With Indonesia’s general election happening next Wednesday (17th April), millions of Indonesians are gearing up to go to the polls and cast their vote. However, based on a report by the Washington Post, suspicious activity involving marked ballot papers has come to the attention of local and international media.
Videos showing thousands of ballots for next week’s election in warehouses based in Malaysia began to circulate online. One of the videos shows police at one of these warehouses, where people were holding up the ballot papers that appeared to be marked in Indonesian president Joko Widodo and his coalition’s favour.
According to the head of the Indonesian election monitoring committee in Kuala Lumpur, Yaza Azzhara, there is an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 ballots found in two locations.
Some of the voting papers have already been opened and they appear to be postal ballots marked for the Indonesian president and his running mate.
Other ballots were also marked for a Widodo-allied legislative candidate who is the son of Indonesia’s ambassador to Malaysia. The election monitoring committee head was quoted as saying,
“When I arrived at the first location, the shophouse door was open. According to some members (of the opposition committee) who suspected that there was a pile of ballot papers inside, they entered through a window and opened the door from inside.”
However, she added that some of the ballots were unmarked and were in brown bags with official Overseas Electoral Commission padlocks on them.
According to Free Malaysia Today, these ballot papers were found at warehouses in Bangi and Kajang. The commissioner of Indonesia’s Election Supervisory Committee, Fritz Edward Siregar, also stated that members of the Overseas Election Committee were suspected to not have carried out their duties properly, which may have led to these ballots being tampered.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Election Commission will be sending officials over to Malaysia to carry out investigations, while the voting process in Malaysia has been suspended for now, according to the Malay Mail. It was previously announced that overseas voters based in Malaysia could begin voting on 14th April at 6 voting centres across the country (Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Pulau Pinang, Kuching, Tawau, and Kota Kinabalu).
There are reportedly 1.5 million Indonesians based in Malaysia who are registered to vote.
Let’s hope that the Indonesian election authorities thoroughly investigate this matter so that those based in Malaysia can participate in the elections in time!
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