By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
PETALING JAYA, May 24 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has claimed the alleged irregularities found in the contest for the Balik Pulau seat alone could prove that the May 5 general election results had been rigged, a leader from the federal opposition pact said today.
The discrepancies included proof that there were more votes cast than the number of ballot papers issued by the Election Commission (EC) as well as video evidence of vote buying, violations that PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli (picture) claimed had contributed to Barisan Nasional’s (BN) marginal win in the contest for the Penang federal seat.
“This incident proves that the votes cast had exceeded the number of ballot papers issued did happen.
“It happened in Balik Pulau and it is certain that it happened in other places, although having all the reports on this compiled by #siasatpru13 would be impossible,” Rafizi, who is also the newly-elected Pandan MP, told reporters at the party’s headquarters here.
#siasatpru13” is a taskforce set up by Rafizi to spearhead PR’s efforts to gather all evidence of polls irregularities as the bloc prepares to petition the Election 2013 results soon.
PKR had lost the Balik Pulau parliamentary seat contest by a slim majority of 1,539 votes. It had also lost two of the three state seats within the constituency, Telok Bahang and Pulau Betong, with marginal majorities of 801 and 395 votes respectively.
In the copies of the “Borang 13” distributed to the media, the first-term PKR lawmaker showed how the EC had in one polling district recorded 424 as the number of ballot papers issued while the number of votes cast totalled 562, which means there was a discrepancy of about 140 votes.
Rafizi note that if all the polling districts in the constituency had encountered the same alleged manipulation, it was likely that the extra marginal numbers could have given BN the majority it needed to wrest the seat back from PKR.
Rafizi said the number of extra votes in each of the 28 polling districts could have been between 138 and 318.
There was also a case where the EC had added a state seat contest result into the figures for a parliamentary seat, a mistake that has cast a spotlight on the polls regulator’s ability to implement elections fairly and efficiently.
Meanwhile, PKR claimed it had video evidence showing voters purportedly queuing to collect cash in a small Chinese food stall in a rural location within the constituency.
One clip showed a poster with all the codes of state seats PR had lost in Penang written on it and pasted on a closed railing of a shop in what appeared to be an indicator of where voters could collect their cash for helping BN win in these areas.
Newly-elected Bayan Baru PKR lawmaker Sim Tze Tzin, speaking at the same press conference, said seven and three separate complaints have been lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the EC respectively.
“It is impossible that the MACC could not find the culprits involved as the exercise would involve a lot of manpower and resources,” he said.
Rafizi said his party would consider including the evidence in the election petition and continue to expose them to the public.
BN and the opposition now have 21 days to file election petitions as the EC gazetted the official results of the 13th general election yesterday.
BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said the coalition’s lawyers were scrutinising the results where the BN won or lost by a slim margin.
PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang said the party would likely file 27 petitions involving parliamentary and state constituencies, and co-ordinate the action with allies DAP and PAS.