Thursday, March 6, 2008


Indelible ink: voters disagree with move
They say it could hurt EC and BN


The Election Commission’s (EC) failure to stick to its decision on introducing the use of indelible ink in the general election on Saturday reflects its indecisiveness and unprofessional attitude that could further hurt its image and credibility, according to voters interviewed in a random survey here. The survey revealed that voters generally disagreed with the last- minute decision by the EC to cancel the plan to use indelible ink, as it could lead to people suspecting something fishy going on in the election process. “People may question why the EC agreed to use indelible ink in the first place but later said it was inapplicable. Maybe they just realized that they had made a mistake, but this means they had made a decision without thoroughly considering it and this was unprofessional,” said a voter from Kepayan, Mary Jane Angkos. Another voter, Saniah Amiruddin of Telipok, said the EC’s move to reverse its decision at the last minute may give rise to misinterpretation among the people who might think that cancelling the use of the indelible ink means the EC has failed to keep their promise to ensure a free and fair election. “Not everyone would understand the issue the way the Government or the EC want them to. No matter how they explain it, people may have different ideas and interpretations,” she said. “The idea of using indelible ink is perceived as one that came from the opposition who want a fair election. Now that it is rejected, some people may think the EC has rejected the opposition’s call for a clean election. The move may be misunderstood to be in favour of the ruling coalition,” said the 48- year-old house wife. “For some reason, the EC forgot to anticipate much earlier all the problems that they said could arise if indelible ink is used. As a result, not only they had tarnished their image and credibility but also wasted almost RM1 million buying the ink that they don’t need,” said college student Alisson Marry Binus, 22. Her college mate, Ivy Ijong, also 22, said the EC is already under criticism for various other things and going back on their words would further hurt its image. “It is not like people are accusing the EC of taking side or making it easy for any party to win. But this kind of things would make it easier for the opposition to make the people believe that their claims of unfair and dirty electoral tactics against BN are true,” said Ivy. The EC on Tuesday announced that the proposed use of indelible ink has been cancelled as it would not be effective since the country’s constitution allows those who refuse to have their fingernail marked with the ink to still be issued with a ballot. Furthermore, the EC said, some parties had purchased such ink from abroad and it is feared they would use it to create chaos at polling stations by bribing voters to have their fingers daubed ahead of the polls to create confusion on their status.