KOTA KINABALU September 26, 2012: The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has queried a voter registration drive here that is allegedly importing new voters into the city
The party said it had stumbled on the exercise this week where those from other constituencies were being registered as Kota Kinabalu residents which would enable them to be voters in the Api-Api constituency.
SAPP vice-president Wong Yit Ming, who disclosed this, said the exercise appears to be the work of Deputy Chief Minister Dr Yee Moh Chai, the state assemblyman for Api-Api constituency.
He said if allowed to continue it would change the voter demographics of the predominantly Chinese constituency.
Wong said the objective appears to be to increase the number of Bumiputera voters in Api-Api and reduce the Chinese community’s influence in an election.
He said many of those registered under the ongoing exercise are from Kudat. The Api-Api constituency currently consists of about 80% Chinese voters.
Describing it as a desperate and unethical act, Wong said Barisan Nasional had resorted to this as it fears Chinese voters may not support the coalition and Yee may be shown the exit in the coming general election.
He said the registration exercise was conducted at Likas Square Complex, a property owned by businessmen aligned to Chief Minister Musa Aman.
SAPP Youth members, who were tipped off about the registration exercise on Monday, uncovered several discrepancies in the registration method as well as the targeted group identified as new voters.
Wong said party activists discovered that most of the voters were found to be originally from Pitas, Kudat, although they are currently residing in Taman Bukit Keramat here.
He also claimed that when party members asked the rationale behind the registration of Taman Bukit Keramat residents at the complex, the Election Commission (EC) officials on duty explained that the exercise was on the instructions of Yee.
The SAPP members also said they were told that those who registered as voters received a payment of RM200.
The transfer of voters from one region to another, Wong said, is not only illegal but also unprincipled as it ignores the social structure of Api-Api constituency.
Wong, who is also SAPP Api-Api central Liaison committee chairman, said the party would be filing an official complaint to the EC on the incident.
SAPP Youth has already lodged a police report on the matter, he added.