KUALA LUMPUR - Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof has urged Coalition for Free and Fair Election (Bersih) to hand over supposed evidence of discrepancies in the electoral roll if indeed their claims were true.
"They (Bersih) should know that the EC has nothing to hide. If indeed there are such discrepancies, give us the details and we will update them if necessary," he told the New Straits Times yesterday.
Aziz was responding to calls from the Bersih steering committee yesterday, urging EC commissioners to resign for allegedly allowing electoral fraud to continue.
Bersih co-chairperson Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan claimed that their findings indicated that the EC commissioners had not been able to secure the one-person-one-vote system to ensure clean and fair elections.
Aziz denied the claims, saying that their records had not revealed such discrepancies when cross-checked with the National Registration Department (NRD).
"We get details of registered persons from the NRD. If a death certificate is issued for someone in their records, we will automatically delete his or her name from the electoral roll."
He said there were only 42,051 doubtful voters as opposed to the exaggerated figure of 400,000 provided by Bersih.
"The NRD informed us that it had sent out countless letters to these people but had yet to receive any response. Therefore, it cannot be verified if they are dead or alive."
Aziz dismissed calls from Bersih for the EC commissioners to resign, saying that they had been appointed to carry out their duties by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
"If they feel the present commissioners are not suitable, it shows they are undermining the king's authority.
"They are not qualified to demand our resignation."
In SIBU, Aziz said all returning officers (RO) and their assistants must know the country's election law well as the 13th general election would be a keenly contested one.
Aziz said the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) would go all out to retain their existing seats and to win back seats from the opposition in order to continue ruling.
"On the other hand, the opposition will also be doing the same and, of course, will try to capture more seats from BN.
"As such, it will be a keenly contested election. Thus, all ROs and their assistants must be well-versed with the election law to deal with any issues, complaints or dissatisfaction that may be raised, especially on the nomination and polling days."
He said this after opening a two-day course for 79 ROs and their assistants, here, yesterday to prepare them to handle the elections in 16 parliamentary seats in the state's central region.
Aziz disclosed that to date, 1,024,240 Sarawakians had registered as voters.
"We hope the other 407,432 who are eligible to vote will come forward to register themselves the soonest."
Sarawak has 31 parliamentary seats up for grabs this election.