By Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Project Director, Malaysia Electoral Roll Analysis Project (MERAP), UCSI University
At least 3.4m cases or about 27% of the electoral roll need to be further investigated
The Election Commission (SPR) Chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, was reported to have said, during an interview with Sin Chew Daily, that Malaysia’s electoral roll is the “cleanest in the world”. Only 42,000 voters out of a total of 12.6million, or 0.3% of the total electoral roll were considered unverifiable.
Obviously the EC chairman has not bothered to look into the preliminary findings of the Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project (MERAP) which were reported and published in Malaysiakini, The Malaysian Insider and Selangor Times over the past two weeks. In this preliminary analysis, it was found that the 10 initial problems identified in the electoral roll involved approximately 100,000 voters and that this number could easily rise to 400,000 upon further analysis.
Today, I want to announce that upon further investigation and analysis, another 3.3million cases of doubtful voters which needs further investigation have been uncovered.
Among this 3.3 million voters are:
(1) 3.1 million voters whose IC addresses shows a different voting constituency from the constituency in which the voter is actually voting in.
(2) 65455 “foreigners” who are on the electoral roll
(3) 106,743 cases of deletions and 6762 cases of additions without public display to the electoral roll from Q4 2010 to Q3 2011.
The presence of the 3.1 million voters whose IC addresses do not correspond to their voting constituencies is particularly troubling because this information was given to SPR by the National Registration Department / Jabatan Pendaftaran Negar (JPN) in 2002, before the implementation of the new registration system where all voters had to be registered according to the constituency indicated by their IC address.
It seems that SPR failed to act on this information that was given by JPN and to use this information to clean up the electoral roll even though the presence of these non-resident voters contravened Article 119 1(b) of the Federal Constitution which says that a voter must be a resident in the constituency which he or she is voting in.
In addition, it is also troubling to note that even though SPR keeps detailed records of the “Bangsa” of individual voters, it seems not to be concerned with the presence of more than 65 thousand “foreigners” in the electoral roll who are “Bruneian, Cocos, Filipino, Indonesian, Pakistani” and so on. Of these 65 thousand “foreign” voters, almost 90% or 59 thousand of them have IC numbers which indicate that they were born in Malaysia. Also troubling is the fact that 49 thousand or 75% of these “foreign” voters can be found in the state of Sabah, where problems with foreigners being given fake ICs have been a long documented problem.
Finally, through a detailed analysis of the Q4 2010, Q1 to Q3 quarterly updates and the Q3 2011 electoral roll, it was found that there were over 106 thousand voters who were removed without public display and almost 7 thousand who were added without public display.
It was also noticed that in the Q4 quarterly update released by SPR to the political parties, many of the details and information that were given in the Q1 to Q3 updates were missing including important information on the reasons for voters being removed from the electoral roll such as death, joining the army / police, losing their citizenship status and so on.
The failure of SPR to take any action on these problematic cases, which total 3.4 million thus far, is an indication that they are not serious about tackling the deep rooted problems of the electoral roll, whether these were problems which were created in the past or those problems which are still arising because of abuses of the system in the present time.
The preliminary findings of MERAP shows that there are grave concerns about potential irregularities in the electoral roll and that Malaysia is very far from having the cleanest electoral roll in the world.