Dodgy electoral roll mars Pandamaran election

The Pandamaran village head election in Selangor has raised a question mark over the Election Commission’s (EC) electoral roll, as two candidates for the election found themselves ineligible to vote.

This morning, the returning officer declared the two, Yap Kim Huat and Tee Kim Huat, ineligible to vote as their names were not in the electoral roll.

This raises the question of how the two managed to get past scrutiny at the nomination stage last Sunday, as the Selangor government requirement for candidates stipulated that only villagers with an identity card (IC) address in the village concerned, or those who have stayed in the village a minimum of two years were eligible to contest.

Yap and Tee both attributed the gaffe to the questionable electoral roll, that was retrieved from EC’s database.

Tee said it was odd that he could not vote while his brother and sister, who have the same address as him on their ICs, could.

The DAP member said he had been staying there for more than 47 years and voted in the 2008 General Election without a problem.

“For sure I will make a complaint on this,” he (right) added.

Yap said he stays in a housing estate next to Pandamaran village.

However he had changed his IC address to his old house in the village weeks before the nomination day.

“That’s why I was able to be nominated. But they haven’t updated the electoral roll, so I cannot vote,” he claimed.

The social worker said all his friends and relatives who stay in the housing estate were denied the right to vote. “It has cost me dearly,” he added.

Carnival atmosphere

Tee, who was earlier regarded as an underdog, saw last minute spur as a group of his supporters stood at the two polling stations and asked voters to cast their ballots in his favour.

Clad in a red shirt, Tee’s supporters however ran head on into supporters of his rivals Tee Boon Hock, Tan Yu Thiam and Low See Mee, who also rallied in groups, cheering and distributing flyers to win over fence-sitter.

The carnival-like atmosphere was dampened for a few hours when a heavy downpour at noon discouraged voters from coming out.

However the sun re-emerged at around 3pm and the crowds made a bee line for the polling stations.

The polling period initially scheduled from 8am to 4pm, was extended to 4.30pm.

The six-way contest is the third village head direct election initiated by the Selangor government, who has pledged to restore local government elections in stages.