Media Statement 
by MP for Seputeh, Teresa Kok Suh Sim 
in Petaling Jaya 
on Thursday, September 5, 2002

EC Should Seriously Consider Re-registration Of Voters To Ensure A Completely Clean Electoral Roll

I call upon the Election Commission (EC) to seriously give consideration to re-registering voters to ensure a completely clean electoral roll free from phantom, dead and imported voters.

Although our electoral roll had been updated over the years, nevertheless it is the same one which had been in use for the past four-and-a-half decades. This has resulted in the roll being tainted by the presence of dead and phantom voters including imported voters, which had proved difficult to be removed totally.

The problem of such foreign elements in the electoral roll has been a contentious point in many of the recent general elections and by-elections, undermining at times the conclusiveness of elections results.

The latest issue that has made the headlines is the problem of imported voters that involves the deliberate transfer or movement of polling centres of genuine registered voters to other constituencies so as to influence the outcome of voting. This is clearly a serious matter which should be tackled swiftly as the practice of transferring voters is unethical and amounts to voting fraud.

Although the EC is taking steps to clean up the electoral roll, the question is how successful such measures would be to ensure a roll that is completely clean. This is in view of the fact that although political parties and the public are complaining about phantom and imported voters, they have not come forward to provide details, as the EC Chairman, Datuk Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman had himself remarked when commenting on the problem of imported voters.

Considering this, the EC should give serious thought to the possibility of re-registration of the existing 9.9 million voters in addition to its campaign of registering new voters especially when criticism of the electoral role have not only come from opposition parties but also ruling parties including the Prime Minister. Such a move would help produce a new and fresh electoral role free from the presence of dead, phantom or imported voters.

As the EC has put in place the infrastructure for nationwide year-round registration of new voters through the various post offices, mobile public units and state EC offices, re-registration of existing voters should not be too difficult a task.  

For instance, The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in South Africa had announced yesterday that it would embark on a national door-to-door campaign this weekend to re-register about 1.2 million voters in voting districts affected by the demarcation of municipal and ward boundaries.

If such re-registration exercise could be carried out in South Africa, I am sure the EC in Malaysia could do likewise to ensure that the problem of dead, phantom and imported voters are nipped in the bud once and for all. Only then can there be a completely clean electoral role that would have the confidence of the Malaysian electorates and political parties. The ECs image as a body that is truly vigilant and committed in ensuring clean and fair elections would also be thereby enhanced.