• Election Commission Chairman should apologize for failing Malaysians living abroad

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Election Strategist, Democratic Action party in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 5th of April 2013

    Election Commission Chairman should apologize for failing Malaysians living abroad

    The Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof was quoted yesterday as saying that it was “… quite disappointing [that] after all that we did to provide a convenient registration process for the voters overseas…”, only 6,298 out of over 700,000 Malaysians living abroad have registered as postal voters.

    It is Malaysians abroad who should feel disappointed that we have such a dishonest and disingenuous Election Commission who has, time and time again, failed to live up to his duty to ensure that the institution he leads enjoys the public confidence that is required in Article 114(2) of the Federal Constitution.

    Firstly, the announcement for overseas postal voting was only done on January 21st, 2013, after the gazetting of the Quarter 4, 2012 electoral roll. This meant that those Malaysians overseas who had not yet registered as a voter, which is probably the majority of them, were not eligible to apply to be an overseas postal voter after the announcement of the EC guidelines on overseas voting.

    If the EC was really sincere in wanting Malaysians abroad to register in large numbers as overseas postal voters, it should have aggressively reached out to Malaysians overseas to register themselves as regular voters first during the months preceding January 2013. The EC could have done this in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry and other government Ministries by encouraging and inviting the many tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Malaysians overseas to register as regular voters at the Malaysian consulates, embassies and high commissions all over the world. As far as I know, the EC did not allocate any budgetary resources, nor did it work with Wisma Putra, to conduct an aggressive voter registration exercise for Malaysians overseas.

    In July, 2012, an informal audit conducted by MyOverseasVote, an advocacy group, found that the Malaysian embassies and consulates spread across a number of countries had inconsistent responses in terms of who could register as regular voters via the embassies and consulates. This shows the serious failure on the part of the EC to communicate and implement a standard registration procedure among the Malaysian embassies and consulates.

    Given this serious failure on the part of the EC to register Malaysians abroad as regular voters, should its Chairman be that surprised that only a small number of Malaysians applied to be overseas postal voters? I believe it is very much the case that a large majority of Malaysians abroad are not yet registered voters which mean that the act of opening up the overseas voting to Malaysians abroad is merely a symbolic and utterly insincere gesture on the part of the EC.

    Secondly, even after announcing the guidelines on how to apply to be an overseas voter, the EC to promote or advertise this option among Malaysia overseas through visits to the various embassies and high commissions and through social media, just to mention the two more prominent channels. Even on the day of the dissolution of parliament, I received many requests and questions via Facebook, twitter and email on how to register as an overseas postal voter, where to get the forms to register and the criteria for eligibility. This clearly shows that the EC failed in its outreach to Malaysian voters which resulted in the low number of registrations.

    Thirdly, EC’s own restrictive criteria of not allowing Malaysians living in Singapore, Southern Thailand, Kalimantan and Brunei immediately disqualified hundreds of thousands of Malaysians from registering as overseas postal voters.

    Fourthly, the EC’s own website (www.spr.gov.my) crashed on Tuesday, the day that parliament was dissolved and also the deadline to apply to be overseas postal voters.  This prevented many voters from downloading the necessary forms and instructions on how to register as an overseas postal voter.

    Instead of expressing his disappointment, the Election Commission Chairman should instead apologize to Malaysians overseas for not doing his duty as Chairman. One can only hope and pray that he does not make the EC lose even more public confidence in these coming weeks as the EC plans and organizers the historic 13th general election.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming

  • Close to 7,000 Problematic and “Red” and “Green” Sabah ICs in Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Election Strategist, DAP in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 23rd of March, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur

    Close to 7,000 Problematic and “Red” and “Green” Sabah ICs in Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak

    Earlier this week, I revealed that there were more than 60,000 potentially dubious voters in Sabah – what I call P1 to P3 voters – in the electoral roll based on dubious old IC numbers highlighted in the Sabah RCI. I also revealed the presence of 7,475 voters in Sabah with “Red” and “Green” old IC numbers meaning that they were (or perhaps still are) non-Malaysians who were permanent and temporary residents respectively.

