KANGAR, July 23 (Bernama) — The government has agreed to provide allocations for the Election Commission (EC) to implement the biometric voter verification system, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
He said the system was one of the initiatives undertaken by the EC to ensure transparency in the country’s elections.
“The implementation of the biometric system will be able to counter allegations about the existence of phantom voters,” he said at a meet-the-people programme at Dewan 2020, here today.
The prime minister said Barisan Nasional was committed to implementing clean and fair elections and did not need the illegal organisation, Bersih, to remind it.
“If improvements are needed, we will put them in place. We will strive to do our best; even developed countries are not doing this,” he said, adding that there was no need for people to demonstrate to call for free and fair elections because the government would ensure improvements to the system from time to time.
The prime minister noted that there were times when the ruling coalition were winning many votes and losing them at other times though the BN still held the majority. “Had we been able to ensure victory, ministers would not have lost in elections and we would not have lost states (to the opposition).”
He added that the opposition had not raised any issue about unfair elections in the aftermath of the 2008 polls.
However, he said, when the BN began winning by-elections in the past two years, the opposition started to cry unfairness.
He said that if the BN was able to manipulate election results, it would have been able to do so in the 2004 general election when it lost by a mere two votes in the Kemuning state constituency.
“If votes can be manipulated, it would have been easy to find the three votes (needed to win the seat),” he said.
Even though losing Kelantan by one seat in the election, the BN did not resort to demonstrations because “we respect the voices of the people and the principles of democracy.”
In the 2004 polls, PAS candidate in Kemuning, Zakaria Yaacob polled 6,078 votes to defeat BN’s Wan Mohamad Zin Mat Amin, who obtained 6,076 votes.
The prime minister noted that Malaysia had been an example to other countries and that the people should not be influenced by certain quarters who resorted to raising all kinds of issues.
“They are attacking our institutions… the judiciary, police and others. The fact is, (Malaysia) would not be regarded an exemplary country if we have not administered it in a diligent and fair manner,” he said.
Source : Bernama