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Will EC cancel the polls next?
Published:  Mar 5, 2008 1:28 AM
Updated: 11:18 AM

vox populi big thumbnail They way the Election Commission is being manipulated by the BN government, don’t be surprised if they announce today or tomorrow that the 12 th general election has been cancelled.

On Shock reversal: Indelible ink plan erased

Expect Fraud: They way the Election Commission is being manipulated by the BN government, don’t be surprised if they announce today or tomorrow that the 12 th general election has been cancelled. They will say that this is because the BN government has got enough support and as such, polls are no longer necessary.

Cancelling the use of the indelible ink - after it was promised - three days before the general election is nothing but blatant fraud. Don’t blame anyone though, blame ourselves. This is what happens when you give BN a two-thirds majority.

Robert: There is no excuse for EC to change its mind now after having spent the taxpayers' money to now throw the ink into the drain. What public order and security issues is the EC talking about? Please elaborate.

Not using the indelible ink it will cause discontentment amongst the candidates, parties and voters, resulting in public disorder and security problems. We hope that the EC will proceed to use the indelible ink in the interest of a fair election and to safeguard security for voting.

Teo Chuen Tick: Aha! Am I being paranoid or do I smell a rat? But, well, what can be done? The EC is as good as an agency of the BN.

Raj: I can't find any suitable words (except ‘total stupidity’) to describe the behavior of EC and its chairman. EC is not proactive, not even reactive, but is just being instinctive in their planning and decision. Spending millions of the rakyat 's money without planning is what BN has been doing all this years and once again EC on their own has proven their ineffectiveness by abandoning the indelible ink plan.

Best of all, the BN has found someone who is most (in)capable to lead the EC and his term had to be extended despite criticisms from NGOs and the oppositions. Malaysians, by now we should realise the type of leadership we have and any attempt on our part to retain them can only be construed as the imbecility of the rakyat .

It's time we decide once and for all to reject the nincompoops who are assisted by nincompoops in leading this country. May March 8 be a judgement d.

Chnglk: Upon reading this report, I think it is the end of democracy in this country. This goes to show that BN is trembling! I would urge the opposition to have a few camera men at every polling station in Malaysia ready o record every voter that goes for polling. It would be a way to compile if a ‘phantom voter’ would go on its rounds to vote using a different identity.

Grey: This is plain unjust. First the EC promised a fair and clean election after - and only after - pressured demands from Bersih. Then merely days before voting day, they reverse that decision. Does the EC think the rakyat are naive fools? We are fed up of the numerous u-turns made so many times by the BN-led government. Now a supposedly independent entity is doing the same. It says so much about the EC's stand to ensure a clean, fair and smooth election.

To the Malaysian rakyat , do not be fazed. If you are thinking of boycotting the election because of the EC's decision, please think again. That is what a certain party want you to do. Instead, go ahead full force to ensure that your right as a citizen of Malaysia is fulfilled. Show them that even with such last minute tactics, Malaysians can make a difference. Vote now for indelible ink to be used for the next and every election to come.

To our EC, a rabid dog in the park causes public disorder and threatens security. A parang - wielding madman running across KLCC park causes public disorder and threatens security. Mat Rempits on federal highway caus public disorder and threaten security. A bottle of ink does not.

CP Kee: If using the indelible ink is a security risk so would going for a pee on March 8.

Nithiyaavaani: Again the EC proved that they are the tool of the corrupted, power-hungry BN. EC is following Pak Lah's footsteps. After 50 years of independence, elections are still a game for BN to manipulate the people's rights in Malaysia.

Earlier the EC said ink will being used but now they say it won’t. I'm sure BN knows they are going to lose in the election. So to ensure their victory, they need phantom voters. Indelible ink is necessary to secure the transparency of the general election. How can the people trust the integrity of the election now?

If possible, we don't need these kind of elections. We can boycott this election. We don't need elections which don't care of the people's voting rights. of voting. This game is being played again and again by EC and also BN. Bravo to EC for doing excellent job for BN!

