Malaysians cast their ballots in the most important election in the nation's history on Sunday. On Election Day, as had been predicted by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, reports of electoral fraud were widespread. Although the Prime Minister Najib Razak had just a few days earlier given his categorical assurance that the election would be clean, a mountain of evidence started piling up to negate his assertion.
It was discovered that despite years of pressuring the Malaysian Election Commission (EC) to ensure a free, fair and unbiased election the EC continued to demonstrate its incompetence and lack of professionalism. Furthermore, evidence has emerged that websites in Malaysia are being selectively and deliberately blocked to prevent the free flow of independent information.
At early voting stations in Kuala Lumpur on April 30, independent election observers witnessed that the indelible ink being used as a mechanism to prevent multiple voting could be removedwith hand sanitizer or soapy water. These reports were confirmed by independent news portal Malaysiakini, one of Malaysia's most well regarded online news portals. Indelible ink is supposed to remain visible on the voter's finger for a minimum of five to seven days so that an individual who tries to vote more than once will be turned away. In Malaysia, the ink can be removed quite easily shortly after it is applied. Over 50,000 military servicemen voted in early voting on April 30 and could have voted again on the May 5 polling date as a result of the faulty ink.
On May 5 there were 1000s of reports of voters being able to wipe the indelible ink off their hands quite easily. In response the Election Commissioner stated it was not a big deal since there would be no voting the following day.
In 2012 the Election Commission gave assurances to civil society groups which had staged large street protests in Kuala Lumpur that it would implement indelible ink. But the ink that was ultimately used proved to be defective and useless, casting a dark shadow on the integrity of the electoral process.