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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

EC chief challenges Sabah phantom voter claims


Abdul Aziz (left) speaks to an EC official during early voting for police personnel at the Police Training Centre in Kuala Lumpur today. — Picture by Choo Choy MayKUALA LUMPUR, April 30 — The Election Commission (EC) has denied the possibility of “phantom voters” being flown across the South China Sea in a covert operation by certain political parties to cast their ballots in advanced polls carried out today for Election 2013.
PKR’s Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim had yesterday accused political foes from Umno of flying in large numbers of voters from outside Selangor, notably from Sabah as well as servicemen who are registered postal voters, to cast their ballots as part of the west coast state’s electorate.
“Huh? How can? I don’t believe it at all, that one could book flights and fly Sabahans or Sarawakians, or [Peninsular] Malaysians to Sabah and Sarawak,” EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof was quoted saying by the Malaysiakini news portal, in response to Khalid’s allegation.
“You cannot just simply bring people by car, or by bus, or by plane just like that, unless they go for a holiday. I don’t know.”
The head of the election regulatory body suggested that the voters alleged to be untraceable may have been those who had changed their voting address as they had shifted homes, which he pointed out was perfectly legal.
He reportedly said the process took time as the EC would publicly display the voter lists and allowed a two-week window for objections to be raised before gazetting the changes.
Khalid, who is also caretaker Selangor mentri besar, had raised doubt on 130,000 names that had appeared on the state’s electoral roll, saying his state administration remained unable to trace the registered voters through its democratisation project.
Independent election watchdogs and several voters registered as postal voters have also highlighted a number of irregularities in the ballot papers that have been sent out ahead of the May 5 polls.
MORE TO COME

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