Faizul Zainol: The stamp duty rule did a U-turn and now the indelible ink rule? Where's the credibility in EC? I think they have none at all .They might as well declare a scripted winning declaration for BN. No need to hold elections. It’s just wasting time and public funds.

Your guess is as good as mine whether this GE is going to be one of the dirtiest general election in the history of Malaysia. The use of indelible ink would have prevented cheating, but now that the writing is on the wall that there is going to be an obvious swing towards the opposition, the SPR is having second thoughts. Obviously, the use of indelible ink would not favour Umno/BN, thus forcing them to resort once again to phantom voters and other forms of cheating to minimise their electoral losses.

They will unashamedly lie and lie and lie. Don't dream about petrol and goods price not increasing this year. The EC chief has served his master like he intended to. Umno/BN has successfully put fear into almost all their (government) servants. And they still blabber about integrity. Integrity my foot.

Perhaps we should highlight our situation and get some international monitoring bodies to come observe the polls on the March 8. We are getting to be a disgrace in the international arena. And all because of one man who time to leave was long overdue.

RDW: This action is definitely another waste of public funds. The sum may not be big but it is done right in front of our eyes with a reason that may not even trick a three-year-old child. I would like to express that this government is not one that the public can trust any more. They are all lying through their teeth.

Larry Leow: After seeing the IGP presenting his case on TV3 last night to justify the cancellation of the indelible ink use. I nearly lost my mind. Ladies and gentlemen in the opposition, there is just one thing left - .boycott this election. And may the devil be with BN.

Beng Joo Lim: I just don't believe these people dare to cite laws and the constitution as the reasons not to use indelible ink. Since when did they begin to abide by our Malaysian laws and constitution? Since when did they start to care about us? Since when did a dash of ink on my finger cause public insecurity or disorder? I get machine grease all over my face and hair everyday! I have never seen a bank guard stop me from entering a bank!

Everyone knows the ink is to be used to prevent vote-cheating and repeat votes by the same person. With this announcement, everyone now knows two things, (1) in this General Election 2008, the Barisan National is going to cheat Big Time and (2) the EC is like a pet dog serving its master. It is simply outrageous.

There is every reason for the BN to prevent the ink from being used to stop them from cheating in this GE because they have a lot of phantom voters under their skirts and if they cannot cheat, they will lose flat. Period.

Concerned Papa: This latest news disgusted my already nauseated (with lies) mind. The election process which is supposed to uphold our constitutional rights should be viewed as sacred similar to a marriage rite; where a decision once made is considered cast in stone, signed in blood or whatever you call it; and any changes should be through means of consultation from all involved parties. This is one of the many U-turns we have seen in recent months.

In my mind, instead of facilitating a smooth election, the EC is actually causing great inconvenience and confusion not only to the candidates but to the voters as well, by wantonly announcing and then reversing plans. This is beside the fact that we have dead voters, over/underage voters etc…I do not even want to venture there.

This is a farce which would have prompted me to laugh out loud had it not been a real-life situation that is happening to our beloved country. We cannot and we must not allow ‘comedians’ to represent our country and nation. Let's vote wisely for a country that has dignity and integrity.

True Malaysian: Scrapping the use of the indelible ink just three days from the election may set the stage for the biggest election fraud in Malaysian history. BN, with all indicators pointing probably to a loss of their 2/3rds majority, seems getting ready to use all known and unknown means to win the elections- including fraud. Why was the announcement made in the presence of the IGP and the AG? To lend credibility to and legitimise the EC’s action? Maybe they should have added Umno cabinet ministers for the press conference.

All the reasons given to make this decision are so frivolous that I find it incredible that the EC has allowed itself to be used by desperate people. It also shows that it is Umno-controlled. Democracy is about to take a big blow in Malaysia. Those who win by fraud can never claim true victory. This kind of thing can only happen in Robert Mugabe’s country.

KS Chin: Fake indelible ink? If that’s a reason (based on a rumour), would the EC cancel the election if someone is intending to duplicate the ballot paper? This should be a police case so let the police do their job (if they are not too busy that is). Why cancel outright the use of the ink?

