Not a fair fight

* In this second part of our election-centric interview with Teresa Kok, she shares about Pakatan’s efforts to retain Selangor, the dangers, and their chances of securing the crown jewel state. Read the first part here.

Knowing that it will not be a fair fight, how is DAP preparing to handle elections without a level playing field?

Teresa says efforts are underway to train members to nab dubious voters. DAP is also stepping up scrutiny of the electoral roll by conducting random checks.

“By checking voters’ lists to ensure if they are staying at the address, we will be able to weed out phantom voters from the list. Otherwise, we will be accused of making noise without proof,” she says.

Three months ago, volunteers conducting house-to-house surveys in MP for Lembah Pantai, Nurul Izzah Anwar’s constituency were arrested on two separate occasions.

Later released for lack of evidence, the volunteers were variously suspected of impersonating Election Commission officials and accused of attempting to kidnap children.

Despite producing identification documents to prove they were from the MP’s office, the volunteers were arrested in a clear attempt to hamper and intimidate their work.

Nevertheless, Selangor PR publicity and information teams are ready and vigilant to spread these and other news to inform the public what goes on behind the scenes.

On the question of PR’s preparedness to handle the coming elections, Teresa gives a pragmatic answer. “We will never be ready enough. Neither will BN, they have their own set of problems,” she quips.

However, Teresa reveals that Selangor Pakatan Rakyat was among the first states to sort out the seat negotiation process between component parties.

“Although the question of seats is never easy to resolve, we were able to reach a compromise,” says the Selangor State Senior EXCO. Teresa added that the best solution for Selangor is to maintain the status quo, as it is a “vulnerable” state.

She added that BN was eyeing to win back the crown jewel state that was formerly its “moneybag”. Selangor is the state with the most land scandals, Teresa notes, citing the Port Klang Free Zone, Revolusi Hijau, Bukit Botak, and a host of other abandoned projects.

With the booming Klang Valley economic climate, Selangor has always attracted the most investment. When PR came to power in 2008, BN was unable to use their power under the state or local government to siphon its finances, Teresa said.

Irregularities leave Selangor ‘vulnerable’

Hurt pockets from losing its wealthy cash cow state is a strong incentive for BN to attempt to wrestle back Selangor, in Najib’s words “at all costs”.

Nowhere is this more evident than the discovery that Selangor recorded the highest number of new voters registered between 2008 and the third quarter of 2011.

“We have reason to be suspicious about the irregularities in the Selangor voters’ lists,” Teresa says.

Selangor Times reported that while the normal increase of new voters is usually between the range of 4,000 to 5,000; most constituencies in Selangor were found to have recorded an increase of over 10,000 new voters over the past three years.

A check revealed dubious entries including 300 houses with over 100 voters registered under the same house address.

Another matter of grave alarm was that new voters have also been found registered with “Green” MyKads with expiration dates printed on them.

Selangor State EXCO Dr Xavier Jeyakumar says such ‘Green’ MyKads have been used before in Sarawak. “We fear it may be used in the upcoming general election too.”

The highest increase in voters in Selangor was recorded in Subang (Hannah Yeoh-DAP) at 27,765 new voters, followed by Serdang (Teo Nie Ching-DAP) at 23,673 new voters.

Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project (Merap) Director Ong Kian Ming believes that the sudden influx of problematic voters may be sufficient to swing the overall election results.

He points to two past precedents where sudden increases in the number of voters in the electoral roll in states which were lost by BN likely assisted BN to recapture the states.

These two states are Sabah after the 1990 elections and Terengganu after the 1999 elections. Sabah saw a 17.6 per cent increase in voters from 1990 to 1995 (as compared to the national average of 13.0 per cent). Whereas Terengganu showed a 17.7 per cent increase in voters from 1999 to 2004 (with a national average of only 7.3 per cent).

Given these far-reaching revelations and fears of BN’s desperation to recapture Selangor, there has been talk of PR opting to delay State polls should Najib call for an election this year. – The Rocket

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