Election Commission should start with
Penang as the model state to eradicate all phantom voters with the
co-operation of all political parties, NGOs and civic organizations to
produce a clean electoral roll free of phantom voters
by Lim Kit Siang
Penang Deputy Chief Minister and Balik Pulau Umno chief, Datuk Dr. Hilmi
Yahaya said on Sunday that at least 700 phantom voters have been detected in
the Balik Pulau parliamentary constituency since the 1999 general election
and that 500 registered voters have been transferred to other
He said his UMNO division would carry out a door-to-door check to verify the
new voters' list.
The problem of rampant phantom voters on the electoral roll is one of the
greatest blemishes of the Malaysian election system, and there is no reason
why in the era of information technology, the Election Commission seems to
be so helpless and clue-less as to how to produce a clean electoral list
free of phantom voters to enhance the credibility, integrity and legitimacy
of the electoral process.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had bandied the figure
of 2.8 million phantom voters but this can only be an underestimate as UMNO
leaders were only interested about Malay voters, and the final total for
phantom voters in the country would be very much higher if such abuses
affecting non-Malay voters are also taken into account.
DAP had been complaining about phantom voters for the past three decades and
a week before the 1999 general election, I had pointed out that there were
thousands of phantom voters in Bukit Bendera parliamentary constituency,
referring in particular to over 279 phantom voters registered in eight Rifle
Range flats - when it was impossible to have 30 to 40 voters in one flat!
DAP fully agrees with the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi who had said that there should not be much difficulty in tracking the
phantom voters and cleaning up the electoral roll as the Election Commission
and the relevant government departments were fully computerized.
Abdullah had said:
"A voter must be genuinely connected to the place where or she is
registered. If the commission finds 20 or 30 persons using the same address,
or the voters come from places unrelated to the place of registration, then
something is wrong and this should be investigated."
DAP calls on the Election Commission to be mindful of Abdullah's statement
and the urgent need to launch a complete clean-up of the electoral roll to
ensure that voting is not tainted by fraud, cheating and phantom votes.
The Election Commission should start with Penang as the model state to
eradicate all phantom voters with the co-operation of all political parties,
NGOs and civic organizations to produce a clean electoral roll free of
phantom voters. The techniques of phantom voter-busting and cleansing in
Penang can then be applied countrywide in all the other states to produce a
clean, honest and credible national electoral register.
The next general election should not be held until a clean electoral
register has been prepared, free of phantom voters. With the help of all
political parties, NGOs and civic organizations in the era of information
technology, there is no reason why such a phantom voter-busting and
cleansing exercise to eradicate all phantom voters including the
long-standing ones cannot be completed nation-wide by before the middle of
Lim Kit Siang, DAP National