Dr Mohamed Rafick Khan Abdul Rahman: While having my breakfast with my regular online newspaper, I was almost choked when I read the news that EC has cancelled the use of the indelible ink. With three days to go and after months of studies and preparation, they have started to create to what I would refer is the biggest scandal in the nation election history. This scandal is brought upon them by themselves. People with the creative minds are now being given the additional opportunity to speculate and link the EC’s action with the ruling party.

The EC action’s will further fuel speculation that the election is rigged. Already the preliminary reports indicates that BN bigwigs will lose in many areas and the image of the BN is already at all time low with many of it’s top leaders are being associated with various scandals. Now people will say that the EC and BN are in cahoots to ensure that their chances of winning will not be reduced.

In the eyes of the world, EC has made Malaysia a laughing stock. It will be ‘joke’ worthwhile remembering till the next generation. Tan Sri Rashid, I suggest that you and your colleagues at EC must resign now if there is any little dignity left in yourself. You have made an ass of Malaysia and it’s people.

Ignatius Anantha: I can understand what the EC Chairman is trying to say. That the indelibleink can't be use because of public order and security issues. The question remains, why didn’t you think of this earlier? Why now? Three days before the election? Does this mean the EC chairman is not a capable guy after running so many elections? That he never thought through this issue before?

Now that so much money has been spent to buying this ink and that it won’t be used, there is still another question unanswered - how they going to prevent multiple voting by the same person from taking place?

TST: At the rate the EC is changing the position of the goalpost and the size of the goalpost, don't be surprised if they announced on 11 pm Thursday (March 6), that due to ‘security reasons’ they decided that polling day is being forward to Friday (March 7) and voting is only for three hours (9 am till 12 noon)!

All those voters who go to polling station on Saturday (March 8) would be told sudah habis and FRU would spray chemically-laced water through water cannons to disperse them.

Mathew Alexander: What a fiasco is this? Abdul Rashid says for ‘public order and security’.I wonder how the innocent ink on your nail or forefinger can threaten our nation? Is our nation so vulnerable that an invasion of indelible ink can create chaos and we all would turn to ‘ Orang Dakwat Hitam ?

What rubbish! Are we so gullible to all this? Kick out these people who think we are small children and feeding on their milk bottles.

Ibrahim Musa K: I would be dishonest to say that I am shocked by the Election Commission's decision not to use the indelible ink, the simple reason being I have been immune to the dirty tricks and hidden agenda played by the EC in the past elections.

Phantom voters, dead voters, displaced voters, postal voters are but a few of the nasty maneuvers that the EC has blatantly and unashamedly denied. The worst comes from the manipulation and redrawing of the constituency borders which greatly favour the incumbent government.

EC is supposed to be an independent and open body, run by individuals of high integrity -- constitutionally speaking, that is. Yet it remains as the stooge of the party in power for several decades, serving the covert interest of the sick politicians. The judiciary system in our country is already in a shambles, could the EC be any better? I doubt.

Onmu Martin: I am appalled. I don't buy the reason they give that there is attempt by the opposition to manipulate the rural voters with the ink. On the contrary, I think the reverse is true. Without the use of indelible ink, the ruling party can, in fact, manipulate the voters to their advantage. If the use of indelible ink is not effective, why are so many countries using it? Didn't the EC do their homework before they agreed to implement it?

Or is it because that they smell that things are not in favor of the ruling party that they have to make this sudden chang?. It is an insult to say that the rural folks could be manipulated so easily. Are they saying that the rural folks are so foolish to dip their finger in the indelible ink before they come to vote? Assuming that they are so foolish and they come with their finger with the ink to the polling station, will it not be possible to check on the register if they have voted? I just feel something fishy is going on when the EC and our prime minister change their mind so easily and all the time.

Patriot: The decision of the EC to scrap the use of indelible ink stinks and is an obvious ploy to facilitate the use of phantom voters by the BN. They're desperate. If it's true that some party has brought in the ink to sabotage the process, all the EC has to do is bombard the radio and TV with announcements that voters should only allow their fingers to be marked with ink on polling day itself and only at the polling station, and no where else. Do they think voters are that stupid?

