The Election Commission's proposal to use biometric system is susceptible to manipulation by those who have the access to its system, according to two PAS members of parliament.
“The system is easier to be manipulated by those who control it. It’s the people who control the system. In fact, if it is implemented, it’s possible that more frauds will happen," said Pokok Sena MP and PAS vice president Mahfuz Omar.
He also lamented that a recent revelation that thousands of foreigners were being offered citizenships in a bid to prepare them to vote at the next general election had yet to be investigated.
"Giving citizenships to foreigners is now being done large-scale. It is very likely that illegal immigrants will be registered as voters,” he told Malay daily Sinar Harian. Earlier, the EC's proposal got almost instant approval from the government, with prime minister Najib Razak stating his readiness to allocate budget for the system.
Mahfuz however questioned the government for continuing to resist the use of indelible ink during election, saying that the biometric system could not at all guarantee the prevention of double voting by the same person.
“The question is not about the weakness of the biometric system. In fact, it is strange, why the government until now is still reluctant to use indelible ink. "The claim that it will deny the right of the voters is not valid because the indelible ink system is more transparent to ensure that a person could only vote once,” said Mahfuz.
Mahfuz stressed that with the implementation of the biometric system, "those not qualified to vote will also be registered as voters and the ruling government will win with votes from foreigners, not Malaysians."
"So, we want Election Commission to clean up their electoral lists to avoid easy victory to some using the illegal way,” added Mahfuz.
Earlier, National Registration Department, under heavy criticism over allegations that its database was not up to date and frought with errors, claimed that its database could not be altered and as such would render the biometric system "foolproof".
“We are, however, resigned to the fact that no matter what we do to improve the system, we will still be accused of this and that,” said NRD director-general Jariah Mohd Said.
'Why afraid of ink?'
PAS's Kuala Selangor MP Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad argued that the biometric system was only known to the operating officers but not to the people and the election workers.
“This will raise transparency issues, because the main issue in the election is the absence of transparency,” he said.
Dzulkefly said the biometric system was expected to cost a fortune.
“Deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the general election is just months away. If they insist on implementing it, the government will not only face with high costs but also the task of training [in a short period of time]," added Dzulkefly.
“Why so afraid to use indelible ink when it has been proven successful in country which has the largest democracy in the world, which is India,” he asked.
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