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Mar 8, 2008



Palasupiramaniam s/o Vaithalingam died in 1980 at the age of 48. But somehow, his identity card number shows that he is still an active voter.

This was discovered by Palasupiramaniam's son, who wanted to be known as Welly, who checked his father’s IC number against the voters’ list.

“Since I've been hearing a lot about all sorts of hanky panky and phantom voters on the election, I decided to check on my father's IC number at the Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya website.”

“Everything was the same - the address, date of birth and even the polling stream. The only thing that was different is the slight change to my late father's name. It was Palasubiramaniam, instead of Palasupiramaniam.”

Palasupiramaniam's status showed that he was an active voter and fell under the Segambut parliamentary seat. His polling station is at Sekolah Kebangsaan Dhandayuthapani, Jalan Ipoh.

The deceased's 40-year old son checked the website last week and saw the discrepancy. When he spoke about it to some friends, they told him to close one eye.

“I couldn't do that, so I decided to wait for today (election day) and alerted the EC officers today with my father's IC and a photocopy of his death certificate.”

The EC officers agreed and acknowledged that the person with the IC number was deceased and will not allow anyone with that particular IC number to vote.

As there was no JPN confirmation, the EC officers assured Welly that his late father's voting status will be non-active by the next election.

At the time of Welly lodging the report to the EC officers at 1pm today, no one with his father's IC number had turned up to vote using the IC number.

Impostor can be jailed

It has been rumoured that phantom voters tend to turn up closer to the end of voting hours.

Under Section 7 of the Election Offences Act 1954 “every person who at an election applies for a ballot paper in the name of some other person, whether that name be that of a person living or dead, applies at the same election for a ballot paper in his own name, shall be guilty of the offense of personation.”

What will happen to the impostor should he turn up with Palasupiramaniam's IC number at the polling station?

“First and foremost, the impostor will undergo the entire process of voting, right down to marking the ballot paper. The officer may then protest to the presiding officer inside the stream,” said the chairperson of polls watchdog Mafrel Abd Malek Hussin.

“It will be at the discretion of the presiding officer to decide if the vote is valid or otherwise. Once proven that the voter is an impostor, he can be put under arrest.”

Upon a guilty conviction, the impostor is liable to an imprisonment not exceeding two years and a fine of up to RM5,000.00.

The parliamentary seat for Segambut witnesses a straight fight between Gerakan's Ma Woei Chyi and DAP's Lim Lip Eng. The voters are made up of 36.3 percent Malays, 51.8 percent Chinese, 11.6 percent Indian and 0.4 percent of other races.


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