• Explaining why did the DAP not ask for a recount or protest against the discrepancy in the number of votes cast as announced by the Election Commission in the Teluk Intan By-Election

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 6th of June, 2014

    Explaining why did the DAP not ask for a recount or protest against the discrepancy in the number of votes cast as announced by the Election Commission in the Teluk Intan By-Election

    Many Pakatan supporters have raised the issue of why DAP did not ask for a recount given the small majority of 238 won by the BN candidate. Many Pakatan supporters also asked why DAP did not protest against the discrepancy in the number of votes first announced by the Election Commission after the close of voting and the number of votes after the results were announced.

    Let me firstly clarify on the issue of asking for a recount.

    According to the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981, Article 25, Section 13, if the difference between the number of votes for the first two candidates is less than 4% of the total number of voters then the candidate or his election agent or counting agent can ask for a recount. But this request can only be done at the individual polling station level and has to be done before Form 14 – which is the determinative document for the results at each polling station – is issued.

    Given that our counting agents at each polling station were experienced individuals, there was no directive to each of them to ask for a recount if the difference was less than 4%. (There were 7 salurans or polling streams where the difference was 4% or less) We were and are confident that our experienced polling agents carried out their responsibilities in ensuring the transparency and accuracy of the vote count at their respective polling stations.

    In addition, a recount at the polling station, according to Article 25, Section 13, cannot include spoilt or rejected votes. They can only involve the valid votes which means that the chances of changing the final vote count is very slim and probably not enough to overturn a 238 majority. Also, when conducting such a recount, the results could easily go the other way i.e. more votes could be obtained by the BN candidate.

    Once the Form 14s have been issued at the polling station, it is not possible to ask for a recount of individual ballots. The only thing DAP could have done is to ask for the Returning Officer to recheck the totalling up of votes according to the Form 14s. DAP collected ALL the Form 14s from our counting agents and verified that the final results as announced by SPR was indeed correct and consistent with our Form 14s.

    Secondly, why did DAP not raise the issue of the discrepancy in the number of votes announced by the Election Commission after the close of voting and the final number of votes after the results were announced?

    At approximately 5:30 pm, the Election Commission announced that the total turnout on the day was 39,850 voters. Together with the 392 early votes, the total number of votes would be 40,242 if the EC’s announcement was correct. When the final results were announced, the total number of votes was 40,619 (BN obtained 20,157 votes, DAP obtained 19919 votes and there were 543 spoilt votes). This gives a discrepancy of 377 votes between what the EC originally announced (40,242) and the final results (40,619). This figure is more than the winning majority of the BN candidate which was 238 votes.

    The Secretary General of the DAP, Lim Guan Eng, has written to the Election Commission Chairman, Tan Sri Dato Seri Abdul Aziz, to ask for an explanation for the discrepancy in the total number of voters initially announced and the final number of voters after the results were announced. We are waiting for this reply before further discussions with the party’s lawyers. Our lawyers have advised us not to say anything until we get an official reply from the Election Commission. The Secretary General is intent on pursuing the truth of this matter with the Election Commission.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

1 Comment

  1. Winston says: June 6, 2014 at 9:10 pmReply

    In addition, a recount at the polling station, according to Article 25, Section 13, cannot include spoilt or rejected votes. They can only involve the valid votes which means that the chances of changing the final vote count is very slim and probably not enough to overturn a 238 majority. Also, when conducting such a recount, the results could easily go the other way i.e. more votes could be obtained by the BN candidate. – End of quote

    Mr Ong, I am not very clear about the electoral process.
    But I understand that it is common sense that all votes must be included to check whether the number of votes cast tally with the number of voters in that constituency.
    And that should include the spoilt votes, shouldn’t it.
    Secondly, by saying that a recount may even make the winning margin higher for the winning candidate, would it really matter?
    After all if no recount is done, the DAP candidate has already lost!
    Whether by a wider margin or not isn’t really material.
    What is REALLY IMPORTANT is to get at the truth!!!!
    A by election like this is the easiest to nail down any discrepancy.
    Can you offer an explanation here?

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