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EC holds hearing on 'dubious' voters

Published:  |  Modified:

Some 30 newly-registered voters have been forced to attend a hearing by the Election Commission (EC) following a protest against their electoral legitimacy by a group alleged to be Umno members.

DAP Teratai assemblyperson Tiew Way Keng said she suspected the group was from Umno as she saw them in blue uniforms when she attended the hearing at the Selangor EC office with two of the voters yesterday morning.

Besides the two voters from Pandan, Tiew said she also noted that voters from Rawang and Taman Templer were also present.

"They were called to attend the hearing under Subsection 15(8) of the Election (Voters Registration) Act, which allows for their electoral legitimacy to be challenged," she said.

"As for the Pandan voters, one of them is a new voter while another applied for a change in address," Tiew told reporters.

The voters affected had registered during the first quarter of 2015. Objections against them were that they were not citizens and their addresses did not exist.

Tiew said the purported Umno members were present as well. Being the complainants, they needed to attend the hearing together with the voters and witnesses.

According to one complaint document sighted by Malaysiakini, a man protested against six of the newly-registered Pandan voters.

Tiew speculated that more complaints challenging the legitimacy of newly-registered voters would occur in other constituencies as well.

"This may just be a tip of iceberg," she said.

'Their right to do so'

Former Selangor opposition leader Mohd Shamsuddin Lias said it was common practice for political parties to challenge the legitimacy of newly-registered voters whom they thought were dubious.

PAS and PKR also had their members turning up to check the electoral roll almost everyday, Shamsuddin said.

However, he refused to acknowledge if Umno issued a directive to its members to identify so-called dubious voters.

"They (the complainants) were said to be Umno members. But even so, what's wrong with that?" Shamsuddin ( photo ) asked, saying it was their legitimate right to file a protest.

"I myself encouraged my Umno members (in Tanjung Karang) to check the electoral roll. We have a duty to make sure the electoral roll free of phantom voters," he said.

PKR Rawang assemblyperson Gan Pei Nei said similar complaints against newly-registered voters had been filed in her constituency too.

"This may affect our efforts to encourage more Malaysians to register as voters. They may now find it troublesome to register as voters," Gan said.

She did not rule out the possibility that opposing parties may be doing this to obstruct more people from registering as voters.

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