Monday, November 10, 2008

Phantom Voters

Remember, during the previous general elections on 8 March, Umno and Barisan Nasional had always denied repeatedly the existence of phantom voters as alleged by members of the Pakatan Rakyat component parties. Even the Elections Commission denied the phantom voters allegation.

So, were there any phantom voters anyway? Let us look at the currently ongoing Umno’s divisional and branch elections which are highly publicized almost daily. Factional fighting, chairs throwing, boycotting, reports of unjust policies and quarrels are among the most happened incidents at the annual general meetings of the Umno divisions and branches.

Another latest allegation by local Umno divisional and branch leaders in their tussle to defend their positions are the existence of phantom voters in their divisional elections planted by certain Umno state and national leaders in order to take control of certain divisions.

As such, local Umno leaders had now openly admitted that the existence of phantom voters even at their party’s divisional and branch levels. They had also openly admitted that such groups called “phantoms” which are implanted by certain leaders to grab hold of some divisions really exist and evidence were even forwarded to the top Umno leadership as “complaint” against rival factions.

The Election Commission denied the allegation of phantom voters known as “pengundi hantu” in Bahasa Malaysia by saying that “ghost” cannot vote in elections. But interestingly to know that, there are a lots of “ghost” who could help certain top leaders to gain control at Umno divisional elections.

So, during general elections when Umno ferried thousand of phantom voters into opposition strongholds to vote, the Election Commission denied the facts, but when top Umno leaders ferried thousand of phantom voters into their party’s divisional elections, the Umno members admitted that phantom voters does exist in their party for the sake of certain party leaders.

Some disgruntled local Umno leaders even went to an extend to forward their complaints to the party headquarters to prove that phantom voters truly exist in their division due to factional tussle for positions in the party.

For your understanding, phantom voters means voters who does not belong to the place or district and merely brought in to vote during elections. In most cases phantom voters were not locals of the place or district where they were registered as.

As for Umno’s case, a party member may be residing in one state or district but casts his vote in another state or district during the party elections be it branch or divisional ones. This is also called phantom voters.

So, the Election Commission is always avoiding this topic in order to cover up for Barisan Nasional but it was eventually blown up by Umno leaders themselves during their party elections.

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