Saturday 24 September 2011

Don't hide from foreigners- made-voters charge, EC told

The Election Commission (EC) should not wash it hands off the allegation on its former chief's admission that 60,000 foreigners in possession of "fake" identity cards had become voters, the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, Bersih 2.0, said today.

NONEThe EC should be doing its work as to why it allowed these people to be registered as voters, Bersih 2.0 steering committee member A Subramaniam Pillay (left) said today.

"Maybe the fault lies with the National Registration Department, for issuing the ICs making them officially as citizens. This is part of the alleged 'Project IC" in Sabah to give citizenship to new immigrants in the state, who are Indonesians and Filipinos.

"The EC cannot wash off its hands as it is entrusted to do monitoring of the electoral roll. If it is not doing this, it is thereby creating an imbalance.

"There must be better communication and tie-up between the NRD and EC to resolve this problem and it (the process of voter registration) should be tightened up, now," Subramaniam said.

The very least, he added, was for the EC to have raised the issue when it took place in the 1990s, so that the people could have become aware of the situation and investigations carried out.

NONEFellow steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah (right) said the practise of issuing ICs to foreigners in the 1990s would have created imbalances and to a certain extent, have manipulated the election results.

Subramaniam said as public bodies that should be independent, the EC and NRD should admit their mistakes and carry out investigations.

"They cannot run away or absolve themselves from the blame," he said.

Subraminam said this when asked about the allegation made by the former head of the NGO Malaysians for Free and and Fair Elections, Abdul Malek Husin, that former EC chief Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman was involved in the "Project IC", which is otherwise known as "Project M".

Wikileaks recently posted a leaked confidential US Embassy cable that quoted Malek as having told American officials that Rashid had admitted to issuing 60,000 fake ICs to foreign workers in Sabah in the 1990s.

Yesterday, Malek clarified on the US cable quoting him, saying that Rashid did indeed admit to being involved in the controversial "Projek IC'"operation in the 1990s - but only to register individuals with dubious ICs as voters.

The "Project IC" has been blamed for helping the BN wrest control of the Sabah government from Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).

Subramaniam also called on those who know of cases of foreigners having been given ICs or MyKad and had become voters to report this to the authorities and to Bersih 2.0.

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