COMMENT Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah has expressed concern over the surprising rise in voter turnout in the Sarawak polls from 52 percent at 4pm to 70 percent at midnight, and has urged the Election Commission (EC) to look into the matter.
The near surreal upsurge of voter turnout at the last moment, I would like to stress, is a very grave discrepancy
The number of votes cast at 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm are 44%, 50%, 52% and 70% respectively.
It shows that the pace of voters’ arrival had been reducing gradually in the afternoon to a slow pace of 2% per hour until 4pm, when it suddenly surged nine times to reach 18% per hour.
Can this most fantastic spectacle be verified by eyewitnesses? Could our polling stations handle 200,000 voters in one hour?
Why didn’t the EC announce the last turnout rate promptly at 5pm as it had done earlier at hourly intervals? Why did the EC have to delay the last announcement until midnight?
Such bizarre happenings give rise to strong public suspicion of massive padding up of ballot boxes before counting began.
Hence, the police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must move in immediately to seize all computers and ballot boxes from the EC for a thorough investigation to ascertain the true cause of such massive discrepancy.
United DAP-PKR could have made difference
On another matter, while the numbers suggest DAP or PKR would have lost their overlapped seats anyway, even if either party had contested singly against BN, let’s consider this.
The PKR-DAP clash over the six seats had generated animosity that broke up their partnership in the entire election campaign, adversely affecting electoral support for all seats contested by them.
Imagine, if there had been no such break-up, their individual campaigns participated by both parties would have been more powerful and convincing, and the candidates of both parties would have received more cross-party electoral support, besides avoiding repudiation by electorate infuriated by the inter-party clash.
If that were the case, the outcome of this election would definitely have been more favourable to Harapan.
But all is not lost for Harapan. Treat this as a warm-up exercise. Do an objective analysis jointly. Learn from the mistakes and make an all-out push for Putrajaya come GE14, which may be sooner than we think.
KIM QUEK is the author of the banned book 'The March to Putrajaya'.