Dedicated to debunking and rubbishing the hype, hoohah, bullshit and ballyhoo touted by information technology (IT), Internet and cyberspace 'pandits', self-styled 'consultants', the techno-deterministic myths of IT 'futurists' and cyber utopians by comparing actual outcomes against their claims made a decade or more back.
Thursday, 15 November 2018
SO HOW NOW - WITH CLAIMS OF 8,926 VOTES IN PKR ELECTIONS ARE MISSING?
Whilst, it would be unfair to blame PKR's e-voting system for the questions being raised over the validity of results in the party's recent elections for the Deputy President post, given the media reports of alleged shenanigans by human beings which have emerged, including allegations of missing votes, reports of alleged fraud by party members, allegations of money politics and so forth flying; however many citizens worldwide, including in advanced countries such as the United States are sceptical over the integrity of the results of computer-based voting, since the recording of votes and their vote tallying is invisible, hence rather opaque to most human polling monitors, except for a handful of computer-savvy persons in charge of monitoring the vote tally.
This is unlike traditional paper ballot voting, where the ballots dropped into the ballot box, which are made of clear plastic in Malaysia and visible to anyone, and even then, there have been allegations, valid or unfounded, of election fraud in Malaysia's past general elections.
I have served as an polling agent for then opposition candidates in three of Malaysia's general elections - if I recall right in 1990, 1995 and 1999. It's a tedious process whereby the election officer in charge of the polling stream announces the name and Identity Card number of the voter who collects the ballot paper from a printed list of voters and we had to quickly scan through the copy of the same list and cross out the name of the voter on the list, so that we will know if anyone has voted more than once at that polling stream.
When polling closes, the ballot box is locked and sealed with sealing wax and each of us polling agents are allowed to make some imprint in the still soft wax, such as by using our key, a coin or something like that.
We return about two hours later when the ballot boxes will be opened in our presence and the ballot papers are poured out into a tray by the election officer.
The election officer then picks up a ballot paper, opens it up, holds it up and shows the vote on it to all of us and we record down the vote for the candidate on it and have the right to object if the "X" in not placed in the right place.
The election officer then places that ballot paper in a tray relevant to the candidate contesting, and the spoilt votes into a tray for spoilt votes.
Whilst voting fraud is still possible with such paper ballot voting, such as if a voter votes at one polling station and then votes again at another, however the possibility this has been minimised with the use of indelible ink into which each voter must dip his or her finger and the stain takes days to disappear due to washing, etc.
There also have been allegations of vote fraud due to phantom voters and "40,000 Bangladeshis" being "flown in" and given temporary Malaysian Identity Cards to enable them to vote for a certain party in past Malaysian general elections, except for the 9 May 2018 general elections which the Pakatan Harapan won.
For instance, a giant, six-engined Antonov 225 freighter aircraft landed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport shortly before the last general elections and there was an allegation on social media that the aircraft would be used to fly in Bangladeshis to vote.
Well, the largest plane in the world that it may be, the Antonov 225 has a maximum payload of 250 tons or 226,796 kilogrammes.
Divide 226,797 kilogrammes by 40,000 Bangladeshis stuffed into the giant plane and it works out that each Bangladeshi would have to weigh on average 5.66 kilogrammes maximum, or about the weight of a baby each, or the plane would not be able to take off.
Social media is full of scheiss anyway, so I didn't take that seriously.
Anyway, rightly or wrongly, the proverbial scheiss has hit the proverbial fan over the recent PKR party elections, and it looks like the stink will linger for quite a while more, with more allegations of fraud, allegations of missing votes, more reports lodged with the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission and so forth reports being made.
As matters stand right now, I wonder whether the Registrar of Societies will accept the result of the recent PKR party elections or whether it will deem the results invalid and require the party to hold another round of elections.
If the RoS requires that the election be held all over again, I wonder whether PKR will use e-voting again, or revert to traditional, tried and tested paper ballot voting.
The Star Online of 13 November 2018 reports:-
Akmal Nasir claims nearly 9,000 pro-Rafizi votes are missing
Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018
9:45 PM MYT
by tarrence tan
KUALA LUMPUR: As the conclusion of the PKR polls approaches, its Youth chief hopeful Akmal Nasir has dropped a bombshell, alleging that up to 8,926 votes in favour of Rafizi Ramli in the race for the deputy presidency are missing.
Akmal alleged this during a press conference in Parliament on Tuesday (Nov 13), referring to a study he conducted based on information collected from the official polls results displayed on PKR's website.
There is a ferocious battle for the deputy presidency between Rafizi Ramli and Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, which is marred by allegations of money politics and scuffles between their respective supporters.
Akmal identified 40 divisions where he claimed 20% to 35% of votes for the deputy president post are missing.
In the PKR polls, which are conducted electronically, registered members vote in order of party position hierarchy.
As Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim won uncontested as party president, the first vote they cast is for the deputy presidency, then the vice presidency, central leadership committee members and finally the top two posts for the Wanita and Youth wings.
Akmal claims that the votes are missing as there is a discrepancy between the number of votes cast and what has been tallied and displayed on the PKR website.
He said that out of the 40 divisions, 17 divisions in Sabah and Selangor were identified as Rafizi strongholds.
"The 17 divisions involve nine in Sabah and eight in Selangor, where the majority in these divisions were expected to give Rafizi an edge … based on the support given by his supporters," he said.
