Thursday, August 15, 2013

Biometric system scrapped, indelible ink stays

AUGUST 15, 2013
The Election Commission (EC) will not go ahead with its proposal to use the biometric system instead of the indelible ink as long as the relevant laws were not amended.
Its chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, noted that while there were some flaws with the indelible ink during the 13th general election, the EC managed to overcome the problem during the Kuala Besut by-election recently.
"The public has to know that the indelible ink and the biometric system are two different things... it is not that easy to switch," he told The Malaysian Insider.
He pointed out that the indelible ink will still be relevant in the next GE following its success in the by-election.
"We will continue using the indelible ink as the laws have not been amended."
"What is certain is that we were successful in Kuala Besut. We did not face any problems there so now we are confident that it will be good.
"We hope there won't be any more issues cropping up about the indelible ink, there won't be people trying their hardest to wash away the ink like in GE13."
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim had announced at the Dewan Rakyat on July 17 that the government was ready to consider replacing the indelible ink with the biometric system
He chided the opposition for first insisting on the usage of the indelible ink and then criticising it later.
"The one who suggested the ink was Gombak Member of Parliament (Mohamed Azmin Ali) in the The Special Select Committee on Electoral Reform. They are the ones who suggested the usage of the ink while the EC had suggested the biometric system ," he had said.
"It (the biometric system) is the best solution, we will make sure that it is discussed."
Barisan Nasional parliamentarian Tan Sri Annuar Musa lauded the suggestion, claiming that the issues surrounding the indelible ink will not end as the losing party in the GE had to find some excuse for not winning.
The biometric system, Annuar pointed out, was more feasible as Malaysia already had a comprehensive registration system in place in the form of the identity card.
"We have a perfectly good system but we went with the ink. And when we did, there were people who caused doubts to be created about it," he went on.
The controversial indelible ink, which was used for the first time in the May 5 polls, has come under heavy fire after some voters complained that it washed off easily.
To make matters worse, the RM7.1 million ink was later said to contain food colouring, prompting opposition leaders to demand the identity of the supplier.
They had also called for the resignation of the top leadership in the EC for "failing in their duties to Malaysians".
Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli disclosed in Parliament that the indelible ink contract was given to a Mohamed Salleh Mohd Ali who is believed to be closely linked to the country's leadership and the EC's top officials. - August 15, 2013.
~ The Malaysian Insider

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