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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Election under scrutiny of Mafrel

Malaysian for Free and Fair Election (Mafrel) is keeping watchful eyes on the movement and behaviour of candidates, agents, campaigners and election officers throughout the country.

According to Mafrel member here, Wong Meng Chuo, Mafrel is a non-partisan, non-profit and independent election observation organisation established in 2003.

“In Sibu and Lanang areas, we have 15 observers stationed at various polling districts and centres, to observe the conduct of all candidates, their agents and cam-paigners to ensure that they adhere to election laws and regulations.

“We also observe the election officers, those from the Election Commission office as well as its locally appointed officer, to make sure that they play their role fairly to ensure a fair election,” said Wong at a press conference here, recently.

When asked whether he is heading the local Mafrel team, Wong explained that Mafrel was a private initiative and the organisation was headed by Abdul Malek Hussin based in Kuala Lumpur.

“I will be the principal observer for Sibu constituency together with some of my other colleagues here. Some of us will be looking after Lanang and some may be posted elsewhere.”

Wong added that Mafrel had also observed the last state election in 2006 as well as some recent by-elections in Peninsular Malaysia before the dissolution of the Parliament and state assemblies about three weeks ago.

He disclosed that Mafrel had submitted 30 recommendations based on the findings of their observation to the Parliament, Election Commission (SPR), Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), and election candidates.

Some of the changes brought about from these recommendations were the use of transparent ballot boxes, the application of indelible ink on voters’ finger and the abolishment of recording down MyKad numbers on the counterfoil of the voting slips.

“We also found SPR had corrected some mistakes, for instance, Sadiah Taha (IC 9812311130218, born in 1898) of Kg Ilir Nangka, Sibu is not found in the electoral rolls now.

However, there are still phantom voters in the current electoral rolls who are over 100 years old,” said Wong.

Wong however could not confirm whether the phantom voters had voted in the previous elections.

Any information and complaints on the election can be directed to Wong (016-3471853), Tiong Ing Tung (016-8884701), William Wong Teck Khing (019-8890677) or Malek Hussin (019-2409234).

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