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Thursday, May 19, 2022

PKR investigating alleged manipulation of online voting system

PKR election committee (JPP) chairperson Zaliha Mustafa has confirmed that complaints have been received from Selangor and Perak party members alleging manipulation of the online voting process in the PKR polls by changing the phone numbers of eligible voters.

Zaliha (above) said these complaints were being examined by a complaint panel comprising seven lawyers.

"Of course, it is wrong (to change the numbers). We will carefully examine each (complaint) one by one," she said.

Free Malaysia Today (FMT) report stated that the phone numbers of some eligible voters were changed by "certain people", and the voters then cast their ballots online using the new numbers.

It reported that a candidate aligned with PKR deputy president candidate Rafizi Ramli complained that handouts like rice and groceries were used to entice eligible voters to change their phone numbers in the party database via new SIM cards provided and then vote online using the new numbers.

The candidate said a complaint, together with evidence, had been submitted to the JPP.

Responding to FMT's article, Zaliha told Malaysiakini that complaints were received from several divisions in Perak and Selangor.

"(Offhand) I can't tell how many, but we will scrutinise each of these complaints.

"There are complaints from Perak and Selangor. I have not heard this happening in other areas.

"This is a serious matter as an eligible voter's right to vote is being deprived, and we shouldn't allow this to happen," she said.

Weakness in the system

Earlier, Zaliha had told FMT that online voting, which began early this morning, was generally progressing well.

"Of course, there are a few issues here and there which we are working to resolve," she said.

The PKR elections started on May 13 and will continue for 10 days until May 22 for the branch leadership positions. The party election in Selangor is on May 21, while the election for Perak, Sabah and Sarawak will be held on May 22.

Online voting will be held through the ADIL mobile application between May 18 and 20.

On May 15, PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli raised various weaknesses in the electoral system, including the ability of people to vote multiple times on behalf of others.

On May 17, a PKR member from the Hulu Selangor division lodged a police report alleging being offered a bribe for a vote in the ongoing party election.

Zaliha said over 200 complaints had been filed for breaking the rules for the party polls as of yesterday. - Mkini

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