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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

More bloopers: A voter by the name of Kg Baru nesting on a valid IC number

Sulaiman Kamal | 3:41 PM | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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More bloppers are appearing by the day on the Election Commission's voters list, despite its insistence that all was fine and that complaints were exaggerated.
The latest boo-boo was a voter by the name of 'Kg Baru' in its online verification system. There were also names in the electoral roll without any corresponding record to the online databases of the National Regsitration department, striking fear into the hearts of activists for clean and fair elections.
"This shows how error prone the entire database system of the EC and the NRD is. Whether it is disorganized, badly run or there was deliberate manipulation, the overriding factor is the total unreliability of the records," PAS MP for Kuala Krai Hatta Ramli told Malaysia Chronicle.

"If the BN and the EC agree to allow independent audits to clean and flush out all erroirs and dubious entries, that's still okay. But they refuse and even get the police to stop anyone who try to demand reforms. Now this is scary.
Possibility of huge systemic flaws
According to Johor PAS Youth chief Suhaizan Kaiat, the EC online verification system showed a voter by the name of 'Kg Baru' (MyKad: 830527115422) registered in the state constituency of Hulu Besut and parliamentary constituency of Besut, Terengganu. However, a check with NRD online system revealed that the MyKad number is assigned to one Noraini binti Abdullah.
More worrying is that there could be a host of other names resting on valid IC numbers, in other words faked names sitting on real IC numbers belonging to other people. 'Kg Baru' was flagged out because it was so obvious, but if the name was an ordinary-sounding Mohd Amin bin Azan or Lee Ah Chong, how many would notice? This sets the stage for possible collusion between the various institutions including the police or RELA volunteers at the polling booths.
"The question is, how can the EC make such a shameful mistake? How did it happen? Does EC deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar still think this is an issue that should only be answered by the EC clerk?" said Suhaizan in a statement to the press.
Suhaizat also confirmed that he had detected a 'phantom voter' with no record in the NRD online database. This is not the first case of voters without an NRD record and the basis of the Pakatan Rakyat's frequent accusations that the voters lists were littered with 'phantoms' and 'ghosts'. Recently, two other eligible voters were found on the EC system, again without corresponding NRD records.
That these discrepancies were traced just based upon cursory examination has prompted concern that the problem was widespread and deep. Pakatan lawmakers want to table an emergency sitting in Parliament to demand a solution before the next General Election widely expected to be held before the year end. Minister in chare of parliamentary matters Nazri Aziz has received the application but warned it was up to Prime Minister Najib Razak to agree or not.
More than human error
Meanwhile, Suhaizan said while such mistakes could have been due to human negligence, this also shows the EC voter verification system had failed to detect errors when the details were keyed in. This meant the possibility of a whole nest of erroneous data that needed to be screened and checked.
The phantom voter discovered by Suhaizan showed that Farhana binti Abdul Rashid (MyKad: 840505715012) was a voter registered in the state constituency of Wakaf Mempelam and parliamentary constituency of Kuala Terengganu. However, the same identification number returned no result in the NRD online database which stated 'no application/the number entered is not valid'.
"How can the EC register phantom voters when its registration system is linked with the NRD database through the Agency Link-Up System (Alis)?" said queried Suhaizan.
He also urged the EC to abolish the RM10 fee levied on each objection raised by the public, as well as the RM200 penalty for every objection that is rejected. The current penalty system actually deters well-intentioned probes by the public.
"One way to detect human negligence is through objections. But when the fee is too high, it burdens those who want to raise objections, when the purpose of objections is to clean up the electoral rolls," said Suhaizan.
"The objection fee is one of many weird matters in Malaysia. In fact, the EC should pay those who make objections as a token of appreciation, rather than charge them."

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