Indonesia overseas voting: Video shows alleged vote-rigging in Malaysia as parties deny involvement

A storage area where ballot boxes and voting materials are prepared, in Pademangan, Indonesia. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Indonesia's Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) on Thursday (April 11) said it has called on the KPU (General Elections Commission) to assess the Kuala Lumpur chapter of the election committee and postpone the voting process in Malaysia.

This came about after a video showed people raiding an empty store in Selangor, Malaysia, and unpacking several bags containing marked ballots in favour of President Joko Widodo and running mate Ma'ruf Amin. The video was circulated on social media on Thursday.

The video showed people holding up the ballots and claiming that they had been marked in favour of Mr Joko and Dr Ma'ruf in the presidential election, and for a NasDem Party legislative candidate named Achmad for the legislative election.

NasDem and the Joko-Ma'ruf campaign team have denied the accusations.

"We demand that the KPU postpone all affairs in Malaysia until the 14th, otherwise we will occupy the KBRI (Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur)," one of the people in the video said.

Malaysia-based voters are scheduled to cast their ballots on Sunday.

There are 255 polling stations spread across Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor, Perak, Kuala Trengganu and Kelantan, with a total of 985,216 registered voters.

Bawaslu commissioner Fritz Edward Siregar said in Jakarta that the agency had received reports about alleged vote-rigging from its Kuala Lumpur chapter, without elaborating on the details.

He added that the agency had encouraged the KPU to assess the KL chapter of the election committee and postpone voting in Malaysia.

Separately, KPU commissioner Ilham Saputra said his team was still assessing the video in question.

"We're assessing the situation in Malaysia. We've asked the election committee there to check it out."

He added that if the KPU found evidence that the Selangor chapter was responsible for alleged vote-rigging, the commission would take action against it.

Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician Masinton Pasaribu, who is running as a legislative candidate for Central Jakarta, South Jakarta, and overseas, suggested that the alleged vote-rigging might be true but denied that the Joko camp was involved.

He claimed that the ballots were discovered during a raid and not by the election authorities in Malaysia.

"The people who were involved in the raid were from 02 (Prabowo's camp), including the Democratic Party," Mr Masinton said.

He claimed that vote-rigging in Malaysia was run by a syndicate and have been rampant in every election. "They pay RM15 (S$5) for each ballot," Mr Masinton said.

The Prabowo-Sandiaga camp denied the incumbent team's accusations, saying it had also urged the KPU to reschedule voting day in Malaysia pending an assessment of the incident.

"We sent a letter to the KPU to postpone the voting process until the commission gives us an explanation on how many ballots are deemed problematic," Prabowo-Sandiaga campaign team official Sufmi Dasco Ahmad said. He added that the camp would send officials to Malaysia to directly check out the situation.

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