Electoral fraud – part and parcel of our election process

By P Ramakrishnan, Aliran president | 31 October 2011

If anything, these allegations have become credible because irrefutable evidence of fraudulent registrations have been unearthed in the electoral roll. What we have seen exposed are not few and minor incidences that may be explained away quite easily. Clearly, these are rampant and, therefore, disturbing.

Dubious voters

The late P Patto who lost to Samy Vellu in the Sungai Siput contest in 1990 by a narrow margin of 1763 votes revealed why he lost that year during a forum at the Penang Chinese Assembly Hall. He explained that Indian voters were registered at Chinese residences when there were no tenants living there; others were registered at non-existent addresses and some addresses attributed to certain voters turned out to be at the cemetery! He also revealed that voters were brought from Klang in buses to cast their votes in Sungai Siput. These are serious cases of electoral fraud.

This is a story that goes back to 1990 – 21 years ago! But the pattern persists even today.

The blog Perisik Rakyat, run by a Kelantan-based blogger, revealed that 64 names were registered under one address – No 1138, Kampung Bagan Serai, Permatang Pauh, Penang. According to the blogger, of the 64 voters, 51 are Malays and the rest Indians.

Following Perisik’s disclosure, another blogger Milo Suam further revealed that another 88 “ghost” voters were also registered under one address – No 1155, Kampung Bagan Serai, Jalan Sembilang, Seberang Jaya, Permatang Pauh, Penang. These 88 voters comprise Malays, Chinese and Indians – men and women. According to Milo Suam the address belonged to a “small wooden house just a few metres away from the other address” that purportedly housed the 64 voters.

This seems to indicate that Anwar Ibrahim’s constituency is being targeted to defeat the Opposition leader in a concerted manner. Anwar is seen as the greatest threat to the survival of the BN and therefore he has to be defeated.

It is also learnt that a similar scam has been uncovered in one of the addresses in the Tambun constituency in Perak.

According to Malaysiakini, a permanent resident by the name of Mismah was registered as a voter and when this was exposed she mysteriously became a citizen four hours later!

Pas reported a total of 1,597 similar cases nationwide and 1,100 in Selangor alone. Is this part of the design to realise Najib’s declaration that the BN would “get back Selangor at any cost”? Pray tell, at what cost, Mr PM? By sacrificing democracy at the altar of expediency and ignoring the principles of justice and fairness?

It is also discovered that some two dozen spouses of military personnel were found to have registered using their spouses civilian MyKad thus qualifying themselves for double votes. Why would these spouses want an extra vote?

The DAP revealed its largest haul of electoral discrepancies yet with 234 voters having identical old identity card numbers. “These numbers are in pairs, with 117 of the voters matching their ‘twins’ despite having different names and new identity card numbers.” said PJ Utara MP Tony Pua.

These are not isolated cases. They are wide-spread and come across as common features in opposition-controlled constituencies. There seems to be a concerted and consistent attempt to inject dubious voters into opposition constituencies paving the way for the BN to recapture these constituencies and spring back into power.

What has been revealed is only the tip of the iceberg. If the system had allowed for greater scrutiny, without doubt many thousands of fake votes would have been revealed.

At the moment the parties are given only one week to object after the electoral roll has been revised and that doesn’t give anyone sufficient time to scan the roll with a fine tooth-comb. If the EC expects help from the political parties it must be seen to be serious about it. It must give the parties concerned at least two months to ferret out the phantom voters.

Shady postal votes

While the ‘dirty’ electoral roll is one aspect of the election process that has always been an obstacle to free and fair elections, there are also other disadvantages that the opposition has to contend with.

Postal votes have saved the BN on many occasions. There have been many rumours that top military, police and security leaders have played a vital role in postal votes. It has been bandied about that they instruct their personnel to vote for the BN.

Recently some former military personnel have revealed how they were instructed to vote for the BN on behalf of the entire contingent. As no political agents are permitted to be present while the postal voting process takes place, nobody actually knows how this voting is conducted.

It is also common knowledge that certain constituencies have seen a surge in postal votes. An entire military contingent can be posted anywhere without any questions being asked thus giving the BN an undue advantage. It was this ruse that won for Lee San Choon the Seremban parliamentary constituency in April 1982. He just managed to defeat DAP strongman Chen Man Hin in his stronghold by 845 votes.

Now this is being deployed quite brazenly. Reports have pointed to an increase in postal votes in Negeri Sembilan and in Penang. These are allegedly found in certain constituencies held by the opposition which the BN hopes to capture.

On top of this, spouses of military personnel have now opted for postal voting in Penang. While they were ordinary voters in the past, why is it necessary to register as postal voters? What scheme is being hatched for the 13th General Elections?

Strangely, however, all Malaysians living abroad are not entitled to postal votes even though they are registered voters. Only military personnel, public servants, full time government-sponsored students and their spouses are allowed to vote under the “Absentee-Voters” category.

