KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s representatives want a briefing from the Election Commission on the implementation of Undi18, with a senior leader claiming that there is proof that the electoral roll for the state is “tainted”.
Government and Opposition leaders said they were willing to participate in such a briefing.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who is the Sabah STAR president, said there was nothing wrong in seeking more information on Undi18 and wanting all political parties to be involved.
Agreeing that automatic registration of new voters for Undi18 be implemented, he said he was curious as to how the EC could prevent foreigners with dubious identification documents from voting.
Jeffrey was responding to a call by Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili following a unanimous decision by the party supreme council on Thursday for the EC to brief Sabah MPs and assemblymen on the automatic registration of 18-year-olds into the electoral roll.
Ongkili, who is the Kota Marudu MP, said this was necessary as there was proof that Sabah’s electoral roll was tainted.
He added that the EC should explain the steps taken to prevent “dubious citizens” from being added into the electoral roll.
“We stand firm with our previous decision that while we welcome the registration of 18-year-olds as voters, we strongly disagree that it be done automatically, considering the ‘polluted’ electoral roll in the state,” Ongkili said.
He added that the problems in the electoral roll were stated in a previous Royal Commission of Inquiry report on the large number of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
The complete RCI report, published in December 2015, stated that the controversial Projek IC might have existed due to the actions of corrupt officials.
On this, Kitingan, who is Keningau MP, said there must be a proper mechanism to filter these dubious voters, and called for the briefing to focus on this aspect.
Tawau MP Datuk Christina Liew of PKR also backed the call for an EC briefing, adding Sabah’s leaders from both sides of the divide could share their views on Undi18 and related matters.
She said although the law on Undi18 had been passed, there were clarifications that needed to be made.
Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin of DAP said while the principle of Undi18 had been agreed upon, its implementation needed clarification.
“We have passed the Constitutional Amendment Bill in Parliament on Undi18. This is done together with automatic registration.
“It means that the majority of MPs have agreed on the principle but how the EC is going to implement this law is another matter,” he said.