PKR POLLS | Despite lagging behind his opponent, PKR deputy presidential candidate Rafizi Ramli claimed that he could have gained a 3,000-vote lead against his rival Mohamed Azmin Ali if it had not been for problems in the Sabah polls over the weekend.
According to Rafizi, these problems included the lack of printers providing QR codes for voters, a polling centre that was too small to accommodate voters, and poor internet connectivity.
“These two divisions (Pensiangan and Keningau) had been estimated to give me a margin of victory of over 3,000 votes, if the voting had gone smoothly and not been sabotaged by various problems such as a hall the size of a chicken coop, lack of internet connectivity, QR code machines, tablets, and other problems,” he said in a Facebook post today.
He urged the party’s central election committee (JPP) to declare fresh elections for the three Sabah divisions where election results have been withheld, namely Pensiangan, Keningau, and Tawau.
He also urged them to ensure the mistakes that occurred last week do not happen again.
“With votes from Pensiangan, Keningau, Julau, and other divisions, I’m confident that we can end this election season in style, as long as the JPP does its job to ensure voting in these large divisions proceed smoothly,” he said.
Sabah PKR, which has the second-largest number of PKR members in the country, went to the polls over the previous weekend.
Taking into account the interim results released by JPP for Sabah last night, Azmin’s national tally currently stands at 59,594 votes compared to Rafizi’s 56,392 votes – a 3,172-vote lead in Azmin’s favour. This excludes votes that had been voided.
In contrast, Rafizi cited a lead of 2,656 votes in Azmin’s favour in his Facebook post. However, this figure includes votes that had been voided by the JPP in five Malacca divisions, Labuan, and Jelebu.
Voting process 'too slow'
The former Pandan MP also claimed to have a strong support base in Pensiangan and Keningau, and that the turnout at last weekend’s election showed that his team could mobilise 4,000 people in the two divisions.
Rafizi said that the polls in Keningau had been held in a small hall that could only hold 20 people at a time, and the area had neither mobile phone nor internet connectivity.
He said 1,000 of his supporters had been mobilised to vote in Keningau but were unable to do so, and claimed that the choice of a small venue for the election was a clear attempt to prevent his voters from voting.
As for Pensiangan, Rafizi claimed that the JPP only issued two printers for each candidate to print QR codes used to verify a person’s eligibility to vote.
Explore: Malaysiakini's PKR election tracker
However, he added, 200 voters had queued for one candidate, while 5,000 queued for another.
“As a result, the voting process was too slow. At about 12pm, the Celcom coverage was cut off. Checks with Celcom revealed that the fibre connection at their station there had been severed.
“This has become a police case,” he said.
PKR members are set to vote in Sarawak next week, while there will also be an election in Malacca where polls were previously postponed.
Sarawak makes up almost six percent of eligible PKR voters, while Malacca makes up three percent.
The divisions of Kuala Selangor, Labuan and Jelebu are also set to hold their polls again.