EC should look into using biometric readers in Sarawak polls


  • Nation
  • Friday, 29 Nov 2019

PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission (EC) have been urged to look into using biometric readers in the upcoming Sarawak state polls to effectively check allegations of forged MyKad and identity theft.

Former EC deputy chairman Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said such tools should be made available at every polling stations to ensure only genuine registered voters could participate in polling.

He said there was a pressing need to acquire such tools to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process in the wake of cheating allegations during the recent Tanjung Piai by-election.

Four Tanjung Piai voters lodged police reports, claiming their names were used in polling although they had yet to vote.

"The case in Tanjung Piai is not something new. It happened before in Sabah in the 1990s when migrants used fake MyKads to vote.

"There was another case during the 2013 General Election in Ampang where a voter claimed his mother's name in the electoral roll was used at a polling station although she had yet to vote," Wan Ahmad said, adding that the polling clerk could have "mistakenly" ticked her name.

In the case of Tanjung Piai, he said there could be two possibilities, the first being that a forged MyKad was used.

"There could be a case of genuine human error when the EC clerk mistakenly ticked the names of the voters. Although there are not many of these cases, they can not be dismissed as isolated incidents," he said.

Wan Ahmad said the authorities should look into providing an additional allocation for the EC to purchase biometric readers if they were serious about introducing electoral reforms.

Meanwhile, Election Reform Committee chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said that complaints alleging that fake MyKads were used have always existed, but added the number of such instances were not high.

"The EC should look into obtaining the necessary gadgets to detect fake or duplicate MyKads," said the former EC chairman.

Bersih 2.0 chairman Thomas Fann had called on the police to investigate the possibility of forged MyKads being used in the recent Tanjung Piai by-election.

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