Published on: Thursday, February 07, 2013
Kota Kinabalu: Election Commission (EC) Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said Wednesday that the country presently has the "cleanest electoral roll because the Commission is tidying it up on a daily basis."
This includes Sabah's, although certain testimonies heard in the ongoing Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) investigating the illegal immigrant issue in Sabah may have suggested otherwise.
The election this time around may be hot' and challenging, he said, but it would definitely not be the dirtiest.
He added that the list of voters in the current rolls are eligible Malaysian citizens whose identities have been verified by the National Registration Department.
The EC does 'cleaning up' of the electoral roll everyday with assistance from the relevant authorities, especially the National Registration Department (NRD)," he said, after presenting appointment letters to three non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who were made domestic observers for the 13th general election in Sabah and Labuan in a ceremony at the Magellan, Wednesday.
Abdul Aziz said observers need to abide by EC rules and are given a month to recruit their volunteers.
The EC will spend RM52 million to run the 13th general election in Sabah and Labuan. It is far less than the RM78m it would be spending in Sarawak despite the State only holding a parliamentary election.
Overall, RM400m has been allocated for the GE 13.
Meanwhile, Abdul Aziz said the NRD is the authority that determines whether an individual is a Malaysian or not, as well as whether the person was still alive.
Apart from the NRD, he said they also work with the Prisons Department on the criminal record of individuals as well as the Health Department for instances of unsound minds.
"So what I mean is that the present electoral roll the EC has containing 13.3 million voters up until December last year, is clean.
Firstly, because they are all citizens of this country.
And when I said this I mean that they are registered with the EC using identification documents already authenticated by the NRD," he said.
Also they are all aged 21 and above and, thirdly, they are still alive.
"And sometimes it is the electorates themselves who notified us to do correction like of their names, locality and so on.
Because it is only them and nobody else who can do amendments on their respective personal particulars," he said. This is besides the many improvements made to prevent cheating like the use of indelible ink and so on.
"So based on all these improvement made definitely the 13th general election will not be the dirtiest É the 13th general election may probably be the most challenging one, but not the dirtiest," he said.
Abdul Aziz said what happened in Sabah in the 1990 election is also coming together under the ongoing RCI hearing, adding four of the EC senior officials including the Sabah EC Director have also been called to testify before the RCI panel.
"But whatever it is, the present electoral roll we have is clean, and I guarantee this," he said, assuring the EC will comply with whatever recommendations the RCI panel may come up with which concern it.
Meanwhile, the three NGOs are Malaysian History Association Sabah branch, which was represented by its honorary secretary Sharifah Seri Lailah Tuanku Sh. Ahmad to receive the appointment letter, Federation of Chinese Association Sabah (FCAS) by its acting president Datuk Goh Tian Chuan and Sabah Youth Council, by its President Kevin T.P Lim.
The EC statistics showed that 969,497 registered voters in Sabah and 24,268 in Labuan are eligible to cast their votes in the election.
The new list of registered voters would only be gazetted at the end of this month.
Of the figure, for Sabah 951,506 are ordinary voters while 17,939 and 52 voters are categorised as postal voters and those who cast their votes at Malaysian embassies overseas, respectively.
In Labuan, there are 22,763 ordinary voters and 1,710 postal voters, while those to cast vote overseas, five.
Those present at the event also had a chance to watch the new theme song for the 13th general election which featured hip-hop group, One Nation Emcee.