    Today, I want to reveal that this problem also affects Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak. A search of the Quarter 1 2012 Electoral Roll in Peninsular Malaysia showed that there were 6840 voters with P1 to P3 Old IC numbers and “Red” and “Green” Old IC numbers.  The state of Selangor tops the list with 2,412 such voters (35.4%) followed by Johor with 1190 such voters (17.4%) and KL with 952 (13.9%) (Table 1)

    Table 1: P1 to P3, “Red” and “Green” Old ICs in Peninsular Malaysia states (Q1 2012 electoral roll)


    (Note: The 11 P3 voters have since been deleted)

    The evidence thus far reveals that that a total of 74,988 potentially dubious voters – P1 to P3 and “Red” and “Green” old ICs – in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia. (60,673 P1 to P3 voters in Sabah, 7,475 “Red” and “Green” voters in Sabah, 6,840 P1 to P3 and “Red” and “Green” voters in the rest of Malaysia)

    I repeat the call for the National Registration Department and the Election Commission to conduct a joint investigation to determine if these 74,988 voters are genuine voters who have been given their ICs and / or citizenship by following the proper procedures.

    I stand ready to present all of my evidence to the Sabah RCI if I am asked to testify.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming

    Election Strategist, DAP

  • The Election Commission and the National Registration Department should conduct an immediate investigation into the 7,475 voters in Sabah with “Red” and “Green” old IC numbers to verify if they have been naturalized as citizens and hence voters via the proper procedures and channels

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Election Strategist, DAP in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 22nd of March, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur

    The Election Commission and the National Registration Department should conduct an immediate investigation into the 7475 voters in Sabah with “Red” and “Green” old IC numbers to verify if they have been naturalized as citizens and hence voters via the proper procedures and channels

    Earlier this week, on Tuesday, March 19th, 2013, I, together with my colleagues from DAP Sabah, revealed that there were more than 60,000 voters with old ICs that were considered “problematic” by Ruslan bin Alias, an assistant head in the IC division of Sabah / Sarawak in the National Registration Department, during his testimony in the Sabah RCI.

    In his testimony, Ruslan also provided a list of old IC numbers which were allocated to non-Malaysian permanent residents – termed “Red” ICs or IC “Merah” – and to non-Malaysian temporary residents – termed “Green” ICs or IC “Hijau”. The “Red” ICs were allocated old IC numbers ranging from H6000000 to H6040000 while the “Green” ICs were allocated old IC numbers ranging from H8000000 to H8040000 (Appendix 1 below).

    When we investigated the latest Quarter 4 2012 electoral roll, which will be the roll that will most likely be used for the upcoming general election, we found that there were 7029 voters with old IC numbers belonging to the “Red” IC range and 446 voters with old IC numbers belonging to the “Green” IC range. This means that there could be potentially 7475 who are non-Malaysian residents who are not eligible to register to vote but who have been put on the electoral roll.

    Not surprisingly, the seats with the highest number and % of these “Red” and “Green” voters are also the seats with the highest number and % of problematic old ICs. In fact, the top three seats for “Red” and “Green” voters and for the “problematic” ICs are the same – namely P188 Silam, P190 Tawau and P191 Kalabakan. These three seats hold more than half (52.6%) of voters with “Red” and “Green” old IC numbers – Kalabakan has 1704 or 22.8%, Tawau has 1326 or 17.7% and Silam has 903 of 12.1% (Appendix 2). They include 20 voters – 19 of whom are “Red” and 1 who is “Green” – who are located in the Kg Tanjung Labian locality, which has been one of the flashpoints in the ongoing Sabah terrorist invasion (Appendix 3).

    While some of these “Red” and “Green” voters may have since obtained citizenship and thus have become eligible to register as voters, the fact that they are located in the very seats with a large number of “problematic” ICs warrants that these cases be investigated more thoroughly.

    As such, we call upon the National Registration Department (NRD) and the Election Commission (EC) to conduct an immediate joint investigation into these 7475 “Red” and “Green” voters to verify that these registered voters who were once (or perhaps still are?) non-Malaysian permanent and temporary residents have been granted citizenship through the proper procedures and are thus eligible to remain on the electoral roll. If any or all of these IC holders are found not to be Malaysian citizens or were awarded their ‘citizenship’ under dubious circumstances, we call on the Election Commission (EC) to immediately remove them from the electoral roll. The presence of these potentially dubious voters casts a further cloud on the electoral roll in Sabah and hence on the freeness and fairness of the electoral process in Sabah.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming, DAP Election Strategist

    Appendix 1: Range of old ICs according to status of residency and citizenship

    Appendix 2: Distribution of “Red” and “Green” voters across the parliament seats in Sabah

    Appendix 3: List of 20 “Red” (19) and “Green” (1) Voters in Kg Tanjung Labian in the Silam parliament seat

  • Prime Minister Najib should issue an immediate correction to his ‘boast’ that Malaysia’s GNI per capita has increased by 49% from 2009 and 2012 and explain the failure of the ETP to achieve its 6% growth target for 2011 and 2012

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, DAP Election Strategist, on Thursday, 21st of March, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur

