Saturday 10 September 2011

DAP finds voters 'married to themselves' in Penang

The DAP has disclosed more discrepancies in the second quarter of the supplementary electoral roll where military personnel had been found to have spouses registered as postal voters with the same name and gender as themselves.

Penang DAP secretary Ng Wei Aik, who exposed the irregularities today, said there are two cases where the spouses of two military personnel were found to have the same names as their so-called husbands.

They are Zamzan bin Yahya from Telok Ayer Tawar and Visinga Ganer Anak Lawrence from Padang Kota, in Penang.

"Does this mean they are married to themselves?" asked the Komtar assemblyperson, tongue in cheek.

dap claim army men voters married to themselves 090911 ng wei aik with evidence"These people have the privilege of voting twice. We suspect they have used their army identity number and their normal identity card number to register as postal voters," said Ng (left in photo).

Under current election laws, spouses of military and police personnel are given the choice of registering as ordinary or postal voters.

On Tuesday, DAP Youth chief Anthony Loke claimed that about two dozen voters had been found to have registered under the civilian MyKad of their army spouses.

'Same-sex marriages' in army camp

The Rasah MP said that the voters had used the ordinary MyKad of their husbands to register, but under the wives' names - a wife can still have the ordinary voter's right, so she might be able to cast her ballot twice.

dap claim army men voters married to themselves 090911 vinsin ganerNg, who is political secretary to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, said he was aware of such irregularities in other states but did not know it would also occur in Penang.

dap claim army men voters married to themselves 090911  vinsin ganer spouseHe added that the roll also revealed that there were "same sex marriages" in the army camp, where spouses of male army staff were found to be males as well.

"Spousal postal voters were allowed last year and we suspect certain quarters are taking the opportunity to capitalise on this," he said.

Ng and his team had also found five cases of army personnel whose birthdays are exactly same date as that of their spouses.

"We suspect they are not married at all but are registering someone else as their spouses to take advantage of the spousal postal votes," he added.

"In one incident in Batu Maung, we found the spouse and his army husband to be of different race but same sex. So it seems that the EC has registered interacial and gay marriages," he quipped.

Rash of irregularities continue
The individuals who names were listed in the roll are Wong Chee Kiong (spouse) and Makihar bin Mamat (army personnel).

Ng also brought up a case where the spouse had denounced his citizenship, and in five other incidents, the names of the army personnel cannot be detected in the roll, but their spouses' names were still intact.

"And in one case, it seems that the army personnel had undergone a sex-change. She is listed as female - Rusna bte Mat Zain - from Batu Maung, but when we checked, she was registered as male," he said, adding that her spouse's name was listed as Rosli bin Mingan.

Ng questioned the possibility of registering the names of spouses as postal voters when their "husbands" were non-existent in the electoral roll.

He expressed suspicion at cases where the husbands and wives were located in different army camps, for example, in Penang and in Sabah.

"This may mean that they are separated or seeking divorce from each other.
"But they need to remain married to one another and stay together if they were to be eligible to be postal voters," he added.
EC has no access to army record

Ng also took the EC to task for allowing personnel from the Defence Ministry to be appointed as assistant registrar for voters.

"The EC has no access to army record, how are they able to check if the postal voters are genuinely army personnel?" he asked.

"EC should have their own personnel to do this job and have access to army records so that they check the authenticity of the cases," he added.

Ng vowed to continue monitoring and probing the electoral roll to ensure it is "clean" before the coming election, which may be called in November but not due till 2013.

He lamented that the EC had only given the parties seven days to scrutinise the list, where each complainant is allowed to lodge complaints against only ten names.

"If complaints are lodged against certain voters, the whole quarterly supplementary electoral roll draft would be rendered invalid and would not be gazetted. Why are others punished for the mistakes of the EC?" he queried.

"Due to the negligence of the EC, the rights of many voters would be affected. These are not the mistakes of political parties as we do not have access to army camps," he added.

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