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Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 19th May 2010: 


Election Commission’s professionalism, credibility and integrity plunged to its lowest point unless it could satisfactorily explain the two-and-a-half hour delay in announcing results and the 9.37% or 5,172-voter mistake in voter turnout

The Election Commission’s professionalism, credibility and integrity plunged to its lowest point in its 53-year history in the Sibu by-election unless it could satisfactorily explain the two-and-a-half hour delay in announcing the results on polling night and the 9.37% or 5,172-voter mistake in voter turnout.

Counting for postal ballot ended at around 8.30 pm on polling day and almost instantaneously, Barisan Nasional and SUPP leaders left the Counting Centre at the Civics Centre - a sign to all that they knew at that time that the BN had lost the by-election.

The mystery remains three days after the by-election as to why the Election Commission delayed for two-and-a-half hours before announcing the results.

DAP leaders did not “storm” the Sanyan Building where the postal ballots were counted, but we went over there from the DAP Sibu Ops Centre to find out what was happening.

When I arrived there with DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, as well as a battery of DAP MPs and State Assembly representatives from all over the country at about 9.30 pm, counting of postal ballots had already been completed for an hour but there was a “standoff” as there was no Election Commission official to issue Form 15 to certify the final tally for the postal ballots counted.

It was then that I decided to launch a tweet offensive to ask the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak whether he recognized the democratic choice of the voters of Sibu to elect Wong Ho Leng as the new Sibu Member of Parliament and raising the question whether there was any attempt to steal the Sibu by- election from the voters of Sibu.

The incredible bungling of the Election Commission about the voter turnout defies belief. It is something that should never have happened - and up to now, the Election Commission has not bothered to explain how it could make such a colossal blunder.

I had on my twitter on polling day tracked the hourly announcement of the Election Commission on the voter turnout and I was very concerned about the low-turnout from the very start, causing me to compare the high voter turn-outs in the recant Hulu Selangor by-election with comments, viz:

9 am - 6.33% or 3,310 voters. Very low!

10am - 20.61% or 11,270 voters.

11am - 28.83% or 15,767 voters. In HuluSelangor, 38.21% voter turnout by 11 am.

12noon - 37% or 20,241 voters- in Hula Selangor 49.04% turnout by noon.

1pm - 42.24% or 23,103 voters. HuluSelangor had registered 56.82% at 1 pm. Ten polling stations closed @ 1pm.

2pm - 46.29% or 25,319 voters. HS had registered 63.74% at 2pm Prospect looks grim unless there is high turnout

3pm - 53.02% or 29,000 voters. HS had registered 67.18% at 3pm. Sibu Miracle?

At 3.48pm I tweeted :

Rantau Panjang closed 1pm 82.5% voter turnout. 1hr 2 end polling. Some urban areas turnout 50%. Not enuf 4 Sibu Miracle

4pm - 56.9% or 31,119 voters. At 4pm HS byelection had 73.82% turnout. 1 hr left. Election commission forecast 80%

At 6.52pm, I tweeted:

5pm - 59.86% or 32,742 voters. The total in postal votes are 2,537.

When making the announcement of the final voter turnout of 59.85 per cent or 32,742 voters, the Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof publicly expressed disappointment over the low turnout – a far cry from the Election Commission’s earlier estimate of 80%.

Mysteriously at around 9pm, Abdul Aziz sent out word that the voter turnout “may actually be more than 60 percent” and when the official results were announced at about 11 pm after a mysterious two-and-a-half hour delay, the voter turnout proved to be a total of 37,919 voters or 69.23 per cent of the 54,895 registered voters.

What was the cause of the 9.39% or 5,172 vote discrepancy in the voter turnout between in a matter of hours, and why was the Election Commission’s hourly tally of the voter turnout completely wrong and utterly useless?

Who must take responsibility for these two colossal errors of the Election Commission, not to mention other irregularities and improprieties whether on polling day or during the eight-day campaign?

As Election Commission Chairman, is Abdul Aziz prepared to accept full personal responsibility for such colossal errors In the Sibu by-election?

Or is Abdul Aziz going to bury his head under the sand and pretend not to hear or know of demands for responsibility and accountability for the Election Commission’s scandalous mistakes on polling day in Sibu by-election?

Is Aziz prepared to accept full responsibility and recommend to the Prime Minister the establishment of a full public independent inquiry into the two-and-a-half hour delay in the announcement of the Sibu by-election result, the 9.37% or 5,172-voter discrepancy in the voter turnout, the abuses of the postal ballots and other electoral irregularities to demonstrate that the Election Commission is truly Independent and professional and wants a tree, fair and clean electoral system?

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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