2008 Malaysian and Sabah election: my reflections

Glad and disgusted. And I’m not talking about the results, but rather of what I found out during the elections and after the results were announced.

First, to the positive aspects of this election. People have been ranting how disappointed they are with the election results especially in Sabah, but I’m not. Granted, I was expecting three or four upsets where the constituents would fall into the opposition parties’ hands, but that didn’t happen. I’m glad the ones I’ve voted for and hoped to stay in office, did stay. And since the National Front still holds a simple majority and the federal cabinet line-up has not been announced, Sabahans should instead focus on the expectation that more of our very own MPs will be elected as Ministers in proper federal ministries, instead of being shoved as Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department junk. So, to our beloved Prime Minister, remember what Sabah has done for you and your BN. We are one of the three biggest contributors to your recent win. The Sabahans, even with our rich resources, have been putting up with the Federal government’s antics of taking away the state’s revenue for the sake of other states, stunting Sabah’s growth. This time, give us back the revenues and fundings we deserve, and put our people into the proper place in power. Otherwise… well, you know what’s coming.

Having said that, let’s look at the disgusting reality of the recent election. I will not name names here due to security reasons, otherwise these people will lose their jobs, but I’ll try to make this as hurtless as possible. Yes, folks, there is such a thing as phantom voters, but not in the way you would think. Votes do not appear in ballot boxes by magic, and these ballot forms are being filled by real people, not ghosts. Unfortunately, these “people” may not be the people they claim to be in their MyKad identification cards (or ICs as we call them). And all this happened in the polling station area in Sabah famous for controversies surrounding phantom voters, where my sources tell me that at least 50% of them could potentially be in that group.

Take, for example, this fellow bearing the IC number 80012312xxxx (the year is real but the rest of the numbers are fictional). Now, all Malaysians know that the first six digits corresponds to the MyKad’s owner’s date of birth. But how would you react if the bearer of the MyKad, who’s suppose to be 28 years old on voting day, turned up like a fifty year-old with a cane (tongkat)? Or, someone who’s IC number is 30060112xxxx, who’s suppose to be almost 70 years old, turned up looking like a healthy young 30 year old?

Here’s the predicament — the Election Commission and the officials elected only has the right to check three things when it comes to the voter, 1) that the voter’s face matches the picture in the MyKad, 2) that the name matches the voting registry letter by letter, and 3) that the IC number matches the voting registry number by number. They don’t have the power to stop a person from voting simply because one looks too young or too old than what you’d expect through their ICs. I won’t even go into those voters who use IC receipts instead of their ICs, how “real” those receipts look like.

So if you want to guess where the potential corruption could happen, go ahead, I won’t do the guessing for you. I’m just reporting the reality of the situation. Sad but true. And the ones at risk are the ones who are forced to observe or report this matter. Including myself.

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Posted on 13 March, 2008 under Life in reality


  1. Jewelle Tan says:

    That (obvious difference between the age stated in IC and age of IC bearer) happened in previous elections too perhaps?

    So why couldn’t this be brought up and highlighted by the election officials so it will not happened again?

    1. Lorna says:

      I’m guessing this has been reported in secret by officials who have observed this issue, and from what I personally found out is actively being raised again and again by PBS (Pairin) and LDP (Kah Kiat), and I hope they won’t stop. I suspect officials don’t dare come out in the open about this — at least half of those involved in the election day are govt servants who are afraid of losing their jobs, and all these people are actually “volunteered into becoming” election officials during that day, if you know what I mean.

  2. luz says:

    Is it legal for Sabbah to have an election although as far as i can recall the island position is still in dispute.

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