Impossible for foreigners to vote in GE13, says deputy IGP

By Boo Su-Lyn

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — It is impossible for foreigners to vote in tomorrow’s polls and police will act if it happens, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today amid fears of widespread electoral fraud.

He said no police reports have been lodged on phantom voters planning to cast their ballots in Election 2013, adding that additional flights at this time are not unusual.

“There are rumours that many foreigners will be brought in to vote — Bangladeshis, Filipinos, Indonesians — but it is impossible that this will happen,” Khalid told reporters at the Bukit Aman police headquarters here.

“We will assist SPR in making sure that there are no phantom voters... if SPR informs us that unregistered voters are trying to come in, we’ll take action,” he said, referring to the Election Commission (EC) by its Malay acronym.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor admitted last Thursday that voters were being flown in to the peninsula from east Malaysia, but stressed that the flights were sponsored by “friends” of BN as part of the party’s “get out the vote” campaign for Election 2013.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has said that over 40,000 dubious voters, including foreigners from Sabah and Sarawak, have been flown in since last week to key states in the peninsula like Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, who is the co-chair of polls watchdog Bersih 2.0, said yesterday that it was “treason” to transfer foreigners from east Malaysia to immigration depots to vote in Election 2013, where Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) are in a neck-and-neck race to Putrajaya.

She also said that all those who defraud the system are defrauding all legitimate voters and that they should face the full force of the law if found guilty.

The Anything But Umno (ABU) movement has put up banners throughout the peninsula that warn foreigners against voting in Election 2013, saying that they would be handed over to the police if caught.

Khalid stressed today, however, that the police would take action against those who tried to “cause trouble” by checking people’s ICs at polling centres.

“We are apolitical. We will not side anyone,” he said.

Khalid added that victory and protest parades after tomorrow’s election would be barred to prevent any “untoward incident”.