KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — A PKR election agent today claimed that the DAP would have won yesterday’s Sibu polls with a majority of at least 1,000 votes if not for alleged discrepancies in postal votes.
Pahang PKR secretariat director Zaidi Ahmad, who was appointed by the party as the team leader in charge of monitoring the postal votes during the polls, told The Malaysian Insider today that at least 700 more ballot papers for the postal voters should have been rejected.
“They only allowed the rejection of 208 but we were there and we knew of the irregularities,” he said when contacted today.
He claimed that the DAP clinched its narrow win because of the Pakatan Rakyat’s team of election observers for the postal votes who had worked hard to ensure that the discrepancies were minimised.
“When I saw the tally for the regular votes and how DAP was only leading by 2,500-odd votes, I knew that we had to do our best to ensure that we scrutinise the postal votes very carefully.
“If we had relaxed our vigilance, they would have sailed through and Barisan Nasional would have won the by-election,” he said.
In yesterday’s polls, the DAP was a hair’s breadth away from losing when its candidate Wong Ho Leng polled 18,845 votes against SUPP’s Robert Lau Hui Yew’s 18,447 and independent Narawi Haron’s 232.
The opposition party wrested BN’s Sibu fort away with a mere 398-vote majority.
Zaidi pointed out that this would not have happened if the 208 postal votes were not declared spoilt and the 170 ballot papers for what he claimed were “phantom postal voters” were returned and added to the tally.
“If you add up the two, you get 398 votes... the exact number of the majority that DAP won with,” he said.
Zaidi said the 208 postal votes were rejected after discrepancies were discovered on many of the Form 2, which contains information on the identities of the voters.
“These forms state the names, identification numbers and information about the voters and are supposed to be signed by the voters themselves as well as their witnesses.
“However, we noticed that there was something wrong with the signatures — the same witness would sign differently on different forms and on some forms, the voters themselves did not even sign them. This means that others had signed on their behalf,” he said.
Zaidi said that only after persistent complaints from the PR’s election agents, Election Commission officials agreed to consider 208 ballot papers from the postal votes as spoilt votes.
Of the 2,827 ballot papers issued for postal votes, BN won 2,323 votes, DAP won 70, the independent won 36 while 208 were considered spoilt.
As such, during yesterday’s vote-tallying process, the announcement of the results was delayed because of arguments over the discrepancies.
By convention, the tallying for postal votes is usually conducted earlier.
“In actual fact, there were at least between 700 and 800 postal votes that had discrepancies but the EC disallowed these from being considered as spoilt,” Zaidi claimed.
He also pointed out another discrepancy in the polling process when people posing as EC workers attempted to cast their votes on polling day yesterday.
“The EC workers have already registered themselves as postal voters and the postal voting was supposed to have taken place on May 13 and 14. It was suspicious that they appeared on Sunday to cast their votes,” he said.
He noted that this meant that the ballot papers had been taken out and sold to “phantom voters”.
“We stopped 170 of them because we how they were dressed and we knew that they were lying.
“Some of them fled when we asked for their identity card numbers and they never returned,” said Zaidi.
He said he even had incriminating photos of the purported “phantom voters”, adding that he would post them up online soon.
“This shows that if the by-election had truly been run properly, DAP could have won with a much bigger majority,” he said.
Indeed, if Zaidi’s claims prove true and at least 700 more postal votes were rejected as spoilt, DAP could have won yesterday’s polls with a majority of a little over 1,000.
“We hope the EC explains the discrepancies and the fact that they are not independent agents but they work for the BN,” Zaidi said.
DAP organising secretary Teresa Kok said that if it had not been for the election agents employed by the PR to monitor the by-election, the BN would have walked away as winners in Sibu.
“These people were truly the unsung heroes for us,” she said.