EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz said in a talk with political parties that the transport of ballot boxes from the interior with helicopters and boats are done in a transparent ways -so the ballot will not be changed. His offer only address the issue that the number of ballots will not change-but there is no guarantee that the ballots could be swapped to favour a party!
Currently many polling stations in the interior are closed earlier because the voters are few and transporting of the ballot box to the counting centre takes time. However the counting of the ballot on site would have address this issue. The excuse given to not count the ballots on site was -accoridng to Dato Takun of Kuching SPR, the counting will delay the transporting of the ballots. This is not true-since the ballots concerned are few in number eg 100, thus the time taken to count them is minimal eg no more than even 30min! After the counting the results will be signed by all party agents involved-thus there will be no room for manipulation possible. The immediate counting of the ballots may also improve confidence in election administration for the long house folks concerned as they would not suspect their votes could be manipulated after being transported hundreds of Km away and counted without their presence!
If the EC refuse the suggestion another option would be to allow all party agents to accompany the ballot boxes in the helicopters and boats carrying the ballot boxes. That may incur some cost-but if this is considered as a need to address fundamental requirement of the electoral administration process then the costs is no different from the other costs of running the elections. Since 50% more allocations have bee made to the budget for the coming state elections-why not do it to improve the public perception of the election administration of Sarawak?
The meeting was held between political parties and EC with no presence for election observers. Wonder why they are so scared of independent observers while they are talking to partisan groups? The voters/people should be considered the dire ct stake holders in elections-not just the parties who offer themselves as the leaders off the people.