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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Ijok has spoken

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Well, the results are in, and BN has retained the Ijok state assembly seat, getting a bigger majority this time around.

Image taken from Malaysiakini, hosting by PhotobucketA very high 81.88% voter turnout was recorded as of 5pm today (poll closing time), translating to a total of 10,049 voters. Oh, and it didn't storm, as forecasted. In fact, it was a rather hot day, going by the reports Walski's seen.

So far, no reports have been spotted of any voters aged 8 or 107. However, the opposition, who got the shorter end of the stick, claim that there were indeed phantom voters. This assertion, however, has been made without offering much proof, as evidenced by two Harakah reports (here and here). There was, however, a bus involved that's suspected of ferrying phantom voters. So there may be some truth to this after all. The extent? Well, no one can say for sure. What is known is that the people of Ijok have spoken, and their choice has been made.

Jeff Ooi has done an interesting analysis of what the results really mean, breaking down the overall tally by the various areas within Ijok. While the overall tally may indicate growing support for BN, looking at the details based on racial demographics tells an interesting story behind the win. The ethnically Chinese vote seems to have swayed a little away from BN's favor.
(last Ijok thoughts, and more, in the full post)

So, the folks at Ijok have spoken, and they now have what the majority have voted for. But if it is true that there were some underworld-like tactics employed, i.e. the phantom voter thing, then it doesn't augur well for the upcoming General Elections. Ghosts of all denominations will certainly be coming out of the woodworks to cast their vote, in even larger numbers.

IF the allegations are true, that is. And all we have at this juncture are just that - allegations.

And so, until the next General Election, or the next MP / State Assembly person kicks the bucket, poll watchers will have to anxiously wait it out. In the meantime, the Ijok story will probably continue to be told for a while yet, being that Khalid Ibrahim may file suit against Deputy PM Najib Tun Razak, and that PKR intends to dispute the election results.

Walski's two bits? If there are still problems with the way the Election Commission operates, then that's what need to be fixed ASAP. And that's where the focus in the coming months should be. Put pressure on the EC to get their shit together. Oh yeah, it should be made answerable to Parliament. Not the Executive branch of Government.

What we should have, come next GE, whenever that may be, is to have an electoral roll that is a real representation of registered voters. Not dead ones, or those below the legal voting age. That, and an EC that sides no one, except on the side of democracy and the voting public.

Fighting over Ijok, disputing the results will surely be a waste of time and effort - unless, of course, there is solid proof that there was misconduct and wrongdoing.

For now, it seems more like sour grapes. But then again, that's just Walski - he prefers action that will bring real and useful results.