As happened in several other states earlier, the PKR polls were marred in Sarawak too – fracas and cyberattack claims led to suspension of results from the controversial Julau division.
JPP finds tablets used for voting compromised
KUCHING: Claims of a “cyberattack” have led to the suspension of polling results from the controversial Julau division even as the PKR party election got underway in Sarawak.
The party’s central election committee (JPP) chief Datuk Rashid Din said 10 tablets used for e-voting at the Julau polling station were found to have been compromised with the Prey anti-theft software.
“Information from the JPP cybersecurity team in Petaling Jaya stated that the software was used to erase the e-voting app, steal data, change the password and remotely control the tablets,” he said yesterday.
Rashid said the JPP’s system and IT unit took immediate measures to resolve the problem, including switching the e-voting to offline mode and uninstalling the Prey software.
“The JPP is suspending the results for Julau until the tablets are restored and the data is processed,” he said, adding that preliminary investigations found that the software was physically installed onto the tablets at 4am yesterday. Discovery of the software was made at about 2pm.
The JPP, said Rashid, was also investigating whether similar cyberattacks had happened in other places that voted yesterday.
Deputy president candidate Rafizi Ramli, who was in Julau, called on the party to thoroughly investigate the matter.
“There have been suspicions all along that the system is compromised. Now that there is clear confirmation from the JPP, I hope the party will get to the bottom of this.
“I don’t actually care that much whether I win or not because we are all in the same party. Defending the integrity of the (voting) process is more important,” he told reporters.
Rafizi said it was now up to the JPP to decide whether Julau needed to vote again.
Early results from the first day of polling in Sarawak showed Rafizi to be trailing his rival, the incumbent deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
The unofficial tally from 17 of the 22 divisions which voted yesterday showed Azmin garnering 2,642 votes while Rafizi had 1,322.
According to the results, Azmin won in Batang Lupar, Bandar Kuching, Lanang, Batang Sadong, Saratok, Lawas, Baram, Kanowit, Hulu Rajang, Kota Samarahan, Selangau, Lubok Antu and Betong. The Serian, Miri, Kapit and Sibuti divisions went to Rafizi.
Another seven divisions will vote today to conclude the party polls.
Sarawak PKR election coordinator Desmond Kho said polling went smoothly although the turnout of about 30% was lower than expected.
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