Akmal, claimed that a total of 8,926 votes are missing from these 17 divisions.
He said that the study is being presented to PKR's political bureau meeting Tuesday night (Nov 13).
However, he refused to accuse anyone of having a hand in this matter, and said that the party leadership should demand an investigation once all the facts are available.
"This is our party too. We don't intend to create trouble, but we want to help ensure this party remains strong," he said.
Also present during the press conference were Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen, Sungai Siput MP S. Kesavan, Tangga Batu MP Rusnah Aluai, Tanjung Malim MP Chang Lih Kang and Kapar MP Datuk Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid.
Wong said PKR must address this issue as the credibility of the party was at stake.
"Akmal's data shows that the anomaly is too great. If one or two percent of the votes are missing, that is normal," he said.
Wong said that the vote for the deputy president post was first on the online voting system, and it was impossible that such a large percentage did not cast it.
"It is not logical that 20 to 35% of the very first vote were not cast," he said, adding that any statistician would immediately see something amiss with the figure.
Wong urged the PKR Central Election Committee (JPP), which is also meeting Tuesday night, to look into the allegations.
According to Wong, the investigation must involve an independent, reputable and globally-recognised firm such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
"Hopefully, we can conduct a full investigation – and prior to the investigation, we would not like the JPP to make any announcements that do not make sense," he said.
Wong was referring to the announcement by JPP chairman Datuk Rashid Din, who said earlier on Nov 13 that there would not be a re-election at the Julau division in Sarawak and that results of the re-election at Tawau and Pensiangan divisions would be revealed once checks are done.
Results of the party polls will be officially announced during the three-day PKR Congress starting this Friday (Nov 16) at the Ideal Convention Centre in Shah Alam.
The Malay Mail of 13 November 2018 reports that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir may reshuffle his cabinet after the PKR election results:-
Report: Dr M says Cabinet reshuffle possible after PKR polls
Published 4 hours ago on 13 November 2018
By Azril Annuar
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 – Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said he is open to the possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle following the conclusion of the PKR party elections but he wants to work with those he is comfortable with.
He told the Singapore daily The Straits Times in an interview that he has the final say when it comes to Cabinet appointments but will consider making changes if PKR submits new candidates which he approves of.
"They (PKR) can submit names, they can argue their case. I have my own views also. And the principle is that this Cabinet is chaired by me as the Prime Minister and I need to have people who I am comfortable with. So whether I accept nominations from them or not, is really up to me," he reportedly said.
Newly-elected Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has won the PKR presidency unopposed but the race for the party's deputy president's post has been rife with problems and issues including physical confrontations and suspicions of malware compromising the e-voting system.
Datuk Seri Azmin Ali is fighting to retain the deputy president's post against challenger, Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli and although the PKR central election committee has said the polls result so far is not final, Azmin's supporters have claimed victory.
Besides the PKR polls, there has also been speculations of a Cabinet reshuffle due to public criticism of many first time federal ministers.
The Straits Times had also quoted an unnamed official saying that Dr Mahathir has been unhappy with the Cabinet's performance for a while.
If Mahathir indeed does reshuffle his cabinet, I suppose some of the faces below will disappear and be replaced by others or will be moved to some other ministerial portfolio.
Or he perhaps Mahathir could buy one of these below from a furniture shop and appoint it as his cabinet.
Meanwhile, drawing from Malaysiakini and Malaysian Insight reports, the title of a Malaysia-Chronicle article of 13 November 2018 screams:-
The picture above looks a bit old, as that guy on the far right looks like Badrul Hisham ("Che Gu Bard") who has not been a PKR member for quite a while now - Anyway!
20,000 VOTES MISSING – WHAT'S THIS ANWAR? ARE YOU GOING TO LET AZMIN CAMP GET AWAY WITH IT?: PKR MAN DROPS BOMBSHELL – IN SABAH & SELANGOR ALONE 9,000 VOTES 'SYSTEMATICALLY DISAPPEARED', KEDAH, PERLIS, NEGRI SEMBILAN & MALACCA ALSO AFFECTED
Malaysia-Chronicle tends to be rather politically sensationalist, even since before the last general election, so decide for yourself.
Meanwhile, StarTV of 14 November 2018 publishes a video in which PKR Communications Director, Fahmi Fadzil said that the party will engage accounting and consulting firm Baker Tilly (Baker Tilly Monteiro Heng in Malaysia) to look into claims of these missing votes.
PKR to engage auditing firm to look into missing votes claim
Published on 14 Nov 2018 12:29:59 AM
PKR communication director Fahmi Fadzil said the party will engage a consulting and auditing firm to look into claims of missing votes in the recently-concluded party polls.
Fahmi said on Tuesday night that the political bureau had instructed accounting and consulting firm Baker Tilly to look into claims brought up by Youth chief hopeful Akmal Nasir.
Perhaps Malaysia could be the first country in the world to engage a management and consulting firm to run the country on a five-year contract.
In this case, the competing management and consulting firms will pitch for the contract to voters at election time, citizens will then vote on which firm to award the governing contract to for five years and the firm which receives most votes will be awarded the governing contract.
In this case Malaysia won't have a prime minister but a Chief Executive Officer, a Chief Operating Officer instead of a deputy prime minister and the cabinet will be comprised of Divisional Managers of Finance, Home Affairs, Defense and so forth instead of ministers.