padua said.

Last April, Warisan deputy president and Penampang MP Darell Leiking won 25 of the 29 objections submitted on those who allegedly applied to be transferred to the Kepayan state seat, Padua said.

This was based on the 2017 first-quarter RDPT.

During the inquiry, Sabah EC also discovered a voter who was unaware that he had been transferred to a new polling centre. His MyKad still stated Inanam as his place of residence and not Kepayan, Padua added.

“Many voters are said to have been influenced by certain individuals to use addresses where they do not reside.

“Penampang Warisan, through its Kepayan coordinating team, has submitted objections on 21 applications in the 2017 fourth-quarter RDPT, requesting to be transferred,” Padua said.