BERSIH: Highly suspect new voters in Melaka marginal seats

BERSIH 2.0 has discovered an attempt to cheat in the upcoming elections through the ‘transfer’ of voters in the 2016 fourth quarter supplementary electoral roll for Melaka in the marginally won federal constituency of Bukit Katil and one of its state constituencies, Bukit Baru.

1. In Bukit Baru, there were a total of 73 new voters registered to two addresses:

i. 32 at No. 1, Jalan SJ 1, Taman Saujana Jaya, Bukit Katil; and
ii. 41 at Batu 4½, Kampung Bukit Beruang (no house number given).

2. In Bachang, another state constituency under the Bukit Katil federal seat, 46 new voters registered their address as Batu 21/2 Solok Musai, without giving any house/building number.

These figures are significantly higher than the average number of new voters in other areas, giving rise to the likelihood of a deliberate and coordinated effort to influence the likely electoral result for the two affected constituencies that were marginally won in the previous election: the Bukit Baru state seat by only 48 votes (0.2%) and the Bukit Katil federal seat by 5,733 votes (6.6%).

This is not only happening in Melaka but also in Johor and Selangor, as exposed by state assembly representatives Tan Hong Pin and Ng Suee Lin respectively in February 2017.

How could the Election Commission (EC) allow these dubious registrations through in the first place? A detailed, correct house address is a crucial piece of voter information, alongside the identity card number, that goes towards ensuring a clean electoral roll. A clean roll has been a consistent demand of BERSIH 2.0’s, for which thousands of Malaysians have marched for the first time in 2007 and four times more since then. Why has the EC yet to get its act together on this most fundamental of tasks?

Worse, the EC was reported to have told Tan that there is nothing wrong with voters changing their address without physically transferring to it if the owner of the house allows her or his address to be used so. Is the EC aware that it is violating Article 119(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution, which implies that one must be a resident in order to vote in that constituency?(*1)

BERSIH 2.0 urges:

• Voters and political parties to be more vigilant in checking the next supplementary electoral roll to be displayed (likely in May). As the first line of defence in preventing clearly dubious voters like these from registering in their constituencies, they must submit their objections to the EC.

• Genuine, qualified citizens to register as voters if they have not done so, to counter the effect of these dubious voters. They have to immediately complain to the EC if they find that they have not yet been registered for the next quarter roll, and be ready to counter frivolous and even malicious objections to their registration, as recently exposed by several new voters.

• The EC to carry out their work as empowered under Regulation 13(2) of the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002 to reject such dubious voters.(*2) As the authority entrusted to conduct elections for the people, it is the duty of the EC to stop fraudulent ‘transfers’ of voters, rather than allowing and even excusing them, in violation of the constitution!

BERSIH 2.0 expects more electoral fraud cases to surface as the upcoming general election draws closer. We are thus launching our hotline today to help address this and other election-related problems that voters face.

BERSIH 2.0 hotline (Mon-Fri; 10am-5pm):
• 03 7931 4444