Monday 15 August 2011

'Evil’ BN injected voters into Sibu

KUCHING: Sarawak DAP has accused the Barisan Nasional (BN) of resorting to “evil means” in order to recapture the parliamentary seat of Sibu, which the opposition won in last year’s by-election.

It alleged that the BN had employed dirty tactics such “injecting” or increasing normal and postal votes and registering non-citizens as voters in an attempt to take back Sibu in the by-election last May.

In the polls, DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng snatched the seat from BN-Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) by a small margin of 398 votes.

“We have managed to find out in Sibu that there was an unexplained and sudden increase of voters in certain areas as well as the registration of non-citizens as voters.

“We found that there were many voters who were registered in the electoral rolls, but their names did not appear in the database of National Registration Department (NRD).

“For the record, Dudong has 27 individuals registered in the electoral rolls, but their names were not found in the NRD head office.

“In Pelawan, the number was 21 and Nangka had 36. For other areas we are going to check the national registration database and match it with the electoral rolls,” Wong said after chairing the Sate DAP committee meeting yesterday.

He said the Election Commission (EC) must explain the discrepancy.

“The EC must explain why these individuals were being registered in the electoral rolls. Did it mean that the non-citizens have been registered as voters?

“We also want to know the unexplained increase of voters in Nangka which saw an increase of 497 voters…
“This is disproportionate to the increase in other constituencies like Bukit Assek where we saw a decrease of 50 voters, Dudong with an increase of 291, Bawan Assan 121 and Palawan 345,” said Wong who is the State assemblyman for Bukit Assek.

Voter injection

Wong said that of the five, Nangka is the smallest constituency with an electorate of 14,160 as indicated by the figure in the last state election. Yet it saw an increase of 497 voters.

“But the frightening thing is the sudden increase or injection of 635 postal voters.

“In the 2011 state election, Nangka has a total of 3,023 postal voters. In the 2010 Sibu by-election the BN obtained 2,323 postal votes, which formed 95% of the total votes cast.

“DAP got 70 postal votes which were a mere 2.4 %, whereas the independent candidate obtained 36 votes which represented 1.2 %.

“Now the postal votes which were given to security force personnel had exceeded by 4,000 voters,” he said.
“It seems that the marginal win of 398 votes by the DAP is now being offset by the injection of voters,” he said.
Wong said there are reasons to suspect that the voters were not genuine and that the postal vote system is subject to fraud and vote-buying.

“Firstly, those security force personnel were registered as postal voters because they are present in the constituency.

“But mere presence in the constituency does not justify them to be registered as postal voters.

“The EC should allow them to cast their votes on polling day. Even then there is no reason to believe why security force personnel cannot vote as normal voters.

“Secondly, they are not genuine postal voters as most of them are non-Sarawakians, ” he said.

Not for security force personnel

Wong said that most of these security force personnel were from outstations such as Malacca and Perak, but were registered as postal voters in Sarawak.

“They (security force personnel) should have been given postal votes for them to cast their ballots for Malacca and Perak.

“The fate of Sarawak should be determined by Sarawakians. Why are non-Sarawakians determining Sarawak’s fate?”

He said genuine postal voters should be for Sarawakians who are studying or working outstation or overseas and students based in Peninsular Malaysia.

“For overseas students, they can register as voters with our embassies.

“But not security force personnel who have nothing to do with Sarawak apart from the fact that they are stationed here.

“Why were they given postal votes? Why was the number of postal votes increased by 20% in Sibu if not to increase the chances of BN to win back Sibu?

“But Sarawakians stationed overseas or even in Peninsular Malaysia were not given the right to vote,” he said.

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