The Election Commission seems to have perfected the art of blaming everyone except itself! The latest expose is that there are military personnel whose names appear both in the postal voters’ roll as well as the ordinary voters roll. EC blame the Assistant Registrar and the Military for making the errors-never itself. The guess work-since it was not done after any investigation, were laughable: the voter registration forms need to be verified by the EC before they can be inserted into the official voters roll. All Assistant Registrars are briefed by the EC that the voters application forms submitted to the EC will be vetted acoording to a number of criteria-chief of which is redundancy! So it is impossible for redundancy to occur as the IC no of applicants can be checked against the EC’s own wed site to find out if there is already redundancy. Now the trick is: the military and police personnel do use another set of ID numbers after they join the military/police. The challenge is hardly an excuse: since the adoption of a new military ID need to be preceded by the surrender of the existing ID number someone is definitely not doing his/her job to take down all the registrations done by the military personnel with his old number! Similarly when the person retire and adopt an ordinary Mykad number-someone has to delete all the registrations done in the name of the military ID. Now; whose job is it? If there is no clear and effective delegation of this duty then the parties are at clearly at fault -whether it is the military or the EC staff. Overall the EC is at fault as the electoral roll is the job of the EC entrusted to it by the Constitution! Now that the problem has been exposed: let some head roll!
EC’s No. 2 shifts blame to registrars, Defence ministry
The Election Commission’s deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said assistant voter registration officers, or AROs, were to blame over the latest cases of voters found to have registered under the civilian MyKad of their army spouses.
This followed the claim by DAP’s Rasah member of parliament Anthony Loke, that two dozen records of army officers’ spouses have used civilian identity cards of their husbands to register as voters under the wives’ names.
“The mistakes in gender of the army’s spouses maybe due to the ARO,” said Wan Ahmad, who added that the ARO had registered the the voters without seeing them. He also suggested the ARO could have immediately filled in the data after receiving information or IC numbers from the army officer.
Earlier, Loke claimed to have found the records in the Rasah army camp’s electoral roll.
“A wife could still have the ordinary voter’s right so she might be able to vote twice,” he was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.
According to Wan Omar, the AROs did not follow proper procedure, and the EC had to bear the burden of responding to such problems.
Wan Omar however admitted that he had not seen in detail the mistakes as reported by Loke, and called on Loke to submit the information to EC instead of going to the media.
Besides the AROs, Wan Omar also blamed the Defence Ministry for failing to inform EC when an army officer retired.
“This is the responsibility of Defence Ministry’s Record and Retirement Bureau to cut off the name,” he stressed.
He said, the Defence Ministry’s Record and Retirement Bureau would normally strike off the retiring officer from its record first before sending an official letter to notify EC.
He was responding to Loke’s claim that he found a retired member of the armed forces, Kalidas Maniam, in Jalong state constituency whose name could be found in normal electoral roll as well as postal voters’ list.
Wan Omar further blamed the Defence Ministry’s bureau for inconsistencies in submitting the names of retiring army officers.