Why are the others (who do not fall in these categories) denied their right to vote? Is it because they are seen as not inclined towards the BN? It is difficult to come to any other conclusion.


Gerrymandering is another method adopted to favour the BN. The manner in which certain constituencies are drawn up indeed defies logic. Opposition-controlled constituencies are allowed to remain as a single huge constituency when they could very well be divided into two or three constituencies which can be serviced responsibly by their respective representatives.

Bersih 2.0 has pointed out this disparity recently. Kapar constituency has 112,224 registered voters while many rural seats have voters in the region of 50,000. The Putrajaya seat, mainly comprising civil servants, has a mere 7,000 voters.

Such glaring disparities are deliberately created so that the opposition can never win any more parliamentary seats than what cannot be helped. More rural seats means a greater advantage for the BN – that seems to be the rule to be followed!

Abuse of the media

Yet there is another unethical and immoral practice that is resorted to by the BN without a whimper from the EC. The way the print and electronic media is abused to the greater advantage of the BN to the extent of denigrating and demeaning the opposition is totally unbelievable in a democracy. In a true democracy, the opposition should get equal time to propagate their party platform. This is wholly denied.

While the EC may claim with certain justification it has no authority to demand equal coverage for the opposition, surely on moral grounds it can publicly condemn the unfair practice that gives the BN undue advantage. This could have some effect in forcing the BN to yield at least some coverage time.

Election offences

Another diabolical favourite method of campaigning is to dish out goodies in an outlandish manner. Roads are tarred, drains are repaired, handouts given, projects announced, voters threatened that they will be denied development in their areas – all these clearly constitute election offences. When anything is given or promised during the campaign period to induce the voters to vote in favour of certain parties, that is definitely wrong and an offence under the election laws.

Time for change

But the EC had never taken the BN to task for their unethical behaviour. This is why the EC is seen as pro-BN and never as pro-democracy.

The present EC is not capable of conducting free and fair elections. It must be disbanded and a new Election Commission instituted comprising people of impeccable integrity. Only then will elections be meaningful.

For this to take place, a new government is necessary; otherwise, it will be the same rotten deal forever.

  1. #1 by drngsc on Tuesday, 1 November 2011 - 8:45 pm

    Sad to say it, but looks like it is true. I do not see Jib’s goumen behaving differently. In fact I believe that it will be worse in GE13. It is their survival, so it will be by hook or by crook. I believe that they will do both, crook and hook.

    But as I told all those who ask, we have to defeat them ( I know that it is almost impossible ), to effect the change.

    So we all have to work very very hard, and pray that the Almighty help us. We have to get rid of this corrupt and evil regime. For Malaysia’s sake.

    We must change the tenant at Putrajaya. GE 13 is our best chance. Failure is not an option. Let us all work very very hard.

  2. #2 by dagen on Tuesday, 1 November 2011 - 8:51 pm

    Oh come on. If it works dont change it. Get it boy? So dont expect umno to change anything. I suspect that for every 1 ghost voter uncovered there could well be another 1000 or even more of such voters. So if the total of such voters found were say 5000, then we could actually be seeing 5,000,000 ghost voters. Are these umno’s silent majority supporters?

    Bersih 3.0 is inevitable, I say.

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 1 November 2011 - 10:25 pm

    I am not a lawyer. I need to ask if the Senate is dissolved at the same time as the Lower House? I note Mr Nallakaruppan will be appointed Senator tomorrow. He is of course anti Anwar. Senators, I believe, are appointed for fixed terms.

    If the Senate is dissolved simultaneously, it is OK. But if not, then even if PR wins the 13th GE, they will have a hard time passing Bills if the heavily pro-BN appointed Senate refuses to do likewise and delays or even rejects the Bills.

    So take a look at the laws.

  4. #4 by monsterball on Tuesday, 1 November 2011 - 11:57 pm

    Without fraud and phantom voters…BN govt would have lost many more seats and possibly…the 12th GE.
    It is good that all are exposed to let UMNO b know Malaysian voters know how crooked they are.
    Lets wait for 13th GE and see what tricks they will apply to win again and again shamelessly.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Wednesday, 2 November 2011 - 12:07 am

    With vast majority voters wanting a change of government…..UMNO b need much much more phantom votes for 13th GE…and that’s more difficult…for UMNO b members and supporters are clearly divided ….which makes their job harder to depend on frauds…bribery and phantom votes like before.
    Now that ex Election Commissioner have admitted so call many “mistakes” …no one will trust an EC appointed by UMNO b.
    Furthermore….the young voters…all much more educated will be the fearless watch dogs….which Mahathir feared most and it is something Najib can never fool them…..not one bit.

  6. #6 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 2 November 2011 - 12:43 am

    As a minister would proudly defend all d above mentioned malpractices: There is no conflict of interest or electoral fraud. It is just a COINCIDENCE.