    Prime Minister Najib should issue an immediate correction to his ‘boast’ that Malaysia’s GNI per capita has increased by 49% from 2009 and 2012 and explain the failure of the ETP to achieve its 6% growth target for 2011 and 2012

    After ‘boasting’, not once, but twice, on national television that Malaysia’s GNI per capita has grown by 49% from US$6700 in 2009 to US$9970 in 2012, the CEO of PEMANDU and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Idris Jala has revised this growth figure down to 41%.[1] This was after DAP parliamentary leader, Lim Kit Siang, as well as Executive Director of Research for Social Advancement (REFSA), Teh Chi Chang, and myself criticize the Prime Minister and PEMANDU for misleading the public for using wrong numbers to calculate the growth in our country’s GNI per capita.

    It was reported in Kinibiz that “Pemandu said the change in figures was due to the adoption of the latest version of the United Nations Systems of National Accounting (SNA 2008) in 2012 which had pushed the GNI per capita up for 2009 from US$6700 to US$7059.”

    One wonders why, with all the resources which PEMANDU has, that it did not correct this figure earlier especially when the aforementioned United Nations figure was available in December 2012! Was PEMANDU merely incompetent in providing wrong figures to the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Najib Tun Razak, or was he hoping that the Malaysian public would not notice this intentional manipulation of figures in order to inflate the results of the Economic Transformation Program (ETP)?

    The fact is that using GNI per capita figures in US$ clearly exaggerates the growth in our economy in a way that masks the actual failure of the ETP to deliver on its targets. If the Prime Minister had used GNI per capita in RM instead, which is the figure published by most, if not all, of the relevant departments and agencies – the Department of Statistics, the Ministry of Finance, Bank Negara Malaysia – our GNI per capita growth rate would have come in at a much more pedestrian 24%, from RM24,879 in 2009 to RM30,809 in 2012. In fact, this growth rate works out to an annual rate of 7.4% (compounded) from 2009 to

    2012, which is lower than the 8.2% GNI per cap growth rate from 2001 to 2010, when there was no Economic Transformation Program (ETP) or PEMANDU.

    The exaggeration of the GNI per capita figure also hides the reality that the ETP failed to deliver on its promise of a 6% annual real growth rate since real GNI grew only by 4.3% in 2012 and by 4.9% in 2011.

    Given this new revelation made by Minister Idris Jala, Prime Minister Najib should immediately make a correction to his announcement that Malaysia’s GNI per cap has increased by 49% from 2009 to 2012. He should also clarify that Malaysia’s GNI per cap in RM has only increased by 24% from 2009 and 2012 and explain to the Malaysian public why the ETP failed to deliver on its 6% growth target for 2011 and 2012.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming, DAP Election Strategist

  • Over 60,000 potentially dubious voters in the electoral roll based on dubious old IC numbers highlighted in the Sabah RCI

    (To see Dr. Ong’s presentation on this issue, click here.)

    Joint Media Statement by Sabah DAP Chairman and Sri Tanjong ADUN Jimmy Wong, Sabah DAP Secretary Dr Edwin Bosi, Sabah DAP Publicity Secretary Chan Foong Hin and DAP Election Strategist Dr. Ong Kian Ming on the Sabah RCI

    Thus far, the proceedings of the Sabah RCI has unveiled shocking evidence of a systematic effort by the National Registration Department, with the cooperation of the Election Commission, to give out blue identity cards to immigrants whose status as Malaysian citizens were questionable, for the expressed purpose of registering them as voters and increasing the percentage of Muslim voters in order to gain an electorate advantage for the Barisan Nasional (BN) especially in marginal seats, in the lead up to the 1994 Sabah state elections.

    But up to this point, the proceedings of the RCI have not dealt with item C contained in its terms of reference, which requires that the Sabah RCI do this: “To enquire whether the immigrants in Sabah who hold blue identification cards, temporary identification receipts (blue) or citizenship which is not in accordance with the law have been registered in the electoral roll”[1]

    To address this gap, the Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project (MERAP) has started an investigation to examine the impact of the issuance of ICs to immigrants on the electoral roll. Our initial findings have revealed equally shocking and disturbing information.

    Ruslan bin Alias, an assistant head in the IC division of Sabah / Sarawak in the National Registration Department, revealed a list containing 130,459 ‘problematic‘ old IC numbers where their records with the NRD was either incomplete or where these cards had already been cancelled (Exhibit P9 of the Sabah RCI) .[2] These old ICs numbers were divided into lists P1 (51,300 old IC numbers), P2 (62,550 old IC numbers) and P3 (16,699 old IC numbers) (Appendix 1 below). Old IC numbers in lists P1 and P2 have been identified as ICs without proper or having incomplete information in the NRD. Not all of the ICs in lists P1 and P2 have been cancelled. Old IC numbers in list P3 have already been cancelled and thus are not in use anymore.