The opposition should not give in and must insist on the use of the ink. If its so easy to sabotage the use of the ink, then a huge country like India would have scrapped it long ago.

Inthian: The EC has been talking about the introduction of indelible ink in the coming general election since last July. They have also spent RM2.4 million of tax payers money to purchase the indelible ink.I am sure the EC would have studied the relevant acts and provisions before embarking into this process.

Barely three days before the general elections, the EC reversed their decision and splashed the news that the indelible ink would not be used for this election for ‘legal’ and ‘public safety’ reasons. The Election Commission chairman went on to say that he was ‘disappointed’ as he wanted to continue with the use of the indelible ink.

The Attorney-General had to point out that amendments must be made to Article119 of the federal constitution as well as to the Election Act for the ink to be used! It sounds very odd that no one in the Election Commission was aware of this provision and it required advice from the legal experts just days before the election.

Parliament amended the constitution to have the term of the EC chairman extended as his experience was needed for the coming general election. With this fiasco, it simply doesn’t make sense. What experience does the EC chairman have to show. Would he also account for the RM2.4 million loss of taxpayers fund?. Now who is disappointed with who?

Concerned Citizen: If EC is clean and just, and determined to eliminate phantom voters and prevent fraudulent voting, then EC should go ahead with the use of indelible ink. Even if a voter comes with indelible ink marking, he or she should be allowed to vote on condition that they fill up a form detailing their particulars so that EC can verify later whether this particular voter indeed voted only once. At the same time, allow EC to question how and where the particular voter got his or her indelible ink marking.

It is so simple. I think EC’s credibility is definitely at stake here as the excuses given by them are unacceptable.

Terkejut Besar: Can everyone hear the march of darkness approaching ? Everything is and will be manipulated , now or in the future. Democracy ? Dream on. It will deteriorate further in the next four years. What’s the use of having ceramah by the opposition tirelessly night after night? After all, the future of the country and the coming general elections will be determined by phantom voters and manipulation.

And now they are doing it in the open, indirectly challenging the us, the rakyat , 'Can you stop me?' They will be grinning all the way during ballot counting. Unfortunately, that is how it is and that it is how it will be, if not worse in the future. As we are busy hoping for the winds of change, they are amassing their phantom 'troops ' for the final assault.

After the biased results are announced this Saturday, it will be all over, a total annihilation of opposition and rakyat ’s dreams. One by one the opposition and true voice of the rakyat ,will fall .

Like the massacre of the young Jedi at the Jedi temple in the movie ‘Star Wars’.Embrace the arrival of the Dark Force and say bye-bye democracy.

Sitha: Oh my goodness, I really do not understand. The Election Commission spent so much for purchasing the ink and now ‘Indelible ink plan erased’. What are they thinking? Hello, the people are working so very hard to earn a living here, .paying their taxes and this is how the government uses our money? This is just one example of the government misusing our tax moneywithout any sympathy for us the rakyat .

I think school kids handle their pocket money better. This is why many Malaysians are living under the poverty line. The government does this and then make up stories telling us that they are improving our standard of living. We as Malaysians should be living in a better position with a better quality of life. Please Malaysians, vote wisely and redeem our rights for a much better quality of life.

Mooshie Mooshie: Dear Mr PM of Malaysia. We respect the King, the Constitution and we love the country but sorry - I think you are playing dirty. No indelible ink? And all that talk by your crony SPR chairperson earlier about being transparent. His excuse is that it is a security matter, so no ink. Ha, ha ,ha! Sorry, I couldn't help laughing.

You think there is going to be a revolution or another street demonstration because some of us will get their finger inked? You are the real joke of the decade man! I used to be a fence-sitter but now I think that because of the non-level playing field, .my friends and our families are going to vote for anyone but BN. Bye, I hope you and your cronies can no longer rule and continue to cheat us anymore come next Sunday.

Dhammika: This sudden decision is for BN’s vested interest. BN now realises that they may lose the election this time around. So they got the EC chairperson to seek the advice of the AG on how to prevent the ink’s use. The reasons given do not warrant the decision not to use this indelible ink to prevent vote fraud and rigging. If the nation’s safety is so much a concern then use of the ink shouldn’t have agreed too in the first place.

