As far as legitimacy goes, it is definitely official in the town of Paloh, Johor, according to the latest electoral roll produced by the Election Commission (EC) where one female voter is listed as aged 122.

Malay Mail’s quick check on the EC’s web portal for voter’s eligibility status returned a positive search result on the 122-year-old woman who was born on December 31, 1900.

The current oldest living person is Japanese woman Kane Tanaka, who was born in January 1903 and is now 119 years old.

The Malaysian Book of Records currently officially recognises Annamah Abukutty from Penang as the oldest living woman in the country at the age of 110, while Seliman Bandang from Sarawak is recognised as the oldest living man at the age of 111.

Indubitably, the AVR system has introduced old unregistered voters who would likely be unable to cast their vote and also raises questions on the cleaning up of voter lists without cancelling legitimate registration.

A brief look at Paloh’s ageing population

As a matter of fact, there are a total of 13 centenarians — those above 100 years old — among Paloh’s 25,831 registered voters (yes, all of them are registered as voters in EC’s web portal).

In contrast, those aged 60 and above comprise 22.8 percent or 5,884 registered voters in the constituency, where the ageing population is on a gradual rise as the years go by.

Despite the implementation of Undi18, Paloh only saw an increase of 1,267 new voters between the ages of 18 and 20, a mere 4.9 percent of the total registered.

Under the AVR system, Paloh saw an overall increase of 4,432 new voters or 17 percent from the 14th general election in 2018.

Of the 18 district voting centres (PDM), those aged 60 and above were the dominant voting group in 11 of them, with the highest proportion recorded at 57.1 percent in one of the PDM.

Dead or alive?

When asked by Malay Mail, Paloh incumbent Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali said he too was perplexed when he first found out, but noted that the data was not fabricated since it was obtained from the EC.

As to whether efforts were made to ascertain the individual’s existence, Sheikh Umar said they remained futile as existing personal records were incomplete, which made it difficult for his team to track the person down.

Nonetheless, the 37-year-old DAP politician has instructed his party’s polling agent to keep watch if said person does show up to vote on March 12.

While the present circumstances of the aforementioned individual remains to be determined, one thing is certain: this will not be the first or last time such an “eventuality” emerges following the implementation of the AVR system.

According to