'Dead voters' in Malaysia alJazeera.net 12 January
About half a million of
"When you talk about the dead on the rolls, I admit there are a lot," Abdul Rashid,
alJazeera.net 12 January
"That's why we are going from village to village to verify the dead."
The announcement comes a day after the opposition Islamic party PAS and Parti Keadilan said they would boycott a January 28 by-election in the state of Pahang because of dubious electoral rolls.
They said the dead on the rolls have led to "phantom voting", a charge that Abdul Rashid denied.
He blamed the voter register discrepancy on poor data collection, archaic election laws and bureaucratic red-tape.
In one case, a woman voter who died in 1975 at the age of 77 was still listed on the 2006 rolls.
Nasharudin Mat Isa, the PAS deputy president, said electoral reform had been slow and inadequate under Abdul Rashid, although he called the election official's acknowledgement a "step in the right" direction.
But Nasharudin said voter discrepancy is only one problem of many that need to be addressed to democratise the electoral landscape of
For example, he said, the government controls most of the mass media and has used it to marginalise opposition parties.