    According to Ruslan, whose unit is in charge of investigating the problematic ICs in P1 and P2, only 8,553 ICs in these lists have been investigated. Of these 8,553, 4,851 (or 57%) were rejected as legitimate ICs. This means that 105,927 old ICs in lists P1 and P2 have not been investigated.

    MERAP did a search of the old IC numbers given in lists P1 and P2 using the Q1 2012 electoral roll, and we found that 60,653 (53% out of 113,850 voters in lists P1 and P2) with these problematic IC numbers were on the electoral roll. We also found 20 old IC numbers given in list P3. These voters are not evenly distributed across the state. 8 out of the top 10 parliamentary constituencies featuring these voters can be found on the east coast of Sabah (Appendix 2 and 3). 66% or 39,750 voters out of the 60,673 problematic ICs can be found in these 8 parliament seats on the east coast of Sabah.

    In addition, we also found 29 instances of old IC duplications from lists P1 and P2. These voters are still on the electoral roll at the time of writing (even though the old IC numbers of some of these voters do not appear in the SPR website) (Appendix 4).

    MERAP also found that the 20 voters with old ICs from list P3 that were on the electoral roll in Q1 2012 were deleted in Q4 2012 because they were ‘wrongly registered’ / ‘silap pendaftaran’ (Appendix 5). How did these voters manage to stay on the electoral roll up until Q4 2012 when these ICs were supposed to have been cancelled in 1996? Who was responsible for registering these voters with cancelled ICs? According to the data collected previously by MERAP, all these voters were registered after 1996 when these ICs were supposed to have been cancelled.

    Even if these are the only problematic voters currently on the electoral roll, they would constitute 6.3% of the Q3 2012 electoral roll. In 7 parliament seats, they would constitute more than 10% of the total electorate including P191 Kalabakan (16.3%), P188 Silam (15.2%) and P190 Tawau (14.4%)(Appendix 6). As a result of the addition of voters with problematic ICs (and perhaps others which have not been identified), the character of many of these seats have been altered significantly.

    In light of the large number of voters with problematic ICs that are still in Sabah’s electoral roll, we call on the NRD and the EC to immediately conduct a comprehensive exercise to identify ICs that were wrongly given out and to take out these voters from the electoral roll before the 13th general election. The failure to do so would mean that the EC is allowing the 13th general election to go on with a seriously compromised electoral roll, especially in the state of Sabah. This would affect the legitimacy of the election results especially in the areas with the largest number of people with problematic ICs who are registered as voters.

    Sabah DAP also calls all Sabahans working or living overseas, including those in Peninsular Malaysia, to come back to Malaysia to vote during GE13. As such, Sabah DAP is launching a “Save Sabah, Save Malaysia” campaign. The larger the number of genuine voters, the greater the chances of diluting the impact of dubious voters.

    The recent Sulu invasions in the Lahad Datu and Semporna areas have shown the serious impact resulting from Project IC. The hot spot conflict areas are all located in the east coast of Sabah and it cannot be coincidental that these are areas which have a high number of dubious voters. There is no exact figure of how many Sulus there are in Sabah as many of them register themselves as Bajaus in the census. We are deeply concerned that the conditions have been created for a “Reverse Takeover” which have been caused by the high number of immigrants that have made us strangers in our homeland.

    Sabah DAP Chairman and Sri Tanjong ADUN Jimmy Wong

    Sabah DAP Secretary Dr Edwin Bosi

    Sabah DAP Publicity Secretary Chan Foong Hin

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming Election Strategist, DAP & Director of the Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project (MERAP)

    ——–

    Appendix 1: Exhibit P9 from the Sabah RCI: P1, P2 and P3 List of Problematic ICs

    Appendix 2: Distribution of 60,673 voters by parliamentary seat from Lists P1 and P2

    Appendix 3: Geographic distribution of 60,673 voters by parliamentary seat from Lists P1 and P2

    Appendix 4: 29 Duplicate old ICs from Lists P1 and P2

    Appendix 5: 20 names with old ICs from List P3 that were deleted in Q4 2012

    Appendix 6: Problematic ICs as % of Voters by Parliament Seat, Sabah

    >10% of total voters

    [2] Pg.19 of the Notes from the Proceedings dated 16th of January 2013 lists these ICs as ‘pengeluaran yang bermasalah’

    This press statement was published by DAP Malaysia.

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