We doubt the claims that voters were transferred out of Penanti in a conspiracy, until we can see more convincing evidence. The only case with a quoted name appears to be an error by the voter, the political party PKR, or the media.
PKR claims and several media reported that around 8 voters were transferred out of Penanti without their knowledge and lost their rights to vote. We hope PKR would lodge formal police and SPR reports with full details.
For the only case where a name (Tan Soon Guang) was quoted in the media, we find the claim doubtful, because based on our databases of voter rolls (issued by SPR):
- We cannot find any "Tan Soon Guang" at all in the country-wide GE12 electoral roll (gazetted 2008 Feb 5). No such person exists in that country-wide roll more than a year ago.
- We cannot find any "Tan Soon Guang" in the Permatang Pauh by-election roll (dated 2008 July 31). Since Permatang Pauh P044 contains Penanti N12, it means this names also did not exist in the Penanti sub-division roll then. He would have had problem voting in GE12 and Permatang Pauh by-election as he claimed he had.
- Assuming this is a likely misspelling of "Tan Soon Guan," we looked up but still cannot find any "Tan Soon Guan" in the whole Permatang Pauh P044 (which contains Penanti N12) in the GE12 electoral roll, or the Permatang Pauh by-election roll.
- We did find 23 voters named "Tan Soon Guan" in the country-wide GE12 roll, but none were registered near Permatang Pauh. The closest were 2 names of "Tan Soon Guan" on Penang island under P048 Bukit Bendera (born 1940 and 1961), and 1 in P052 Bayan Baru (born 1976).
Because we do not have the IC number, we have not checked against the ICs in the database. Without an IC number, we cannot verify that such a name has been moved to Bukit Mertajam and Berapit as claimed. But given that this name had not existed before, we wonder how it could have been moved.
Further, a Chinese-language printed newspaper reported that this alleged voter is 55 years old. We looked up a combination of all three dated rolls for:
- all voters aged 51 to 57 (born 1952 to 1958)
- whose names existed in the GE12 roll, but not in the Penanti by-election (2009 April 16) roll,
- we found 28 voters of this age, who have been deleted between the GE12 roll and Penanti by-election roll, excluding postal voters.
- However, none of them have a name anything close to "Tan Soon Guang." (The 28 include 22 Malay names, 1 Indian name, and 5 Chinese names - Chong, Foo, Lee, Lim, Chow.
Candidate cries foul as voters find names missing
May 31, 09, MalaysiaKini.com
PKR candidate for the Penanti state seat by-election Mansor Othman is upset that the names of several voters were missing from the electoral roll.
He said that as of 9.30am, he had been informed that seven to eight voters could not cast their votes as their names were not on the list.
Voter Tan Soon Guang was one such victim. He said that he had voted at the Jit Sin polling centre at the 2008 general election and Aug 26, 2008 Permatang Pauh by-election.
This time around, his name was missing from the list of voters at the centre and a check with the EC's roll revealed that he had been moved to vote at the Bukit Mertajam Parliament seat and Berapit state seat.
Pakatan Rakyat chief Anwar Ibrahim also revealed that three to four voters who had voted in the Teluk Wang polling district for last year's general election and Permatang Pauh by-election were transferred to Permatang Pasir, another state seat under Permatang Pauh, this morning.
"We will launch a complaint to SPR after the by-election," he said after visiting Kampung Tun Sardon community hall.
When asked if it will affect the voter turnout, Anwar replied that "it is not a problem".
He said he was confident his party can retain the seat.
Penang PKR assistant secretary Lim Boo Chang later informed Malaysiakini of another 10 cases of voters whose names were not in the electoral roll, including that of a 80-year-old senior citizen.
He said that these 10 had had their names transferred to vote in the neighbouring Permatang Pasir state constituency without their knowledge and consent.
It is uncertain if these 10 include the persons mentioned by Anwar earlier.
Low turnout, missing names mar Penanti vote
2009 May 31, TheMalaysianInsider.com
PKR’s Dr Mansor Othman, who has lost in three elections, faces three independents in a by-election that is his to lose.
He has claimed to have received up to eight reports of voters finding their names missing from the Penanti electoral rolls during his rounds at the polling centres.
Voters said the EC had transferred them out of the state seat in the latest electoral roll dated April 16.
Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng, who visited polling stations with Mansor and DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, rapped the EC and called it a conspiracy to sabotage Penanti voters.
2009 May 31, MerdekaReview.com, in Chinese
At least a printed Chinese-language newspaper has also quoted the, probably transliterated, name "陈顺光".