Malaysian police working with Indonesian counterpart over postal ballot papers

Malaysian police guard at the building where ballots cast in favour of Indonesian President Joko Widodo were found in Kajang, Malaysia, on April 12, 2019.
Malaysian police guard at the building where ballots cast in favour of Indonesian President Joko Widodo were found in Kajang, Malaysia, on April 12, 2019.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian police are working with their Indonesian counterparts as part of their probe into the discovery of stray postal voting papers in Selangor last week, just days ahead of Indonesia's general election on Wednesday (April 17), police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said.

The Inspector-General of Police said on Sunday (April 14) that investigations are already underway to determine the type of action that could assist the Indonesian authorities.

"We are working closely with Polri (Indonesian police), as the case does not involve any infringement of Malaysian laws," Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi said in a statement.

The Star has learnt that police reports were lodged last Thursday by two Indonesian citizens, who suspected possible election misconduct following the discovery of the ballot papers at two locations in Kajang.

The Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency reported last week that Indonesia is probing claims of vote-rigging following the discovery and that its General Elections Commission (KPU) has sent a team to Malaysia to investigate as many as 20,000 ballots.

A video making the rounds on social media last week showed people raiding an empty store in Selangor and unpacking several bags containing marked ballots in favour of President Joko Widodo and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin.

Another video, apparently from another location in Malaysia, showed two women punching holes in ballot papers, which is how a vote is marked in Indonesia's elections.

 
 
 
 

Indonesia's Elections Supervisory Agency has confirmed that stray ballots marked in Mr Joko's favour were found in Malaysia after the videos surfaced online, although it has questioned if the ballots had really been printed by the KPU.

Polls suggest Mr Joko and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin are heading to Polling Day with a comfortable lead over challenger Prabowo Subianto and his vice-presidential candidate Sandiaga Uno.

Indonesia's opposition has already warned of court challenges and street protests over separate irregularities, including errors in dates of birth and duplicate identity card numbers, for some 17.5 million registered voters - nearly 10 per cent of the electorate, AFP reported.

More than 190 million Indonesians are set to cast a ballot on Wednesday in the simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections. The general election is one of the world's biggest one-day polls, with some two million living overseas also registered to vote, including in Malaysia.