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SE Asia
 

Malaysia GE13: Indelible ink can be easily washed off, voters claim

Published on May 5, 2013 12:31 PM
 
A voter shows her finger marked with indelible ink after casting her ballot during the general elections in Pekan, 300 km (186 miles) east of Kuala Lumpur on May 5, 2013. Voters and candidates in Malaysia's pivotal election on Sunday are claiming that they can easily remove from their fingers the blue indelible ink the Election Commission (EC) is using to prevent fraud. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - Voters and candidates in Malaysia's pivotal election on Sunday are claiming that they can easily remove from their fingers the blue indelible ink the Election Commission (EC) is using to prevent fraud.

Democratic Action Party (DAP) national chairman Karpal Singh said he would file a complaint with the returning officer at Penang Free School after he discovered he could easily wash the ink off his finger, The Star newspaper reported.

The paper also cited Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as saying he too could rub the ink off.

Photos circulated through Facebook and Twitter and carried by the online news site Malaysian Insider, meanwhile, showed voters displaying clean index fingers, claiming they managed to wash the indelible ink off with soap, dishwashing liquid and bleach.

A Malaysiakini reporter reported that voters in Penampang, Sabah, were able to remove the ink with blades of grass.

The indelible ink had been a source of controversy, following an uproar over earlier claims that it could be easily washed off.

The EC last week held a public demonstration to prove the ink's lasting effects.

The indelible ink is meant to prevent voters from casting votes more than once. The EC earlier said the ink would last seven days.

Pictures circulated in social media last week showed that the burgundy-coloured ink marks disappeared from the index fingers of early voters within hours of voting.

The EC had then claimed that the snafu could have been due to the failure of the election staff to follow instructions to shake the ink bottle well before use.

EC secretary Kamaruddin Mohamed Baria had admitted that the ink might not last 100 per cent should multiple attempts with various means be made to erase the mark.

However, he assured that, once applied, the ink stain would remain around the nail of the index finger for between five and seven days.

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