by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, February 8, 1995:
DAP calls on the Election Commission to give a full explanation as to how the 4,500 names of Kelantan voters were omitted causing a delay in the gazetting of the new 1994 electoral roll
The Prime Minister, Datuk Sen Dr. Mahathir Mohamed yesterday thanked the Election Commission for rectifying the 4,500 names of Kelantan voters omitted from the roll, causing a delay in the gazetting of the new 1994 electoral roll which is now fixed for tomorrow.
Mahathir said he did not blame the Election Commission for the discrepancy over the 4,500 names in the Kelantan Election Commission’s list but reiterated that rules and regulations had to be rectified as it allowed access to certain unscrupulous people to do “something which is not right” resulting in the irregularities.
Two days ago, Harun Din accepted blame for the mistake, saying that it was the result of “miscommunication and misunderstanding” and that “Mistakes do occur here and there and this is one of them which we have made”.
It is clear that Mahathir and Harun Din are talking about very different things. The Election Commission is saying that the discrepancy of the 4,500 names in Kelantan is an honest mistake arising from “miscommunication and misunderstanding”, while the Prime Minister is making the serious accusation that the discrepancy is the result of the work of “certain unscrupulous people” committing electoral irregularities.
A week ago, Mahathir said that the discrepancy of the 4,500 Kelantan voters omitted from the electoral list was the “irresponsible” work of one person but no action could be taken as the name in the forms was false. Mahathir said UMNO earned out a registration exercise since the party believed that many members had yet to register as voters, but found in the exercise that these 4,500 UMNO members had registered themselves but found that their names had been taken off the rolls.
I am very disturbed by these conflicting versions as to the reasons for the discrepancy of the 4,500 voters in Kelantan. If Mahathir’s version is true, then the discrepancy is not an honest mistake arising from “miscommunication and misunderstanding” but the result of a massive fraudulent attempt to commit electoral irregularities arid even offences.
Mahathir’s allegation must be taken seriously, as it tantamounts to an accusation against the Opposition for the discrepancy of 4,500 missing voters in Kelantan.
Is Mahathir’s allegation true? DAP calls on the Election Commission Chairman, Datuk Harun Din, to give a full explanation as to how the 4,500 names of Kelantan voters could have been omitted, and how such a discrepancy could have taken place.
I also call on the Election Commission Chairman, Datuk Harun Din to explain whether it is true that a national UMNO leader in Kelantan was in fact the cause of the discrepancy of the 4,500 names. The discrepancy came about after his irregular and illegal attempt to transfer 4,500 voters from one parliamentary constituency to another (where he would be contesting in the next general elections) was disallowed, and when the 4,500 names were reinstated to the original constituency in the Kelantan Election Commission list, the reinstatment was not keyed in at the Election Commission headquarters.
Unless the Election Commission give a full explanation as to the cause of the discrepancy of the 4,500 voters in Kelantan resulting in the delay in the gazetting of the new 1994 electoral register, the public would remain doubtful about the honesty and integrity of the electoral roll.