To move a bill in parliament to extend the EC chairperson’s service was for this reason - to allow him to cheat. RM2 million of rakyat ’s money is now wasted. The BN morons are not god- fearing. The opposition should keep calm till the election results are out and then decide next course of action.You have the rakyat ’s support.

With this turn of events, I appeal to all Malaysians to stand up, come forward and speak out against the EC chairperson.

Chuacj: Logically, we should not blame the EC. We also should not blame the police and the government. Do not blame others - blame yourselves for putting them up there. BN has their own rules and laws and they can keep changing the rules and laws to suit their greed and cover the corruption. Did you notice that BN did not mention anything about corruption this time around in their election campaigns? They can't as a thief will never admit he is wrong. We have managed to end the previous ACA chief’s career so we should be able to do much better this time.

BN, please do not to treat us, the public, as morons. We made a mistake once and we can correct that mistake. Let hold hands together (Malays, Chinese and Indians, etc) and chase the bandit out of our system for a better future. Stop the rot, vote for the opposition.

YSM: Is it possible to create an electoral role that is online for each state Whenever a voter votes, his name and IC number is checked off the central database. If he appears again somewhere else to vote again, the database will alert the polling agent and the phantom voter can be apprehended.

There has to be a creative way to beat the EC and the corrupt BN government at this. Can someone think of a plan?

MalaccanF: The reasons given by EC for not using indelible ink doesn’t hold much water. Another typical case of expecting the people to swallow everything ‘hook, line and sinker’. Treating them like fools and expecting them to behave like fools.

Wish I was wrong, but I do sense something sinister brewing. The people, the opposition, be on your guard against unscrupulous measures by the ruling coalition.

The Healer: At least EC chief’s lie wasn’t as flagrant as the PM’s lie about dissolution of parliament. Nevertheless, it is an outright deception to the public who believes in democracy. So how now? I guess we Malaysians will now have to go to the polling stations with little hope, but even so, little hope is better than no hope. Let us hope against all hope that even without the help of indelible ink, the people’s voice will drown all evil intentions of the ruling parties.

By the way, the fact that the EC requires people to push them to implement the use of indelible ink already indicates the fact that the integrity of the EC has been compromised. Thus the need to implement the use of indelible ink to assure the people of its integrity. To illustrate: if we know A is truthful, there is no need for A to take up an oath to ascertain that A is telling the truth.

On Chew Mei Fun, which planet are you on?

Phoon: Ms Chew was correct to say the NEP viz. New Economic Policy was over; that NEP was for Tun Razak’s era. Now we have a new NEP viz. National Economic Policy, this one is for the Umnoputras. Ms Chew, are you supporting the new NEP?

On Letter: Penang 'bribes' Motorola to stay

Penang Motorola Employee: It came as a big shock that Motorola considered pulling out of Penang. Imagine coming to work one day to meet your boss and he tells you, ‘Thank you very much, I have no work for you anymore. I reckon we must give credit where it's due. Dr Koh must have done his best.

However, how many billion ringgit projects can the state or Malaysian government dish out? What if Intel wants to leave? Is Siltera going to give its billion ringgit project so that Intel will stay? How about Agilent? Altera and the rest?

The billion ringgit project is just to solve the symptoms. The prime minister and the chief minister have to think outside the box. No point just talking about it. Koh has been talking about it for some time now. Come out with an action plan that works. Penang faces stiff competition. He's right to say that the ‘Bamboo Curtain’ and ‘Iron Curtain’ has come down and Penang is facing 150 other 'Penang' centres worldwide. If that's the problem, think of something to counter it!

Singapore pays higher wages than Penang, why is it that Singapore gets much more FDI than Penang? There's still so much space in Penang FTZ. What is the Singapore government doing better than us? Come on! What happened to all the overseas grads? What happened to all the Malaysian brains? What happened to Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang ? Is it merely going to be a slogan during election time? Penang and Malaysia don't need slogans, we need good action plans.

