Ex-top cops still listed as advance voters, Bersih’s check shows

Bersih acting chairman Mohd Shahrul Aman Shaari says major flaws discovered in the electoral roll show the EC’s failure to ensure clean and fair elections.

PETALING JAYA: Former inspectors- general of police Khalid Abu Bakar and Ismail Omar are still listed as advance voters despite them having retired, says electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0.

This was among the 10 major irregularities, involving “hundreds of thousands of voters” nationwide, which the electoral reform group has discovered, based on an analysis of the latest electoral roll, which will be used in the 14th general election.

The other major problems are:

  • 23 cases of deceased voters re-registered as new voters;
  • 48 cases of former citizens re-registered as new voters;
  • 2,105 cases of voters who existed during GE12 but disappeared during GE13 and then reappeared in GE14, without any record in the supplementary electoral roll;
  • Voters removed due to inactive records in the National Registration Department were re-registered as new voters;
  • Over 1,000 cases of voters who changed their voting address very frequently;
  • 795 cases of voters’ year of birth not matching that in their identity cards;
  • Many voters registered at one address (over 500,000 cases);
  • Up to 15%, or 2,123,973 voters, without an address; and,
  • Same army identification used by more than one person.

Bersih acting chairman Mohd Shahrul Aman Shaari said there was nothing new in these irregularities as the 2011 Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Electoral Reforms had affirmed these problems and made recommendations to the Election Commission (EC) to clean up the electoral roll.

“We are extremely concerned that these irregularities continue to persist, given the general election is going to be held next week.”

Shahrul said the integrity of the electoral roll was one of the most important elements in clean and fair elections.

A defective electoral roll, he said, would bring into question the legitimacy of the whole election.

“We are alarmed by major flaws discovered in the electoral roll, which further question the integrity of the electoral roll and show the EC’s failure to ensure clean and fair elections.

“We believe that the huge number of dubious voters discovered in these preliminary findings are just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

Bersih 2.0 and another NGO, Engage, are demanding a complete independent audit of the current electoral roll to ensure future elections are truly clean and fair, suggesting that the incoming government should repeal Section 9A of the Elections Act to allow challenges to the electoral roll in court.

“We remind those who attempt to impersonate others at the polls that they shall be liable to conviction of imprisonment for up to two years or to a fine of up to RM5,000 or to both under the Election Offences Act,” Shahrul said.