‘Over 60,000 dubious voters in Sabah’

Anisah Shukry | March 19, 2013
DAP also finds 29 instances of old IC duplications in the electoral roll.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Sabah electoral roll has 60,673 or 6.3% potentially dubious voters, the DAP said today.
Ong Kian Ming, director of the party’s Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project (Merap), said they arrived at this figure from the proceedings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) probing the issuance of identity cards (IC) to illegal immigrants in Sabah.
“Ruslan Alias, an assistant head in the IC division of Sabah/Sarawak in the National Registration Department [NRD], revealed a list containing 130,459 ‘problematic’ old IC numbers where their records with the NRD were either incomplete or where these cards had been cancelled,” Ong told a press conference at the party’s headquarters here.
He said Merap did a search of the old IC numbers using the first quarter of the 2012 electoral roll and found that 60,673 of those problematic ICs were on the roll.
“These voters are not evenly distributed across the state. Eight out of the top 10 parliamentary constituencies featuring these voters can be found on the east coast of Sabah. Some 66% or 39,750 voters out of the 60,673 problematic ICs can be found in these eight parliamentary seats,” said Ong.
The top eight seats are Silam (7,934 dubious voters), Kalabakan (7,536), Semporna (4,742), Libaran (3,949), Batu Sapi (3,442), Sandakan (2,603), and Kinabatangan (2,068), according to Merap.
Ong conceded that the current electoral roll may not reflect similar figures, but he said it was unlikely the Election Commission (EC) would be able to remove over 60,000 voters from the roll within a span of four months.
“Far from seeing a decrease in voters in Sabah’s electoral roll in the past few months, we have actually seen a surge of voters,” he said.
He also said Merap found 29 instances of old IC duplications from the list of problematic ICs.
“These voters are still on the electoral roll at the time of writing,” said Ong.
Serious issue
Meanwhile, Ong questioned why 20 IC numbers listed as having been cancelled in 1996 were only removed from the electoral roll in the fourth quarter of 2012.
“How did these voters manage to stay on the electoral roll up until the fourth quarter of 2012?
“Who was responsible for registering these voters with cancelled ICs? According to the data collected previously by Merap, all these voters were registered after 1996, when these ICs were supposed to be cancelled,” he added.
When asked whether he had met with the EC to discuss the discrepancies, Ong said he would wait until Merap gathered more data.
“We actually did contact the EC about the incongruity in the RCI, but they said we should wait until it is over,” he said.
“We hope the EC and the NRD can conduct a comprehensive and immediate investigation to see how many voters need to be removed. This is a serious issue, even as elections are going to be held soon,” said Ong.
He said if the EC failed to act on this, it meant it was allowing the 13th general election to go on with a “seriously compromised” electoral roll.
“This would affect the legitimacy of the election results, especially in the areas with the largest number of people with problematic ICs who are registered as voters,” said Ong.
Meanwhile, Sabah DAP state chairman Jimmy Wong urged all Sabahans working overseas or in the peninsula to return to the state for the general election.
“We want all Sabahans to realise the possibility of a takeover because of the high number of immigrants,” he said.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng added that the government should disclose the list of problematic ICs in all states so that the EC could pinpoint the dubious voters in the nation’s electoral roll.

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