Friday, March 14, 2008

Election ... What's this about ink!?

THE STAR (5th May 2008) -
Ink washout (BY RAPHAEL WONG)
PUTRAJAYA: The use of indelible ink on polling day has been scrapped after police received reports of a plan to “sabotage” the election process in Perlis, Kedah and Kelantan.
Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said police investigations revealed that people had smuggled the ink in and had planned to go to rural and remote areas to trick village folk into believing that their fingernails had to be marked before they can go to vote.
“They are out to create confusion and suspicion by persuading those not familiar with the procedure to have the ink applied (to a voter’s forefinger or nail) before polling day.
“The EC views these issues seriously as the election process and public order and security cannot be compromised,” he said during a press conference here yesterday.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail were also present.
The use of indelible ink was first proposed last June to safeguard against multiple or phantom voting. Abdul Rashid then said the system would be subject to amendments to the Election (Conduct of Election) Regulation 1981.
Police yesterday said they were investigating four reports of the sabotage plan – two from Perlis and one each from Kedah and Kelantan – and have classified the cases as attempted cheating.

News.Msn.Com on the other hand wrote ...
Agence France-Presse - 3/4/2008 11:50 AM
Malaysia election officials axe indelible ink at polls
Malaysia's election authorities Tuesday cancelled plans to use indelible ink in this weekend's general elections, drawing fire from the opposition which said it would increase fraud.
Malaysia's Election Commission (EC) had earlier bowed to pressure to introduce indelible ink as a check against cheating in Saturday's vote.
"Following legal advice and looking at the issue of public order and security, the EC... has decided not... to introduce the use of indelible ink," EC chief Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said in a statement.
"The EC views these issues seriously, as the election process and public order and security cannot be compromised," he added. "The EC deeply regrets its decision." ...

... Opposition leaders criticised the decision, which they say was a last-minute attempt to keep the polls rigged.
"After all the earlier assurances that this election would be free and fair and that the EC would use indelible ink, and to now go back on their word is simply unbelievable," opposition leader Lim Kit Siang told AFP.
"This just further reinforces the public's view that there will be electoral dirty tricks at work in this election," he added.

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