Yahya (centre) said: "Just because our old houses have ceased to exist, that does not mean we are not residents of Lembah Pantai."(Photo by Hussein Shaharuddin/ The Mole)
KUALA LUMPUR: More than 50 registered voters in Lembah Pantai gathered this morning to protest against incumbent MP Nurul Izzah Anwar who had alleged they are phantom voters in the area.
Describing Nurul Izzah's allegation as an attempt to deny the rights of 4,637 voters to vote in the upcoming polls, the voters' representative Mohd Yahya Yusoff said: "We have been living here for many years and many of us have voted numerous times here."
"In fact there are many of us who have voted in the area even way before she (Nurul Izzah) was born."
Yahya, 61, said most of them were registered under their old addresses at the squatters' area before being relocated to the government's housing flats.
"Even when we have been relocated at a new place, we are still residents of Lembah Pantai," he explained.
"Her attempt to nullify our voting registration shows her lack of knowledge about the history of Lembah Pantai. Just because one of the areas no longer exist due to development, it does not mean the addresses are fake and that we are phantom voters."
Yahya listed several areas which were labelled as "phantom voters" hotspots as alleged by Nurul Izzah.
The areas include Kg Pasir Kiri, which is now Taman Gasing Hawker Centre, Kg Lembah Pantai, and squatters' area in Bukit A,B,C and Kg Kerinchi.
"There are residents who voted for her in the last election and felt betrayed with her allegation. Most of us were shocked upon finding out that our names are in the list of so-called phantom voters," he said.
Yahya said the residents have formed a movement called Gempur, to trace all of 4,637 voters to dispute Nurul Izzah's allegations.
Another resident Ahmad Yaacob (pix), 73 told The Mole: "I have been voting since the 1964 general election."
"I have lived in Putra Ria since 1970. There is no problem in voting whatsoever, why must she (Nurul Izzah) create an issue about it?"
Tong Gaik Hooi, 56, a resident in Taman Seri Sentosa said he is not afraid to show his proof that he is a legitimate voter on polling day on May 5th.
"I don't know if it is a political tactic by her to go against BN, but I will just do my duty as a citizen."
On March 22 this year, Nurul Izzah through her lawyer Edmund Bon has filed a judicial review, demanding the Election Commission to nullify the registration of 4,637 or seven per cent out of 72,533 voters in Lembah Pantai parliamentary seat.
However she failed to get a High Court order to compel the Election Commission (EC) to strike out dubious voter names in the electoral roll for her constituency.
Judge Datuk Seri Zakaria Sam reportedly dismissed the leave application for a judicial review filed by Nurul Izzah for a declaration that the refusal by the chief registrar of election to strike out the voters' names in the principal electoral roll of Lembah Pantai in 2011 and the supplementary electoral roll for the second quarter of 2012 was illegal and invalid.
Nurul Izzah will be involved in a three-cornered fight to defend her seat. She is being challenged by Barisan Nasional's Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin and independent Rusli Baba.
In the 2008 general election Nurul Izzah won the seat defeating BN's Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil by a majority of 2,895.