Puzzled: Koh Hsu Koon said ‘I believe I did the right thing to protect the interest of the people of Penang’. Maybe he should 'declassify' the letter and let the public read the contents of his letter to Pak Lah. Let the public interpret if there is any element of 'bribe' in the deal.

Anyway, if the deal is really a bribe, then perhaps Koh has set a bad precedence. Other MNC may quote this case for them not to pull out from Malaysia. Malaysia should really be looking into doing things in transparently so that element of bribe, misconception and suspicion would not arise. Take for example, if Singapore can invite international corporations for its integrated resort projects in Marina and Sentosa, why can’t we do that for our 'corridor projects'?

On Candidate finds 26 'phantom' voters in family's home

Soon Hoe: It should matter what the voters’ addresses are or where they stay. Just their names and IC numbers will do. Why register their addresses?

On Kok raps rival over 'sexist' posters

Disgusted Voter: I am shocked at what a woman BN candidate will do this to gain votes. For a woman candidate to put up sexist posters of another woman candidate is shameful. Fight a good fight not a dirty one. For that I will certainly not vote for her. For your readers’ information I am a woman voter. Carol Chew has just lost the votes of my whole family and quite a number of friends too.

Paige Chia: I have changed my mind about Carol Chew. Now, I don’t think she is intelligent enough to vote for. Her involvement in these billboards makes her an unsuitable candidate to represent thousands of moderate, rational citizens.

Almost as bad as this is her lack of respect for a worthy opponent. I must say I’m astonished that a woman can turn out to be such a chauvinist.

On History is against Koh to win seat

True Penangite: As a true Penangite, I would really love to see a change in the state government. Just give the opposition a chance to rule for five years. If they do not keep to their promises, then vote in back BN for the next election.

But it has always been the culture and ‘chicken-ness’ of Penangites to not vote for the opposition at the last minute although they mat attend opposition ceramah by the thousands .I feel that its time all Penangites wake up and go for a change.

On Chan dra a fine one to criticise Anwar

Lynette: All I can say is this - put coffee beans into hot water and it changes into coffee. People don't stay stagnant. They change. Especially if they have been jailed, humiliated, kicked about and spitted upon by those in authority. Tell those people to stop bringing up the past, Anwar has been through hell and back. Give him the benefit of the doubt which he deserves.

Lim Thean Heng: Chandra has every right to make his criticism against what he feels is wrong with Anwar. He also said that as a concerned citizen, he has a duty to alert the public about Anwar.

The only problem is his timing and motive - he had seven long years since Lunas to make his expose, and yet he has chosen to launch his scathing attack on Anwar when he knows fully well that at this eleventh hour, Anwar would be too busy to respond to all his criticisms, let alone defend himself, coming only a few days before the polling date.

Where is Chandra's trademark sense of natural justice which he was so passionate about during his Aliran days? To me, his timing is in bad faith and his motive, spiteful. Truly sad for me (and others too, I'm sure) who had held such a high esteem for his struggles when he was with Aliran.

On PAS rouses 'diaspora' to defend state

Empathy: On behalf of Malaysian Muslims, I have this wish to make public: please vote in the ulama this Saturday. Let BN get their two-thirds, let PAS retain Kelantan, let BN keep Terengganu, let Gerakan hold on to Penang, I don’t really care.

What I do care for is for Islam to be protected, and right-thinking and concerned Muslims want ulama like Dr Harun Din, Ustaz Taib Azamudeen and Ustaz Hadi Awang in Parliament. Islam is under siege, and these are the people who will put up a good fight.

Tong Tang Soong : Since most of our political leaders are claiming they are clean, yet many discrepancies are found on their record, shall we request those who defend their corrupt ideas to vow in public under the Almighty? They can say whatever they want, even tell the people that they will face the Almighty. So, to be honest and sincere, if they have nothing to hide, they should take an oath in public. Will this work with crooked politicians?

On It's time to 'jual mahal'

Teo Chuen Tick: Very well said! It's a fact that the MCA,MIC and Gerakan representatives in the government are showpieces if we go by the track record of their ineffective defence of non-bumiputera rights over the years. So, yes, it's time to go into uncharted waters even if denying BN that two-thirds majority means that non-Malay representation in the government will be affected. As the Beruang said, ‘who knows, that may be the very message required to jolt the Umnoputras to their senses’.

