KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 — The Election Commission today rejected a Selangor lawmaker’s claim that artificial fingers will be imported from China to bypass the indelible ink that safeguards against repeat voters.
Describing the allegation as false and baseless, it said its investigations into the claim revealed that the purported evidence cited by the lawmaker was lifted from a blog post on prosthetic digits for former Japanese mobsters.
The article titled “Prosthetic Fingers Help Reform Former Yakuza Members” was published in 2013 on the blog of multimedia news correspondent Akiko Fujita, and contained a photograph of lifelike fingers.
According to the EC, the photograph was also used by some parties in Indonesia to claim that they would be similarly used for voting fraud in elections there.
“Despite this, it has also been cited and used by irresponsible parties here and spread through social media to arouse concern and negative perceptions, to the point of claiming [the fingers] would be brought here for the general election to ensure the victory of a certain party,” it said in a statement.
“The EC hopes the public will not be concerned over this and continue to have full confidence and trust in the agency to conduct free and fair elections.”
It gave its assurance that its officials were trained to check for attempts to tamper with the indelible ink as well as prosthetic digits to bypass the safeguard.
The EC introduced the use of indelible ink in Election 2013, but reports of the ink being washed off with common solvents had fuelled suspicion over its efficacy in preventing vote fraud.
The commission later admitted to shortcomings in the introduction of the safeguard, and gave its assurance that later applications would not have the same issues.