Make public the allocation to the Election Commission to install the biometric system
DAP Natonal Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib to announce the total allocation for the Election Commission to implement the biometric system, the electoral reform and the system's effectiveness in preventing voting irregularities.
On 24.7.2011, Dr Tan comments on the statement by Najib on the previous day that the Government had given an allocation to the Election Commission to install the biometric system to verify a voter's identity. He said that if the installation was in time,it could be used in the next general election.
Since Merdeka 54 years ago, there have been controversies regarding electoral irregularities in the 12 general elections in Malaysia. In the last few years, Bersih has tried to convince the Election Commission to change for the better,culminating in the Bersih 2.0 rally on 9.7.2011.
We do not know how Najib decides to use the biometric system at the Election Commssion. Recently, the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin introduced the system to fingerprint illegal immigrants. He suspended it for a while before resuming the system. He has not give the reasons for the suspension.
All concerned must have integrity, without which any system including biometric gives rise to concern.
As Najib has admitted, no country has used the biometric system in election. We do not understand its weaknesses. How are voters selected to give fingerprints? Who are picked and who are not?
We have yet to know whether the system is reliable for election purpose. Najib would have to answer this.
Before the system is used in general elections, the Election Commission must explain it in detalis including its effectiveness in preventing phantom votes and other irregularities.
Dr Tan Seng Giaw