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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Perak DAP reps complain of new voters with incomplete addresses

    Three DAP elected representatives are complaining that the addresses given by the Election Commission on new voters are incomplete with no road names.
    They said this leads to suspicion in the presence of hidden hands out to frustrate the transparent process of voters registration and verification exercise.
    Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran, along with Ipoh Timur MP Thomas Su and Bercham assemblyperson Cheong Chee Khing, said the EC plays an important role to ensure only citizens are registered as voters where the registration of voters is done on a quarterly basis, namely the last been done in the months of April, May and June and then it puts up the voters list for people to file objection.
    “Unfortunately such process has been made difficult because the EC has weakened the process of stakeholder empowerment to question its actions by creating obstacles that go against the common interest of voters,” they said in a statement.
    "For example, for the Ipoh Barat parliamentary constituency, new voters are put in while we welcome the new voters, we find the address of this voters misleading and confusing.
    “The EC has given the house number and the name of the Taman where the new voters are residing. Unfortunately, in almost all the residential areas, the process to locate and confirm the newly registered voters is time-consuming and tedious and most of the time impossible.
    “For example, we took a symbolic objection to a new voter registered at a place known as No 63 Kampung Kacang Puteh, Buntong. As the road name was not given in the data made available we could not locate this house No 63,” they said.
    Kulasegaran said in their search at Kampung Kacang Puteh, there were another two houses with the same address.  
    “The question is why has EC refused to provide the road names? Are there hidden agendas that make objections or verifications impossible?” he asked.
    For Ipoh Timur, Su (photo) said they faced similar problems with Kampung Sri Kinta, where the road names or details of the address are not provided in the voters' list.
    “It is almost impossible task to locate a house merely identified as No 11. We took a symbolic objection to a new voter registered at this address instead of four new voters applied to be voters at this address, the costs involved is a hindrance and our reluctance to file comprehensive objections with the EC.
    “In fact, there are many other new voters where we are unable to locate them as there are many with the same house number registered in the same locality or residential area. The EC should display a more transparent and detailed address of new voter for proper and due verification purpose,” he said.
    All three added that previously, the EC provided soft copy of the new voters registered every quarter with the address and constituency to political parties for them to analyse to detect irregularities for objection.
    However, since 2017, they said the EC had decided to no longer extend a soft copy of the supplementary electoral roll.
    “No reason was given, except that they have no obligations to do so. This is a problem because, without the soft copy, it is physically impossible to inspect the draft rolls effectively because they are voluminous and displayed in different areas.
    “Voters have perceived the act of not providing soft copies has prevented stakeholders like political parties to play a legitimate and effective role of check and balance on the EC,” they said.
    They suggested that the EC should upload the names of new voters and movement of voters on its website for the public to know and provide feedback.

    They claimed that the EC has not been honest and transparent in coming up with concrete solutions on proper voter registration that would protect the voters' interest, although it is empowered to do so under several provisions in the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002.
    “The objection process and information is key to preventing illegal transfer of voters. The EC must be people friendly and allow all stakeholders to have a say in the registration of voters.
    “EC is a public body and it is mandated to serve the common good of stake holders. The difficult process made to find out where the new voters are residing itself shows it is acting against the interest of its main stakeholder, the voters.” - mkini

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