Press Statement 
by DAP MP for Kota Melaka, Kerk Kim Hock
in Petaling Jaya 
on Sunday, September 01, 2002 

Umno's allegations of phantom voters: DAP fully supports the Prime Minister's call that the electoral rolls be totally reviewed

Two days ago, Umno President and Prime Minister Datuk Dr Mahathir Mohammad called on the Election Commission to review the nation's electoral rolls after claiming that the rolls did not reflect the actual composition of voters, instead the rolls had been manipulated to accommodate phantom voters.

He alleged that in the recent Anak Bukit and Pendang by elections, more than 500 phantom voters were discovered in just four ballot boxes.

He claimed that UMNO had proof to show that there were people were not born there, not working there, not residents and did not even own a house in the constituencies but were registered in the Anak Bukit and Pendang constituencies without a proper address.

The Prime Minister also alleged that 1359 Umno supporters could not cast their cast their votes in both the constituencies as their names were removed from the voting lists.

As a party that has, inside and outside the Parliament, made persistent protests about the existence of phantom voters in the electoral rolls and has made repeated calls to the Election Commission to eradicate such a problem, DAP fully supports the Prime Minister's call to the Election Commission to review and to clean up the rolls.

Dr Mahathir's allegations were surprising and serious not only because this was the first time a Prime Minister had made such allegations, Barisan Nasional leaders themselves had, before votes were cast in the two recent by elections, brushed aside Opposition's r allegations of phantom voters.

On 17.7.2002, the deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi had said that allegations of phantom voters by the Opposition were baseless and a justification to be used if they lost the by elections.

He further said that the electoral rolls had been checked and verified by the Election Commission and there was no such thing as phantom voters.

On the same day, the Election Commission secretary Datuk Wan Ahamd Wan Omar assured that there would not any phantom voters as dead people could not vote. 

He was also quoted as saying that confusion might arise when outstation voters return to vote and mistaken as phantom voters.

Now that the Prime Minister has made the serious allegations which have repudiated his deputy's as well as the Election Commission's assurance that the electoral rolls were clean, the Election Commission must immediately carry out a full investigation and to publish their findings so as to restore public confidence in the ability and credibility of the Election Commission to produce clean rolls which reflect the true and actual composition of voters.

I have in fact recently suggested that the Election Commission should notify and verify with every registered voter before deleting or transferring his/her name from the rolls but this did not meet any response from the Election Commission.

It is time that the Election Commission must not only display the will that is needed to clean up the rolls, it must also be prepared to come out with a mechanism that is able to prevent manipulation of the electoral rolls by any individual or party.