Democracy is about voting, and for democracy to be credible, the voting process, from registration of voters to the counting of votes, must not only be clean and fair but be seen to be so as well. This is basic to our understanding of democracy. Yet, compromising the voting process is as much a part of Malaysian politics as suppression of the freedom of speech is.
WILL the next general election be fair? This question has become urgent and pressing as claims are surfacing that the electoral roll is not clean, and fears are being raised that recent immigrants might be issued blue identity cards to enable them to vote. We have been hearing horror stories of the presence of cloned voters, i.e. voters who have more than one entry in the electoral roll; of permanent residents who become citizens overnight and are therefore granted the right to vote; and of the perennial phantom voters, such as those who are already dead or non-existent but whose names remain on the roll.
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