  7. #7 by k1980 on Wednesday, 2 November 2011 - 7:11 am

    Hey jib, when are you going to make saifool bookhali a senator and then induct him into your cabinet as minister of backdoor services?


  8. #8 by k1980 on Wednesday, 2 November 2011 - 7:12 am

    The Putrajaya seat, mainly comprising civil servants, has a mere 7,000 voters.

    Ah Koon should be allowed to contest there. Guarantee win!

  9. #9 by k1980 on Wednesday, 2 November 2011 - 7:17 am

    Will BN politicians dare to drink filtered water extracted from the Lynas rare earth plant?


  10. #10 by SENGLANG on Wednesday, 2 November 2011 - 10:06 am

    The conduct of EC shown clearly that they are pro BN. Many many incidents have shown that. EC is suppose to act with ethic and the power hand down to them through legislation but they chose in most of the time taking clear side.

    It was unfortunate that EC chief will only admits when he was no longer there as what the former EC chief admitted.

    This kind of thing are happening every day in Malaysia politic they will say the truth when they are no longer in power and when they are no a minister.

  11. #11 by monsterball on Wednesday, 2 November 2011 - 12:12 pm

    Today…we read and see non stop defending by UMNO b goons.
    We observe and note….our “Trust me” PM flip flopping and telling lies.
    These are the signs of a useless.. good for nothing government leaders and staffs…keep defending and never sue anyone…keep telling lies….and so how can liars sue anyone?
    It is a sign of UMNO b goons trying hard to keep fooling …and using newspapers….TV stations…to keep brain washing Malaysians with half truths and lies…hoping majority Malaysians will keep on reading and believe what are reported.
    Malaysia is the only country in SEA with alot of citizens do not want to “rock the boat” and most are Malays.
    What is the percentage of Malays that support a party like racists and like robots?
    That is the RM million $ question that Najib is unable to be certain to declare 13th GE….and when he is not certain…it is signs of doomsday for his Govt.

  12. #12 by monsterball on Wednesday, 2 November 2011 - 1:16 pm

    But this blog do have highly intelligent commentators and that’s what make it a class of it’s own.
    Just browse around few blogs and note the cunning and selfish blog owners treating commentators as puppets on the strings…and according to their moods and fancy.
    So sheriff…wherever you are…come back and comment soon.
    PS:Comment meant for another post…sorry folks!

  13. #13 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 2 November 2011 - 2:42 pm

    WITHOUT all d above mentioned malpractices in all previous GEs, UmnoB/BN could NOT hv retained power in each n every GE
    So, how 2 expect UmnoB/BN 2 STOP d malpractices? Expect them 2 commit political harakiri aah? Must b joking, right? No way lah
    Naturally, UmnoB/BN say NO FRAUD, everything OK 1
    Just like MACC says no graft involved in overpriced binoculars’ purchase, all OK 1

  14. #14 by monsterball on Wednesday, 2 November 2011 - 4:32 pm

    Every time…they have enough supports to win with all the frauds and malpractices.
    This time…they need much more frauds and malpractices…and someone will spill the beans …..expose the crooks…as not all UMNO b members are supporting the party…so much so…Najib does not know who to trust at all.
    As such…13th GE has to be the cleanest and if not..it will be U students with BERSIH walkers walking…protesting…so great the numbers…it will be a Clash of the Titans with many injured or killed.. or a peaceful solution to admit frauds… and surrender…the power to the Opposition.
    Lets see if Najib dares to protect PutraJaya that does not belong to UMNO b at all.

  15. #15 by dagen on Wednesday, 2 November 2011 - 4:33 pm

    Come GE13 umno has only one punch to throw. And that is to punch hard enough for it to regain 2/3 majority.

    In contrast pakatan has many punches to throw. Any of which could deliver disastrous result to umno. Of course the best (No 1) punch would still be a KO. That aside, pakatan can aim to cut down umno’s margin of victory further. This would be enough to rock and shatter umno to bits. Secondly, pakatan can also aim to KO the partners of umno in BN. This would destroy the meaning and significance of BN. Umno would be alone and could no longer able to claim that it represents the interest of all malaysians. This would be severe for (following GE12) umno has less than 80 seats in parliament. Lastly, pakatan can also concentrate all its fire power to take over as many state governments as possible.

    So people the GE13 game is a particularly difficult one for umno to play. I strongly feel that it could very well be the last game for umno, win or lose.

  16. #16 by dagen on Wednesday, 2 November 2011 - 4:47 pm

    Umno, you wanna talk terms? Our condition is simple. Just implement Bersih 2.0 suggestions and carry them out during GE13 so that the people could boot you out completely and constitutionally – for the sake of peaceful transition. In exchange perhaps pakatan can consider giving to some of you people some form of amnesty for the crimes that you people have committed. Be that as it may, be mindful of the fact that some crimes are harder to excuse than others. For example, murder.

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