SUNGAI PETANI, 1 Apr 2009: The Election Commission (EC) has denied that there are doubtful or phantom voters registered in Bukit Selambau.
“Sometimes voters register at a particular address but then they move to a different area and do not inform the EC of this change,” Kedah EC director Zainal Abidin Zakaria told The Nut Graph on the phone today.
Thus, he said the number of voters at one particular address may appear to accumulate to an unreasonable number in the electoral roll.
He said this only meant that no matter where they moved to in the country, these voters must come back to vote in the constituencies they are registered in.
Zainal Zainal was asked to respond to allegations by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth elections director Fariz Musa yesterday that 62.5% of voters registered in Taman Bandar Baru are “doubtful” or possibly “phantoms”.
When asked to comment on Zainal Abidin’s explanation, Fariz said in a phone interview that the EC director was probably misinformed.
“For example, we met the owner and residents of No 2 Taman Bandar Baru where there are only two registered voters. But the electoral roll has more than 40 voters registered at this address,” Fariz said.
Fariz added that, upon PKR’s inspection, it was found that No 20 Taman Bandar Baru was uninhabited, and yet the electoral roll lists 49 voters registered there.
He said upon PKR’s analysis of Taman Bandar Baru and the surrounding areas, including Taman Peruda, Air Menideh, and Bandar Laguna Merbok, there could be as many as 3,029 phantom voters.
He said that two of the house owners are going to lodge reports at the Kuala Muda police district contingent tonight, accompanied by a PKR party worker.
On whether the EC would accompany PKR in its inspections of the addresses, Zainal Abidin said, “We’d prefer it if they came to our office so we can explain the situation to them here.”
Fariz said yesterday that PKR had already invited the EC to accompany it in these inspections.
Fariz “Perhaps there was some miscommunication. I will contact Zainal Abidin again to clarify,” Fariz said.
PKR’s art of detection
PKR is using its in-house Elections Victory System (Sistem Menang Pilihanraya, Sismep) to monitor the electoral roll in Bukit Selambau.
“We designed it in 2004, but only managed to start using it during the March 2008 general election,” Fariz said.
He said that the software was rolled out to all the party’s operation centers for both state and parliamentary constituencies nationwide during that period.
As for the reliability of the data processed by the software, Fariz said that it processed data based on information from the EC.
Sismep has only been used in Malaysia, and has not been tested in electoral systems in other countries.
According to Fariz, Sismep was designed by PKR’s central elections committee, headed by PKR vice-president and Gombak Member of Parliament Azmin Ali.