On Umnoputraism: are you for or against?

Citizen: The BN election manifesto states security, peace and prosperity for the nation and in real terms it means the following:

Security- This country is very safe for the corrupted prime minister, ministers, judges, Barisan politicians and there is no other country in the world that could provide such protection.

Peace - All the corrupted leaders, Barisan politicians are living peacefully in the country as they are well protected by the police and judges. All the corrupted Barisan ministers and politicians are living in harmony at the expense of the citizen of the country.

Prosperity- All the Barisan ministers and politicians attain prosperity within five years after being elected. They build mansions or palacees for each of them after the elections and don’t forget the Mercedes/ BMW. They have the liberty to acquire wealth by plundering the country through various contracts, tenders and projects awarded to their cronies

The manifesto is prepared to promote the interest of the political masters. Oh citizens of the country, please wake up and cast your votes for the Barisan Rakyat.

On Raised from the dead but still can't vote

Malaysian Gaijin: My mum has been residing in Sabah for the past 38+ years (she is from Johor married to my Sabahan father) and has voted in all the elections with the exception of the previous election because she has been working outside of the country. Recently, she returned and wanted to exercise her duties as a Malaysian. Thus, I helped my mum check her information and to our amazement, her IC number was not in the database, thus meaning she is not a registered voter.

My mum called up the Sabah State Election Office and was told that they had deleted her from their database because they had ‘presumed’ she had died and was now ‘not eligible’ to vote. She has to re-register herself in the database. What the hell is EC doing if they are not updating the databases properly? There are 100-year-old voters in the thousands still ‘alive’ while real live ones are presumed dead? This shows how unorganised and plain stupid the EC is. Or is it possibly too busy hiding phantom voters?

On the other hand, my mum has been an opposition voter for many years. Could they have know this and deleted her name on purpose?

Fed-up: My sister and brother-in-law both ageed in the early 60s, have resided in Setapak Jaya over the past 25 years. Two weeks ago, I helped them check through the EC website to find out which polling station they should go. To my shock, my brother-in-law’s IC number was completely erased, showing no record at all. My sister's name was still there.

My question is how can my brother-in-law's name have simply vanished without a trace while my sister's name still exists? Of course, they both stay in the same house having the same address. This has denied him the chance of casting a vote in the coming general election. For your readers’ info, they are both staunch supporters of the opposition and have been voting the opposition all these years. This is undoubtedly a total foul play that reduces votes for the opposition. It can only happen in ‘democratic’ Malaysia. This is really disgusting.

On Shahrizat: Look at my track record

Change Your Mindset: If I am a Lembah Pantai voter, I won't look at Shahrizat's track record. My vote will still go to Nurul Izzah. Many Malaysians have the misconception about the duty and responsibility of an MP or Adun. For me, they should voice out the people's opinions, problems, suggestions, needs etc in Parliament and the state assemblies without fear or favour, and based on their conscience.

This way, we can see constructive debates in Parliament and the state assemblies instead of shouting matches, insults and excuses which are unproductive and don't make any sense. Taking care of garbage collection, drainage, pot holes etc should be well taken care of by town councils and municipalities, not an MP or a Adun.

A lot of BN candidates are somehow 'victimised' by the 'rigid' thinking and policies preferred by BN's taiko, Umno. BN, and specifically Umno, should change their mentality if they still want to form the 'backbone' of Malaysia.

On PM: We've not been sleeping

KevinP: Dear PM, I really wonder what yardstick you choose to measure your success against. To me, as a simple wage earner, your success is measured against what you have told the people about what you would do and a progress report on it from time to time. But I see that you have ditched your 2004 manifesto and completely forgotten about us.

Have all those aspirations been attained? Dear PM, we understand you are prone to lying, from your wedding to the dissolution of Parliament. How can we not think you are lying to us in saying that you have not been hibernating for the last four years? Do give us cause to believe you. For the last four years, I have found none.

