KUCHING: Sarawak DAP is furious with the state election commission over the omission of the names of new voters which the party had submitted in June last year.
Out of 132 names submitted in June, 47 have not been included in the October list of the approved new voters.
“Why is it happening at this time when the state election is near?” asked DAP treasurer Violet Yong.
Yong said of the 47 names, one is for Pending, 11 (Batu Lintang), 12 (Batu Kawah), and 16 (Kota Sentosa), and the rest are in other areas.
Yong, who is also the Pending assemblywoman, said that the party had never encountered such a problem before.
“But this time, it is strange that we found out that the names of the 47 persons have been excluded for unknown reasons.
“We suspect that some hanky-panky is going on because the majority of the new voters are from Batu Kawah and Kota Sentosa,” she said.
Yong added that the Election Commission was duty-bound to give the party the reasons as to why after so many months their names have not be included in the list.
“If the EC is efficient and transparent, there is no reason why their names are not in the October list. Are they scared of the new voters especially of Batu Kawah and Kota Sentosa?
“And now due to the inefficiency of the commission, these new voters cannot cast their votes. We are depriving them of their right to vote.
“This is a serious matter,” she said, adding that she would write to the EC to seek an explanation.
Integrity of EC
In November last year, Sarawak PKR made a similar complaint to the EC when it found out that only 10% of the more than 1,000 names submitted had been approved as new voters.
State chairman Baru Bian had questioned the integrity and impartiality of EC when it rejected voter registration forms submitted by opposition parties and non-governmental organisations.
Most of the new voters are from Sungai Asap, Ulu Baram, Lawas and Selangau.
Enquires by the opposition party at the EC’s office in Kuching were met with flippant replies that the forms were incomplete or that non-citizens are involved.
“The EC failed to inform those who submited their forms the reasons for rejection.
“They should take into consideration the difficulties in registering these residents of Sarawak’s interior where mobility is hampered by lack of roads, or bad roads, and the time and cost involved in travel.
“The voting rights of these citizens which are guaranteed under the constitution is not being taken seriously enough by the EC,” said Bian.