Indian ink for Malaysian polls

February 23rd, 2008 - 1:43 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 23 (IANS) Indelible Indian ink will be used to mark the fingers of voters during the March 8 general election in Malaysia. Malaysia is the latest nation to use indelible ink from India. Afghanistan used the Indian ink for its presidential and parliamentary elections.

Consignments of 47,000 bottles of the indelible ink purchased by the Election Commission have arrived here and will be distributed across the country next week, The Star newspaper said Saturday.

Election Commission Secretary Kamaruzaman Mohamad Noor said each state would receive inkbottles according to the voter population in each parliamentary and state constituency.

The indelible ink, costing over RM 2 million ($100,000), will make its first appearance in elections here. It will be applied on the left forefinger just before a person casts the ballot and is said to stay on the finger for at least two weeks.

Polling clerks at the election booth will paint only a small mark on the forefinger of the voter.

Kamaruzaman also reminded women voters to remove their nail polish before going to the polls, as it would be difficult to apply the ink otherwise.

A total of 10.9 million electorate, including 221,085 postal voters, are eligible to exercise their electoral rights to elect their representatives for 222 parliamentary and 505 state seats, except for 71 state seats in Sarawak.

The Sarawak state election was held on May 20, 2006. The state assembly’s five-year mandate will only lapse in 2011.

About 600,000 additional voters are eligible to vote, up from the 10.3 million in the last election in 2004.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had parliament dissolved a year ahead of schedule this month paving the way for simultaneous elections to parliament and to state legislatures.

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