On Election debates: Just do it!

Without Fear or Favour: Election debates are definitely the best way for electorates to decide whom they wish to give their votes to. Reasons like ‘debates may touch on sensitive issues’ are just lame excuses to hide one's weakness and capability. In the present environment in Malaysia, there are too many restrictions imposed by BN government and that sensitive issues of race and religion are not allowed to be debated in public.

To me, such restrictions only show how immature and insecure the mentality of the policy makers are, and it won't help in shaping an 'intellectual' society. Freedom of speech which is enshrined in the constitution is meaningless with the imposition of these restrictions.

Shamsul Mohd Nor: It’s crunch time yet again for voters. I am one of the ‘undecided’. In America, the confrontation is immaculate. No thugs, no hoodlums, no apprehension. When it comes to national televised debates, the issues are deliberated and discussed. It is the issues that the Americans want to hear about.

On our home front, it's pretty much issues again but none of the grievances or ‘dirty laundry’ can be put forth to the public on a national platform. The ruling party will propagate their successes minus the fiascos. The equilibrium concerning the positives and the negatives is neither dissected nor analysed. The opposition cannot dispense their elucidation for the public to hear due to the fact that none of their advertisements can be published in the mainstream media.

So why not debate? Why should not there be a candid debate for all walks to listen to and make judgement upon? The public, like me, the ‘undecided’ need the injection of that deliberations. To pronounce that one has done an exceptional job but not giving the public the scrutiny is scandalous.

One beam at oneself for attaining one’s expectations but until one can open up to criticisms, such accomplishments cannot be translated into yardsticks of excellence.

On No announcement on Penang CM for now

A Former Penangite: Dr Koh Tsu Koon implied he is not going to announce who will be appointed chief minister of Penang. He is either not confident of forming the next Penang government or he wants voters to vote for all the three candidates nominated for the post. What do you think?

On Malaysiakini goes free for one week

AM: I take my democratic hat off to Malaysiakini for making the good decision to allow free access to the facts, and so the truth, to all Malaysians for free. I know Malaysiakini will only stand to gain from such insightful and wise foresight. So thank you for the good fight from that ideal democratic corner.

JC: This is a great offer. You should ask all your readers to inform everyone on their contact list by e-mail (and urge those receiving the emails to pass it on to everyone else on their contact list, and so on) so that those who have not subscribed can avail themselves of this offer before it expires.

JD Lovrenciear: Congratulations to the management and owners of Malaysiakin i for announcing free access to Malaysiakini during this general elections 2008. Your gesture of goodwill and profound understanding of the ground-level is most praiseworthy. Indeed, in this post-modern age, the phenomenal Internet media is no more just an alternative media.

It has evolved into a preferred and much sought after option globally. And for Malaysiakini to go free, it speaks volumes of the people behind the scene. Well done, Malaysiakini . Nobody could have done any better. Hopefully more organisations will follow the leader now.

After all, if we are truly Malaysian, than we should seize this moment to be truly for Malaysia. Profits are not the main substance during this historical times of our GE. And on behalf of all my friends and the millions of readers 'thank you’ Malaysiakini .

Grateful: Well done, Malaysiakini , for making your on-line news and content available to all for free for a week.

YennaMike: In our country where news is severely limited to the ruling party's propaganda during the campaigning period, we cannot overemphasise the pivotal role of providing access to alternative information, well done indeed Malaysiakini!

Thank you for brilliant move in ensuring the messages are passed to the public equally and efficiently, opposite to what the government does. I have been your good supporter and will always be - keep the ‘News and Views that Matter’ coming!

Satya Venugopal : I wish to commend Malaysiakini for its decision to go free for this week. You have once again demonstrated your commitment to the public's right to know, as well as to the ideals like free speech and creating an informed electorate. I further commend you for continuously posting videos on Youtube so that they are available even to non-subscribers.

Kudos to Malaysiakini for being a leader in bringing an alternative perspective to Malaysians with ‘news and views that matter’. I urge you to keep contributing to the (admittedly small) market-place of ideas that is growing in this country. Thanks for your efforts and congratulations.