DAP calls for independent commission of inquiry into Mahathir’s allegations that PAS’ phantom voters caused UMNO defeat in Anak Bukit by-election and failure to win Pendang with bigger majority as well as the nation-wide problem of phantom voters in the last general election

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Sunday):  DAP calls for an independent commission of  inquiry into the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s allegations that PAS’ phantom voters caused UMNO’s defeat in  the recent Anak Bukit by-election and failure to win Pendang with  a bigger majority as well as the nation-wide problem of phantom voters in the last general election. 

The response of the Election Commission Chairman Datuk Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman is most disappointing, as he offers no promise that the Election Commission would have either the will or the capability to clean up the electoral roll of all phantom voters, i.e. those improperly  registered to be voters in a constituency although they had never lived or worked in it, whether  planted by Barisan Nasional or the Opposition. 

Rashid’s statement that the Election Commission could only tackle the phantom voter menace if those with knowledge of existing phantom voters report the matter immediately is a very lame excuse for the Election Commission’s unprofessionalism and inability to prepare  a clean electoral list.  

This is particularly reprehensible as the Election Commission had all these decades known but closed its eyes to the massive “phantom voters” scandal because they had been perpetrated by the Barisan Nasional parties against the Opposition. 

Now, Mahathir claims that PAS is also guilty of  copying the dishonest tactics of the Barisan Nasional parties in  perpetrating the “phantom voters” scandal, to the extent of affecting the outcome of the Pendang and Anak Bukit by-election results.

PAS leaders have denied Mahathir’s allegations of PAS  “rigging” by   planting  PAS phantom voters in Pendang and Anak Bukit, “not only from other constituencies in Kedah but from constituencies as far as Terengganu and Negri Sembilan”, causing  the UMNO failure to win Anak Bukit and its inability to win Pendang parliamentary by-election with a bigger majority.

Let  an independent commission of inquiry establish  the truth or otherwise of Mahathir’s allegations – as to whether it is UMNO or PAS which is telling the truth.

There is no dispute however about the long-standing problem  of phantom voters planted in various constituencies to manipulate the outcome of election results, marring the credibility and integrity of Malaysian elections, in the past three decades.

The  DAP had in fact been complaining and protesting about phantom voters which had been planted by Barisan Nasional in various constituencies to rig election results in the past three decades – but always to no avail. 

A week before polling in the  1999 general election, I had exposed the gravity of phantom voters in the Bukit Bendera parliamentary constituency, and I referred  in particular to 279 phantom voters in eight flats and a Gerakan leader in the constituency which had registered over 70 phantom voters  in his house – and there could no doubt that the 1999 Bukit Bendera parliamentary results where I lost by 104 votes would have been very different if not for the existence of thousands of Gerakan phantom voters in the constituency.

Now that both the Opposition and ruling parties have complained about the rampant nature of phantom voters in constituencies which they had never lived nor worked and have no business to be there, the Election Commission should wake up to the fundamental flaws of the electoral list which make a mockery of the claim that Malaysian elections are free, fair and clean. 

There should be a total clean-up of the electoral list where all phantom voters, whether planted by Barisan Nasional or any opposition party, are removed to produce a clean electoral list. 

The Election  Commission should convene an all-party meeting to work out a national strategy and operation to clean the electoral of all phantom voters within six months in time for the coming into force of the new redelineation of electoral constituencies next year so that Malaysia can rightly claim to have taken the first step to conduct a free, fair and clean election.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman