KUALA LUMPUR: May 27, 2008 By LOONG MENG YEE
The move to clean up the electoral roll is both urgent and necessary, Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said.
He said the Election Commission (EC) must carry out an extensive job to clean up the electoral roll in Sabah.
The problem is too massive, especially in Sabah« TAN SRI JOSEPH KURUP
“We can assist them. We can tell them who the phantom voters are,” he said when met in Parliament here yesterday.
He was commenting on EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s proposal for a fresh electoral roll to be drawn up to stop criticisms from various parties that it lacked integrity.
Kurup, who is Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president, added that to be fair, the EC had been trying its best to clean up the roll over the years.
“But the problem is too massive, especially in Sabah,” he added.
He cited the example of the identity card of a dead person ending up in the possession of someone else, usually an illegal immigrant.
“In the March 8 general election, the problem still appeared but was not as rampant,” said Kurup.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said “the whole thing is a non-issue”.
“I believe, if you have majority support, you will win the election. At the end of the day, it is about support from your voters,” he said.
Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said the move was timely considering it had been 50 years since the first general election was held.
“This is especially so as there have been many complaints of alleged discrepancies,” he added.
PKR vice-president Mohd Azmin Ali and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng agreed that there was a need for a new electoral roll and also urged Abdul Rashid to resign.
“The process to re-register must, however, also be clean and independent from the ruling government. The best is to conduct an automatic voter registration.”
Mohd Azmin said PKR had previously provided the EC with ample evidence of phantom voters.
“The EC chairman must take full responsibility for the problem of phantom voters. The chairman must be changed,” he added.